Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A two-time graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Astin, Denney taken in third round
NWA MEDIA/SAMANTHA BAKER Arkansas' Barrett Astin pitches during the game against Texas A&M Friday, April 19, 2013, at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville for the first of a three game series.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas pitcher Barrett Astin and Razorbacks catcher signee Jon Denney were selected in the third round of the MLB Draft on Friday.
Denney was taken with the 81st overall pick of the draft by the Boston Red Sox and Astin was selected 90th by the Milwaukee Brewers. Both are expected to sign professional contracts prior to the July 12 deadline for drafted players.
Denney was considered by most analysts a first round pick, but wasn't taken on the draft's first day. As a senior at Yukon (Okla.) High School, he batted .462 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs, and he played in the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago last summer.
Astin was a three-year contributor to the Razorbacks' pitching staff, including the team's Friday night starter for much of the 2013 season. As a junior, the Forrest City native went 4-4 in 14 starts with a 1.79 earned run average. He was second on the team in innings pitched with 90 2/3.
Arkansas had two other pitchers drafted Thursday. Ryne Stanek was taken in the first round with the 29th overall selection by the Tampa Bay Rays and Colby Suggs was selected with the final pick of the second round by the Miami Marlins.
Teddy Stankiewicz, a junior college pitcher who signed with the Razorbacks last November, was drafted with the 45th overall pick by the Red Sox. He is expected to sign professionally and forgo his eligibility at Arkansas.