FAYETTEVILLE – Monday night at midnight marked the deadline for 2010 MLB draft picks to sign with their respective teams. For the University of Arkansas baseball team and head coach Dave Van Horn, the night was spent awaiting news on players signed and unsigned.
"We were just trying to hold on to some guys," Van Horn said. "Between the guys we had in the program and the guys that are now coming into our program, we had 15 players drafted and we did ok. I think of the nine that were coming in that were drafted, we lost four guys and kept five."
As expected for their first and second-round draft slots, Zack Cox, Brett Eibner and Drew Smyly signed for a combined total of approximately $5 million. Cox signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, while Eibner and Smyly came to terms with the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers, respectively. Eibner signed his rookie contract at Arvest Park in Springdale earlier in the week.
Andy Wilkins, a fifth-round selection by the Chicago White Sox, signed in early June. Collin Kuhn was one of two Arkansas players, along with Mike Bolsinger, drafted in the 15th round. The Beaver Dam, Wis., native was picked by the Tigers but decided to return to Fayetteville.
"Collin got offered pretty good money," Van Horn said. "He’s only about 33 hours away from graduation and has another year of bargaining power. Getting him back is huge for us on the leadership side. Having his leadership and experience back is going to be big for us."
After one season out of the bullpen for the Razorbacks, reliever Jordan Pratt, the third Razorback drafted by Detroit, signed his contract in June. With the entire process over and classes set to begin Monday, Van Horn can now move forward as the Razorbacks look toward fall ball.
"I’m glad (the signing process) is over," Van Horn said. "It’s been a stressful summer for me. This has probably as bad as it’s been with as many high-profile guys as we had. If we could have kept a couple more of those pitchers, this recruiting class would have probably been ranked top four in the country. I know a lot of college teams got hit hard and that’s the way it is."