Tampa Bay Selects Johnson in MLB Draft

Arkansas Tech’s Matt Johnson was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday during day two of the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Johnson was selected in the 23rd round with the 720th pick in the draft.

He became the 10th Wonder Boy baseball player to be selected in the MLB Draft and the first since pitcher Aubrey Miller, who also went in the 23rd round when he was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in 2006.

A center fielder from Grand Saline, Texas, Johnson was named NCAA Division II All-America in 2011 by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).

He had a batting average of .454 with nine home runs and 50 runs batted in during his senior season.

Johnson established new single-season Arkansas Tech records for base hits (99), runs scored (79), stolen bases (37), total bases (156) and longest hitting streak (34 consecutive games) in 2011.

Johnson led the GSC this season in batting average, slugging percentage (.716), runs scored, base hits, total bases and stolen bases.

He was named 2011 GSC West Division player of the year, and in so doing, he became the first and last Arkansas Tech baseball player to earn that award. Tech will move forward to the new NCAA Division II Great American Conference in fall 2011.

The ABCA, the NCBWA and CoSIDA all selected Johnson to their NCAA Division II All-South Region teams.

He earned a South Region Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his work in center field and finished third in voting for the Tino Martinez Award, which is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division II baseball.

Click here to view a list of past MLB Draft selections from Arkansas Tech.

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