Razorback Christian Franklin Selected in MLB Draft

The Diamond Hog was the No. 123 overall pick.

Razorback outfielder Christian Franklin
Photo courtesy of University of Arkansas Athletics.

Arkansas Razorback Christian Franklin is headed to the Windy City. The Chicago Cubs selected the outfielder in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB Draft Monday.

“Thank you so much to everyone, feeling extremely blessed to be in the position where I am,” Franklin said in a statement on social media. “Go Cubs!”

Franklin heads to Chicago after wrapping up the 2021 season with 13 home runs and 54 RBI. The outfielder also hit 15 doubles and two triples, swiping a team-best 11 bases on the year while playing elite defense in center, according to a press release.

The junior from Overland Park, Kan., was one of six Hogs selected during the second day of the MLB’s first-year player draft. Pitcher Kevin Kopps, the 2021 Dick Howser Trophy winner and current Golden Spikes Award finalist, led the way for Arkansas with his third-round selection (No. 99 overall) by the San Diego Padres.

Pitcher Ryan Costeiu was picked up by the Los Angeles Angels in the seventh round (No. 201st overall). Catcher Casey Opitz and pitcher Patrick Wicklander were selected in the eighth round by the Cubs (No. 244 overall) and Tampa Bay Rays (No. 251 overall), respectively.

Pitcher Lael Lockhart rounded out Monday’s Razorback draftees. The left-hander was scooped up by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the ninth round with the No. 282 overall pick.

The Hogs had four pitchers selected in the draft’s first 10 rounds for the second time in program history. Arkansas first achieved the feat during the 2019 draft.

Through the first two days of the 2021 MLB Draft, three Razorback signees have been selected, including one in Sunday’s first round. Infielder Max Muncy was drafted by the Oakland Athletics (first round, No. 25 overall) Sunday before infielder Jordan Viars (third round, No. 84 overall – Philadelphia Phillies) and pitcher/outfielder Drew Gray (third round, No. 93 overall – Chicago Cubs) heard their names called Monday.

The MLB Draft concludes with rounds 11 through 20 today. The draft starts at 11 a.m. with no delay between selections.