Evan Lee signs with Nationals, foregoes final 2 years at Arkansas

By: Matt Jones
Published: Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Arkansas designated hitter Evan Lee runs the bases after hitting a home run against Louisiana-Monroe on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas designated hitter Evan Lee runs the bases after hitting a home run against Louisiana-Monroe on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas utility player Evan Lee signed with the Washington Nationals on Monday, and will forego the final two years of his college eligibility.

Lee, a sophomore from Bryant, signed for $125,000. He was selected as a left-handed pitcher in the 15th round by the Nationals last month. There are no slot values assigned to picks after the 10th round, but teams are penalized for signings of above $125,000 in rounds 11-40.

Lee's signing was expected. Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said last month that he did not expect Lee to return for another season.

As a sophomore, Lee had a 4-3 record and a 5.00 ERA in 15 appearances, including one start. He struck out 14 batters and walked 10 in 18 innings.

Lee batted .300 with 3 home runs and 15 RBI in 18 games as a sophomore, primarily as a designated hitter. He also walked eight times and had an on-base percentage of .383.

The majority of Lee's playing time came in non-conference games. In SEC games, his ERA was 5.62 in eight appearances and his batting average dropped to .238 in 21 at-bats. He faced one batter during the postseason and did not bat in any of the final 17 games.

Lee is the first Arkansas sophomore to go pro since Andrew Benintendi was drafted seventh overall by the Boston Red Sox in 2015. Players are draft-eligible as sophomores when their 21st birthday falls within 45 days of the MLB Draft. Lee turned 21 on June 18.

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.