Nebraska junior shortstop Brice Matthews was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Houston Astros on Sunday night. Matthews, who became the seventh first-round selection in NU history, was the No. 28 pick overall in the draft, which is being held in Seattle.
Matthews is Nebraska’s highest overall selection since 2005, when third baseman Alex Gordon was chosen No. 2 overall by the Kansas City Royals. Matthews is NU’s first 1st-round selection since 2006, when right-handed pitcher Joba Chamberlain was the No. 41 overall selection by the New York Yankees.
Matthews, a product of Humble, Texas, is the seventh Husker to be selected by the Astros in the draft. The NU junior was a Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist and second-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) after batting .359 with 11 doubles, two triples, 20 home runs, 67 RBI and 61 runs scored in 2023.
With 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases, Matthews became the first player in program history and second player all-time in the Big Ten to reach the 20-20 club.
Matthews reached base safely in the first 52 games of the 2023 campaign to extend his on-base streak to 55 games, which is the longest streak by a Husker since at least 1999. He is tied for ninth on the single-season chart in program history with 20 home runs and is one of 10 Huskers all-time to reach the 20-homer mark in a season at Nebraska.
Tabbed a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2023 and a member of the Big Ten’s all-freshman team in 2021, Matthews hit .305 with 27 doubles, three triples, 32 home runs, 130 RBI and 120 runs scored in his three seasons with the Huskers.
Excluding the shortened draft in 2020 due to COVID-19, Nebraska has had at least one draft selection in 29 of the last 30 drafts since 1992.