FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas junior pitcher Zach Jackson officially signed with the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend after being selected in the third round of the MLB Draft in June. He will begin his pro career in the Rookie League with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida.
Jackson was the last remaining Razorback junior that was drafted to either sign a professional contract or return to school for his senior year. Clark Eagan and James Teague both signed with their respective clubs soon after the draft. Pitcher Dominic Taccolini announced he was returning to campus after being drafted by the Blue Jays in the 16th round.
“I could not be more blessed for the opportunity from the Toronto Blue Jays organization to get the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream,” Jackson said after the draft. “These past three years at Arkansas have undoubtedly been the best years of my life. I got the chance to play in the toughest conference in the nation, play for the greatest fans and have the most unforgettable experience of going to Omaha. I’ve made the best of friends over the last few years and made more memories than I could have ever imagined. Thank you Arkansas for making a small town Oklahoma kid feel at home.”
Coming into the 2016 season, Jackson was one of the most highly anticipated pitchers on the college scene as he was placed on numerous preseason All-American lists as well as the Golden Spikes Watch List. Jackson was named to the All-SEC first team after his sophomore season and he played on the USA Collegiate National Team during the summer of 2015.
He made 18 appearances this past season, both as a starter and a reliever, garnering three wins, four saves and totaling 66 strikeouts. During his three-year Razorback career, Jackson has notched 15 saves, which ties him for second all-time.
The Berryhill, Oklahoma, native had his best season in 2015 en route to helping Arkansas to its eighth College World Series appearance. Jackson went 5-1 with a 2.10 ERA after pitching 60 innings and striking out 89 batters, good for the best mark on the team.
Jackson’s most memorable moment came in last year’s NCAA Super Regionals where he sent Arkansas to the College World Series after throwing 3 2/3 innings of one-hit ball in the decisive game against Missouri State. He retired 11-straight batters and got the strikeout to end the game, sending the Hogs to Omaha.
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