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.
Pitcher signee sidelined with injury
Ankeny, Iowa pitcher Keaton McKinney signed a letter of intent to play at Arkansas.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas pitcher signee Keaton McKinney will miss the remainder of his senior season after tearing a ligament in his non-throwing hand.
McKinney said he dislocated and tore a ligament in the ring finger on his left hand while covering first base. Iowa high school baseball plays its season during the summer months.
"I'm out eight weeks, so I'm done with high school ball and I'm getting ready for the fall," McKinney said.
McKinney, who was drafted in the 28th round by the New York Mets, said he plans to come to Arkansas some time in August. He is rated one of the top pitchers coming out of high school baseball but fell in the draft because of a high asking price from MLB franchises.
The Ankeny, Iowa, native is one of multiple top prospects expected to be at Arkansas next season. California catcher Nathan Rodriguez said he will play for the Razorbacks next year, while New Jersey outfielder Luke Bonfield is expected to make it to campus.
Arkansas' recruiting class is ranked No. 9 by Perfect Game USA and could be rated even higher once publications re-rank the classes based on MLB Draft departures.
"I think that's pretty cool that people think that highly of our signing class," McKinney said. "We have a lot of good guys who will make it to campus for us. I feel like we've got a special bond just from the recruiting weekends. I'm looking forward to getting down there and meeting everyone."
Arkansas is awaiting word from Minnesota left-handed pitcher Sam Hentges, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Indians last Friday. Hentges' slot in the draft is valued at $400,000.
Hentges told TwinCities.com he would begin speaking with club officials next week to assess his options.
"My life is kind of crazy right now,'' Hentges said. "Things are happening fast.''