Dave Van Horn doesn’t hold back on draft: “It’s ridiculous”

·2 min read

Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn has a point.

The Razorbacks long-time head man put a wrap on the Arkansas season with a end-of-year press conference on Thursday. Among the topics were, of course, the 2023 Diamond Hogs.

That’s where things became more testy than usual.

See, traditionally the MLB Draft had been in early-to-mid-June. But in 2021, Major League Baseball moved it to mid-July. This year, it’s in mid-to-late-July (specifically July 17-19), making things difficult for people like Van Horn who are seeking roster clarity heading into the fall semester.

“What a horrible time for the draft. The draft should have been last week,” Van Horn said. “I’ve said this 10 times this year: It makes no sense at all. No one likes it except the [MLB] owners. They think it’s cool to have the draft during the All-Star game. Nobody cares.”

In baseball, players don’t have to declare for the MLB Draft. If they’re selected and have eligibility remaining in college, than can choose to sign or stay in school. It’s straight-forward.

But it also creates the problem of the unknown. Several Arkansas recruits and current players – namely third baseman Cayden Wallace and second baseman Robert Moore – are likely to be taken. Most of them taken high. The question is whether where they are taken is high enough to entice them to leave the Diamond Hogs.

“I mean, it’s a joke. So we’ve got to get through that, and then you’ve got about 14 days after the draft to see who’s going to sign and now it’s August 1. That’s when the smoke will clear. Hopefully within a couple days after that, we’ll have a final roster. There could be a lot of changes,” Van Horn said.

Arkansas will likely only return one position-player starter, but could return all three weekend starters and a bulk of the bullpen.