Arkansas shorstop Jalen Battles taken by Tampa Bay in MLB draft

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Jalen Battles’ glove has always played at a Major League-level. Turns out, teams like his bat, too.

The former Arkansas shortstop was taken in the fifth round of the 2022 MLB draft on Monday by the Tampa Bay Rays. He hit hit .289/.364/.480 with 10 home runs this past season while combining with Robert Moore at second base to give the Diamond Hogs one of the NCAA’s best double-play combinations.

Battles considered leaving for the professional ranks after the 2021 season when he hit .269/.371/.407 as his fielding skills had made him a prospect already. Instead, he returned to Fayetteville and helped the Razorbacks to the College World Series.

Battles was the fourth Arkansas player taken in the draft after Sunday saw third baseman Cayden Wallace, pitcher Peyton Pallette and Moore all selected.

List

Three Hogs selected in second round of MLB Draft