Senior Mark Payton announced that he will return to Texas for his senior season. He announced Friday afternoon that he would be turning down a contact with the Cleveland Indians who selected him in the 16th round of the MLB draft last month. Before starting at Texas, Payton was drafted in 2010 by the Minnesota Twins in the 31st round.
"I love playing at Texas and I was fortunate enough to get an opportunity to go professional, but we weighed both options and decided it was best for me to come back to school, finish up my degree and take another run at the College World Series," Payton said.
Payton has started 167 games through three years at Texas and currently has a career batting average of .319 with 35 doubles, 14 triples and 83 RBIs. With his 14 triples, Payton is tied for sixth in the Texas record books.
Last season, Pyton led the Big 12 in batting average with an average of .393, which ranks fourth in the last 40 years. He was a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection.
"We are thrilled to have Mark Payton coming back for his senior year," head coach Augie Garrido said. "His experience and leadership will play a key role in getting us back to winning championships at The University of Texas."