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Arizona first baseman Branden Boissiere selected by Nationals in 3rd round of MLB Draft

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Arizona v Stanford Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Branden Boissiere was Arizona’s most consistent hitter in 2021, if not during his entire Arizona career. The ability to hit both lefties and righties made him a hot commodity to pro scouts, and now he’s got a shot to convert that into a pro career.

Boissiere, a left-handed hitting first baseman, was picked 82nd overall by the Washington Nationals in the third round of the 2021 MLB Draft on Monday. Per, that pick has a draft “slot value” of $744,000.

Boissiere, a third-year sophomore, became the second Wildcat selected, with outfielder Ryan Holgate going 70th overall to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2021 Boissiere led Arizona with a .369 batting average, his 94 hits tops in the Pac-12, hitting five home runs with 63 RBI. He had 15 hits in eight NCAA Tournament games, going 4 for 6 with five RBI in the Wildcats’ College World Series-clinching Super Regional win over Ole Miss.

Boissiere, an all-Pac-12 selection in 2021, hit .355 in 117 career games over three seasons with 149 hits and 100 RBI. Here’s what Baseball America had to say about Boissiere, whom it ranked as the No. 143 draft-eligible prospect in the country:

“Boissiere has quietly been an excellent hitter throughout the entirety of his Arizona career, hitting well above .300 each season. This spring he started to tap into a bit more power, and his simple approach at the plate gives him an up-the-middle approach and good zone control, with 36 walks and 42 strikeouts through the regular season. While he increased his home run total in 2021, he doesn’t profile as a typical slugging first baseman and is more similar to former Wildcat Alfonso Rivas (drafted in fourth round by Oakland in 2018). Boissiere may go in a similar draft slot as his predecessor, especially to a club that appreciates his plate discipline and ability to pepper the gaps. It’s a flat swing, but with good timing, and he uses all fields. Some scouts have Boissiere as a plus defender at first base, with good hands and feet. While he has some experience in the outfield and enough tools to be adequate, his below-average speed and arm will likely keep him on the dirt at the next level. While his teammate, Ryan Holgate, ranks above him on most draft boards, some teams prefer the certainty that comes with Boissiere’s defense at first base and his better contact and pitch selection at the plate.”

Boissiere entered the NCAA transfer portal after the College World Series ended, leaving open the possibility to play either at Arizona or another school—most likely LSU, with Jay Johnson—if he opts not to sign.