UFV’s Riley Jepson passed by in Major League Baseball draft

The slugging first baseman hoped to get drafted and start his pro career in the minor leagues.

University of Fraser Valley slugger Riley Jepson had hoped to see his name attached to a big-league club this week as Major League Baseball held its annual draft, but it wasn’t to be.

Forty rounds came and went, with 1214 players selected, but the Kamloops native wasn’t one of them.

Jepson’s immediate future is uncertain. On May 23 the West Coast League’s Victoria HarbourCats announced the Kamloops native had signed a short-term contract, but he opted to stay close to home, anticipating he’d be picked in the draft and sign immediately to play in the minor leagues.

Jepson may now be going to the Island to join UFV teammate Ryan Green, who has already appeared in two games with the HarbourCats.

The WCL is a collegiate summer league that runs from June through August.

The most likely reason Jepson was passed over in the MLB draft may be his defence, which is still a work-in-progress for the big first baseman. The HarbourCats would provide the opportunity to fine-tune his D. There are no issues at all with Jepson’s bat. He wrecked Canadian Colleges Baseball Conference pitching this year, winning the CCBC batting title with a .351 batting average, two home runs and 17 runs batted in in 15 regular season games.

Cascades head coach Shawn Corness confirmed by text that Jepson will be back with UFV this fall.

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