Pomona-Pitzer senior second baseman Tanner Nishioka was selected in the ninth round of the Major League Baseball free agent draft on Tuesday.
He was the 281st overall pick, the highest ever for a Sagehen baseball player and the first to be drafted since David Colvin was selected by the Mariners in the 27th round of the 2011 draft.
“I’m really happy,” said Nishioka. “I’ve worked really hard for this opportunity and have had a lot of help from my coaches and teammates to get here, so it feels awesome.”
“The work ethic that this program is built around helped me put my best effort in everything I do and helped me become a better player. Now the real hard work starts. I’m looking forward to the new challenges and competing with professional baseball players.”
Nishioka was a star for the Sagehen baseball team all season. He was named SCIAC Player of the Year even though the team finished just sixth in the conference. He was also a first team All-American, Academic All-American and Division III West Region Player of the Year.
“I’m absolutely thrilled for Tanner,” said Sagehen Head Coach Frank Pericolosi. “He worked so hard throughout his career at Pomona-Pitzer and his selection in the draft is the culmination of all that hard work.”
Nishioka led the nation in home runs with 18 and slugging percentage at .888. He also finished the season with a .441 batting average with 53 RBI, 67 hits, and 48 runs scored.
He ends his career top-six in program history in hits (254), home runs (36), batting average (.395), runs (189), and RBI (166). Nishioka also ranks seventh in single season batting average (.441) and is tied for third in home runs in a single season (18).
Recent Sagehens Signed by MLB Teams
1995 – Emiliano Escandon – 29th Round – Royals
2003 – Jose Cortez – 14th Round – Phillies
2004 – Adam Gardner – Free Agent Sign – Giants
2005 – Jase Turner – 27th Round – Royals
2009 – Drew Hedman – 50th Round – Red Sox
2010 – James Kang – 45th Round – Red Sox
2011 – David Colvin – 27th Round – Mariners