FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas' final draft holdout said Monday that he will play for the Razorbacks next season.
Trevor Stephan, a right-handed pitcher from Hill Junior College in Texas, opted to not sign with the Boston Red Sox four days before the signing deadline. Stephan was drafted in the 18th round last month.
The Red Sox have yet to sign three of their first five draft picks, including first-rounder Jason Groome.
"They're struggling to sign their first-rounder they have and that kind of drew things out a bit," Stephan said. "They were trying to come with money for me and I didn't know if that would happen or not, so I was just kind of waiting. The longer I waited, the more I wanted to come to Arkansas."
*C Ben Rortvedt, 2nd Round, Twins
*INF Cole Stobbe, 3rd Round, Phillies
*RHP Tyler Benninghoff, 11th Round, Twins
RHP Trevor Stephan, 18th Round, Red Sox
LHP Blake Lillis, 25th Round, Brewers
RHP Brenden Heiss, 31st Round, Cubs
OF Jordan McFarland, 36th Round, Nationals
-* Denotes player signed professional contract
Stephan, who will be draft-eligible again next year, has a power arm with a fastball that touches 95 mph. He also throws a slider and a splitter.
After playing first base at West High School in Magnolia, Texas, Stephan opted to attend junior college and learn to pitch. He had a rough freshman season, but bounced back with a a 2.88 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings pitched as a sophomore.
He went 8-1 with five saves this season, helping his team to the NJCAA postseason.
"I'm pretty raw, to be honest," Stephan said. "I didn't pitch in high school.
"I knew I had a good arm, so I knew pitching was going to kind of be my ticket. I went to junior college as a two-way player and eventually became just a pitcher."
Among signees, Stephan is the highest draft pick who will play for the Razorbacks next season. Three other Arkansas signees - left-handed pitcher Blake Lillis of Overland Park, Kan.; right-handed pitcher Brenden Heiss of Algonquin, Ill.; and outfielder Jordan McFarland of Waterloo, Ill. - also turned down pro offers.
Lillis was drafted in the 25th round by the Brewers, Heiss in the 31st round by the Cubs and McFarland in the 36th round by the Nationals. Heiss and McFarland were rated among the top 500 prospects by Baseball America, as were two other signees who went undrafted because of sign-ability concerns.
Arkansas lost three signees to pro baseball this season. The Twins signed second-round catcher Ben Rortvedt 11th-round right-handed pitcher Tyler Benninghoff, while the Phillies signed third-round infielder Cole Stobbe.
The Razorbacks' signing class was ranked fourth nationally by Perfect Game USA prior to the draft.