Three Ducks selected in top 10 rounds of MLB Draft

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EUGENE, Ore. – Sophomore outfielder Aaron Zavala and junior pitchers Robert Ahlstrom and Cullen Kafka were all selected on day two of the 2021 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Monday.  
 
The Texas Rangers selected Zavala with the second pick of the second round, while the New York Yankees made Ahlstrom a seventh-round selection and the Colorado Rockies grabbed Kafka in the ninth round.
 
Zavala was the 38th overall pick, the highest selection of a position player in the modern era of Oregon Baseball. He was picked 52 spots higher than Spencer Steer, who went 90th overall to the Minnesota Twins in the 2019 draft. He is also the third-highest Ducks’ draft pick in the modern era, behind first-round picks Tyler Anderson (2011) and David Peterson (2017).  
 
Zavala is the third Ducks player selected by the Rangers, joining Cole Wiper (10th round, 2013) and Scott Heineman (11th round, 2015). Zavala is the third Oregon player picked in the second round of the MLB Draft. He joins Ryne Nelson who was the 56th player drafted (Arizona Diamondbacks) in 2019 and Madison Boer who was the 87th player selected (Minnesota Twins) in 2011.
 
Ahlstrom was the 213 overall selection. The Eugene native is the fourth Oregon player selected by the Yankees. Dennis Baldridge, who was picked by New York in both the 1965 draft and the 1966 secondary draft, was the first Yankee selection from Oregon. Tom Dodd, a first round pick in the 1980 January Secondary Draft, and Porter Clayton, a 21st round pick in the 2014 draft, where also selected by the Yankees
 
Kafka was the 260th overall selection. The four-year letterman is the fourth Oregon player picked by the Rockies, joining Erick Stavart (7th Round, 2009), Tyler Anderson (1st Round, 2011) and Aaron Jones (18th Round, 2012). He is the 19th Ducks’ pitcher drafted in the top 10 rounds and the 35th overall.
 
Day Two Draft Notes

  • The Ducks had at least three players drafted in the top 10 of the MLB Draft for the fifth time since 2009
  • Oregon had multiple players drafted in the top 10 rounds for the eighth time since 2009
  • Oregon had multiple players drafted in the top 10 for the second straight draft (omitting the 2020 draft which was only five rounds)
  • Oregon had multiple pitchers drafted in the top 10 rounds for the sixth time since 2009 (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2021)
  • Oregon had at least one position player and one pitcher drafted in the first 10 rounds for the fifth time since 2009 (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021)

 
Aaron Zavala, SO, OF, (Texas Rangers, 2nd Round, 38th Overall Pick)

  • Highest MLB Draft pick of an Oregon position player in the modern era
  • Third-highest MLB Draft pick from Oregon during that time
  • Third Oregon player picked by the Rangers since 2013
  • 54th Duck drafted since 2009
  • D1Baseball All-America First-Team All-America
  • ABCA First-Team All-America
  • Perfect Game First-Team All-America
  • Baseball America First-Team All-America
  • NCBWA First-Team All-America
  • Collegiate Baseball Second-Team All-America
  • NCBWA District 9 Player of the Year
  • ABCA Division I First-Team West Region
  • CoSIDA All-District 8 Team
  • Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist
  • Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalist
  • Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year
  • First-Team All-Pac-12 Conference

 
Robert Ahlstrom, JR, LHP (New York Yankees, 7th Round, 213th Overall Pick)

  • Fourth Oregon player picked by the Yankees, and just the second in the modern era
  • 16th highest Oregon pick in modern era
  • 18th Oregon pitcher drafted in the top 10 rounds in the modern era
  • 23rd top-10 pick in modern era school history
  • 34th Oregon pitchers drafted in the modern era
  • 55th Duck drafted since 2009
  • ABCA Division I West All-Region Second Team
  • First-Team All-Pac-12 Conference
  • Pac-12 Conference All-Defensive Team
  • 3-time Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week

 
Cullen Kafka, JR, RHP (Colorado Rockies, 9th Round, 260th Overall Pick)

  • First Oregon player picked in the ninth round in the modern era
  • Third Oregon pitcher picked by the Rockies joining Tyler Anderson and Eric Stavert
  • Fourth Oregon player picked by the Rockies in the modern era and the first since 2012
  • 19th Oregon pitcher drafted in the top 10 rounds in the modern era
  • 22nd highest Oregon pick in modern era
  • 24th top-10 pick in modern era school history
  • 56th Duck drafted since 2009
  • Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 Conference in 2021
  • 1-time Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week
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