Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad was selected second overall by the Baltimore Orioles in the first round of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft, several spots ahead of where most had him projected.
He is the ninth Razorback to be taken in the first round of the draft, the sixth under coach Dave Van Horn and the first since Andrew Benintendi (Boston) in 2015.
Other Arkansas first rounders include: Kevin McReynolds (1981), Jeff King (1986), David Walling (1999), Nick Schmidt (2007), Logan Forsythe (2008), Zack Cox (2010) and Ryne Stanek (2013).
By getting taken second, Kjerstad is the highest Hog drafted since Jeff King, who was the first overall selection in the 1986 draft.
His selection also marks the 46th-straight year an Arkansas player has been selected by an MLB squad in the draft, which is tied for the longest streak in the Southeastern Conference. He is the 233rd Razorback selected in the MLB Draft since 1965, the 150th since joining the SEC and 110th under Van Horn.
Kjerstad, the eighth Razorback taken by the Orioles all-time, played three years at Arkansas (2018-20), starting all 150 games of one of the best eras of Razorback baseball, enjoying two SEC Western Division title victories, two trips to the College World Series and a runner-up finish for the national title.
Previously drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2017 (36th round–1,083 overall), Kjerstad is the 31st Razorback to improve their draft stock under Van Horn since 2003, making the biggest jump between rounds (35) and draft picks (1,083).
Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.