Tanner Nishioka '17

Sagehen slugger Tanner Nishioka ’17 was picked by the Boston Red Sox in the 9th round of the Major League Baseball draft -- the highest draft pick in Sagehens history.

This season, the neuroscience major from Honolulu led the nation for Division III with 18 home runs and a .888 slugging percentage. The Red Sox selected the second baseman with the 281st overall pick, the highest ever for a Sagehen baseball player. Nishioka is the first Sagehen drafted to the MLB since David Colvin was selected by the Mariners in the 27th round of the 2011 draft.

“I just wanted to play baseball for as long as I could,” said Nishioka to the Los Angeles Times. “I wouldn’t say I thought I would get drafted in the top 10 rounds at all. I still can’t believe it.”

Nishioka added that he received a great deal of support from his Sagehen coaches and teammates to get here.

"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.”

Nishioka racked up a slew of honors playing second base for the Sagehens. He was named First Team All-American, Academic All-American, West Region Player of the Year and SCIAC Player of the Year during his senior season. 

"Tanner had opportunities to play Division I baseball out of high school but chose Pomona College to balance academics and prepare for medical school,” said Sagehen Head Coach Frank Pericolosi. “Now he's an Academic All-American and a professional baseball player. I'm really looking forward to following his career and hope to see him play in Fenway Park one day."

Nishioka completed his college career in the top 6 in Sagehens 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).

He attended Honolulu’s Iolani School, where he played basketball, baseball and football, earning all-state and all-league honors in baseball.

Tanner Nishioka in the News:

Los Angeles Times

Inside So Cal

San Bernardino Sun

Honolulu KHON

Over the Monster

Related links: 

Math grads find home in major league baseball

Pomona’s surprising contributions to the national pastime

The first and only Sagehen to make it to the majors