Two Ducks Picked on Third Day of MLB Draft

EUGENE, Ore. – A day after four Oregon players were selected on day two of the 2023 MLB Draft, two more were picked on the final day of the draft with Rikuu Nishida and Isaac Ayon having their names called on Tuesday. 

The selection of the six Ducks in the draft tied for the second most in school history, behind only the 2011 season when eight Ducks were picked during what was then a 40-round draft (the draft was reduced to 20 rounds before the 2021 draft). The six players selected in the 20 rounds matched the number of players chosen in the first 20 rounds of the 2011 draft which is the most in program history. 

The Chicago White Sox picked Nishida with the 15th pick of the day in round 11, the 329th overall pick. The Osaka, Japan, native is the seventh-highest drafted infielder of the modern era behind Josh Kasevich, Spencer Steer, Sabin Ceballos, Ryon Healy, Brennan Milone and Mitchell Tolman. His selection marked just the second time the White Sox have drafted a Ducks player, joining Jakob Goldfarb (2019).

Ayon was the second Duck taken during day three of the draft and the sixth overall when the Washington Nationals selected him with the first pick of the 20th round (585 overall). The right-hander became the first Duck ever selected by the Nationals.

2023 Oregon Draft Picks

Sabin Ceballos – Round 3 (Pick 94) – Atlanta Braves

Jace Stoffal – Round 8 (Pick 237) – Minnesota Twins

Colby Shade – Round 9 (Pick 263) – Miami Marlins

Josh Mollerus – Round 10 (Pick 304) – Toronto Blue Jays

Rikuu Nishida – Round 11 (Pick 329) – Chicago White Sox

Isaac Ayon – Round 20 (Pick 585) – Washington Nationals

Oregon Draft Notes

  • The six players drafted is tied for the second most in school history (2011 – 8; 2015 – 6)
  • Six players drafted in the top 20 rounds is tied for the most in school history (2011)
  • Oregon had three position players drafted for the second consecutive year, which matched the most in the modern era (2011, 2013, 2019, 2022, 2023)
  • The Ducks had three pitchers drafted in the top 20 rounds of the draft for the sixth time (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2021, 2023)
  • Excluding the five-round 2020 draft, Oregon has had a player drafted in every draft since baseball returned in 2009
  • Excluding the 2020 draft, Oregon has had a pitcher drafted in every draft since 2009
  • Excluding the 2020 draft, Oregon has had a position player drafted in every draft since 2009
  • Excluding the 2020 draft, Oregon has had multiple pitchers drafted in all 12 drafts since 2009
  • Oregon had six members of its recruiting class selected during the draft (RHP Noble Meyer – 1st Round – Marlins; INF Eric Bitonti – 3rd round – Brewers; RHP Ryan Birchard – 5th Round – Brewers; OF Max Martin – 11th Round – Rangers; C Kehden Hettiger – 11th Round – Phillies; LHP Jacob Bresnahan – 13th Round – Guardians)

Rikuu Nishida, JR, 2B (Chicago White Sox, 11th Round, 329th Pick)

  • Second Duck to be selected by the White Sox in the modern era (Jakob Goldfarb – 2019)
  • Seventh-highest position player drafted in the modern era of Oregon baseball
  • 66th Duck draft pick since 2009
  • Honorable mention All-Pac-12 Conference
  • Nashville Regional Most Valuable Player
  • Nashville Regional All-Tournament Team
  • Single-season record holder at Oregon for stolen bases (25) and runs scored (67)

Isaac Ayon, JR, RHP (Washington Nationals, 20th Round, 585th Pick)

  • First Duck ever drafted by the Washington Nationals
  • 67th Duck draft pick since 2009
  • Missed the entire 2023 season with an injury
  • Helped the Ducks to a berth in the 2022 Louisville Regional as a member of the weekend rotation
  • Helped Oregon to the postseasons for the first time in six years in 2021 as a key member of the bullpen
  • Led team with 22 appearances as a true freshman in 2021