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Battles leads list of returning Razorbacks

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FAYETTEVILLE — Tuesday’s third and final day with the last 10 rounds of the Major League Baseball draft concluded with six more either current Arkansas Razorbacks or high school seniors signed by Coach Dave Van Horn’s Razorbacks now able to consider professional options.
Those drafted Tuesday included high school outfielder Braylon Bishop of Texarkana, 14th round, 403rd overall pick Pittsburgh Pirates; Razorbacks pitcher Caden Monke, 14th round, 409th overall pick, Kansas City Royals; high school senior shortstop Drake Varnado, 17th round, 498th overall pick; Arizona Diamondbacks; Razorbacks pitcher Elijah Trest, 19th round, 560th overall pick; Colorado Rockies; Razorbacks designated hitter Charlie Welch, 19th round 564th pick, Seattle Mariners; and high school senior second baseman Brenden Dixon, 20th round, 583rd pick, Pittsburgh Pirates.
Varnado Thursday tweeted his intentions to enroll at the UA and play for the Razorbacks as did highly sought high school shortstop Peyton Stovall on Monday withdrawing his name from pro draft consideration.
Razorbacks or prospects signed by the Razorbacks drafted include high school shortstop Max Muncy, first round and 25th overall pick, Pittsburgh Pirates; and on Monday senior Dick Howser Award winning All-American relief pitcher Kevin Kopps, third round, 99th overall pick, San Diego Padres; junior center fielder Christian Franklin, fourth round, 123rd overall pick, Chicago Cubs; relief pitcher Ryan Costeiu, seventh round, 201st pick, Los Angeles Angels; catcher Casey Opitz, eighth round, 244th pick, Chicago Cubs; pitcher Patrick Wicklander, eighth round, 251st pick, Tampa Bay Rays; and pitcher Lael Lockhart, ninth round, 282nd pick, Los Angeles Dodgers.
High school seniors that signed with the Razorbacks also drafted Monday include outfielder Jordan Viars, third round, 84th overall pick, Philadelphia Phillies; and outfielder-pitcher Drew Gray, third round, 93rd pick overall, Chicago Cubs.
Undrafted Razorbacks shortstop Jalen Battles, the MVP of the SEC Tournament, announced Tuesday he would not seek a professional free agent deal but would return to the Razorbacks.
“After all the thoughts and talks with my family and coaches, I have decided to return to Arkansas for my junior season," Battles posted on Twitter. "Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this process."
Razorbacks first baseman Brady Slavens announced Monday he would return to the Razorbacks.

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