FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Cliff Springston was one of three Razorback baseball players drafted on the second day of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft on Friday afternoon, taken in the 11th round by the Texas Rangers.
Seniors Jeff Nutt and Aaron Murphree were also picked up by major league clubs with Nutt going in the 25th round to the New York Yankees and Murphree taken in the 27th round by the San Diego Padres.
Springston, a left-handed pitcher from Lorena, Texas, was Arkansas’ leader in four statistical categories in 2008 including wins (5), earned run average (3.90), games started (12) and innings pitched (87.2). He was Arkansas’ starting pitcher in its opening round game of the NCAA Regional Championships and looked strong on the mound as he allowed four runs over 5.1 innings. He had one of Arkansas’ two complete games on the year when he threw a gem against Mississippi in late April to pick up one of his wins. Springston was taken with the 333rd overall pick.
Nutt missed a good portion of the 2008 season to injury, but returned with a hot bat and helped the Razorbacks turn around their season. The Wylie, Texas, native was hitting close to .400 through his opening 15 games and had a huge series against Florida as he went 6-10 with four RBI and two home runs. Nutt ended up as the 770th overall selection.
Murphree ended his two-year stint at Arkansas as one of the Razorbacks most loved players drawing rousing cheers every time he stepped up to the plate. He opened the 2008 season red hot at the plate as he hit 12 home runs in his first 12 games which included an unreal series against Siena where he hit five home runs, drove in eight runs and scored eight runs. The week of good fortune earned Murphree Collegiate Baseball’s Hitter of the Week, SEC Hitter of the Week and Pro-Line Athletic National Hitter of the Week honors. Murphree was the 825th overall pick.
Along with Arkansas’ three players,six signees were also chosen by major league clubs. Right-handed pitcher Bobby Bundy was picked in the eighth round by the Baltimore Orioles, outfielder Seth gardner was selected in the 13th by the Pittsburgh Pirates, third baseman Zack Cox went in the 20th to the Los Angeles Dodgers, left-handed pitcher Austin Wright in the 20th round to the Pittsburgh Pirates, catcher James McCann and left-handed pitcher Trevor Cosineau both went in the 31st round to the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians, respectively.
The end of the two-day draft saw four players from Arkansas’ 2008 roster selected as well as eight potential recruits. Arkansas’ four players may not be as many as the nine that were taken in 2007 or the five selected in 2006, but stand as an average number looking back at the 36 draft classes. In fact, the Razorbacks rank second in the Southeastern Conference for consecutive years in which a player has been drafted (34) which dates back to the 1975 season.
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