The MLB Draft is a long process. Many Kentucky Baseball players have gotten the call they’ve been dreaming about their entire lives.
Kentucky baseball under Coach Nick Mingione has skyrocketed to the top of the SEC. Unfortunately, the Wildcats were defeated in two games by the Louisville Cardinals in the super regional round. Again, Kentucky will remain the only team in the SEC to not have made a College World Series for at least another year. Under coach Mingione, Kentucky Baseball fans can be rest assured that will change in the near future.
The Major League Baseball Draft is a lengthy process. Many rounds and many picks by each team makes for a long few days for aspiring big leaguers. Fortunately, several Kentucky Baseball players have already heard their name called in the MLB Draft.
To begin the eventful two days, the Seattle Mariners selected Evan White in the first round. With the 17th overall pick, White will begin his professional career with the Mariners franchise. White finished the season with a .373 batting average. Also, White blasted 10 homeruns along with 41 RBIs. The Kentucky first baseman is widely considered one of the top defensive gloves at the position. Additionally, White was awarded a slot on the Baseball America second team All-American team as well as All-SEC and SEC Defensive team.
Mahan was picked up by the Miami Marlins with the 89th overall pick in the third round. Riley Mahan was a do-it-all hitter for Kentucky this season. He also helped lead the Wildcats to their first ever Super Regional with his performances in the Lexington Regional.
Additionally, Riley finished the season with 15 homers and 67 RBIs while batting .336 for the season. The Kentucky second baseman will hope to unite with former Kentucky and Western Hills (KY) star JT Riddle in Miami.
Salow spent this past season as the key reliever in the Kentucky Bullpen. One of Kentucky’s top arms was chosen in the sixth round by the Oakland Athletics. As the closer, Logan Salow relished in the high leverage situations. A fastball in the mid 90s from the left side will take him places in this game. The Ashland, Kentucky native tallied a 1.95 ERA this season. He had 12 saves on the season. Also, Salow struck out 73 batters while walking only 17. Salow has a bright future in the game.
Zach Pop, the hard throwing reliever was drafted in the seventh round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pop was sidelined late in the season due to injury. He appeared in 22 games in 2017 and struck out 20 batters in his 20.2 innings pitched.
Additionally, Pop has a fastball that reaches high 90s topping out at 98. He mainly pitched in high leverage situations for Kentucky throughout the season. Kentucky definitely missed Pop in the postseason.
A weekend starter, Logue was tasked with the Saturday starts for Kentucky Wildcats. On the season, Logue tallied 88 strikeouts in 87 innings pitched. The lefty boasts an opponent batting average of .266 on the season. Kentucky’s rotation will have to be replaced on the weekend starting front with the departure of Logue. In addition to his collegiate accolades as the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year, Zach will begin his professional career in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. The Blue Jays picked Logue with the 279th pick in the ninth round of the MLB Draft.
Reks was one of Kentucky’s top bats this season. As the third hitter in the lineup, Zach Reks showed plenty of power in the box. Just two years ago, Reks was working at the Toyota Manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. He began his collegiate playing career at the Air Force Academy. After transferring to Kentucky for school, he chose not to play baseball. Needless to say, things worked out for Reks.
In 2017, Reks hit .352 with 44 RBIs and three homeruns. Zach Reks also boasts a .464 OBP which is second on the team behind Tristan Pompey.
Reks will seek out his professional career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He Joins Zach Pop in the journey to the big leagues.
Move over Coach Cal
Nick Mingione is changing the face of the program. Also, he is doing things no other coach has ever done. This Kentucky team is tied for the lead in the most players drafted in the first 10 rounds with six players. Kentucky Baseball is tied with LSU for the most players drafted so far in the MLB Draft. This is a pretty impressive feat for this team. The future is bright for the Kentucky Baseball program under Nick Mingione.