The Kentucky Wildcats baseball program is gaining momentum, and nothing is more telling of that than the talent that Coach Nick Mingione and his staff are getting to the big leagues. The Cats had 6 players drafted in the first 10 rounds of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft, and several more members of the Kentucky squad joined them on Day 3.
Left-hander Sean Hjelle was the first selection from the Wildcats in this year’s draft. He went in the second-round to the San Francisco Giants. Outfielder Tristan Pompey wasn’t far behind. He went No. 89 overall to the Miami Marlins.
Four more Wildcats joined them by the time Day 2 of the draft came to a close. Kole Cottam (No. 130, Boston Red Sox), Zach Haake (No. 182, Kansas City Royals), Luke Heyer (No. 254, Los Angeles Dodgers) and Luke Becker (No. 261, San Diego Padres) were also drafted in the first 10 rounds.
Over the past two years, no team in the NCAA has had more success in the first two days of the draft than the Kentucky Wildcats. In last year’s MLB Draft, there were six Cats drafted within the first 10 rounds. That’s 12 in the past two seasons. No other baseball program has done that.
Day Three Picks
12th Round: Right-handed pitcher Justin Lewis was drafted with the 369th pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
15th Round: Shortstop Trey Dawson was selected by the World Champion Houston Astros.
16th Round: Right-handed pitcher Chris Machamer will join Kole Cottam in Boston after he was drafted by the Red Sox.
23rd Round: Fifth-year senior Troy Squires will join the Toronto Blue Jays as their newest catching prospect.
40th Round: Left-handed pitcher Andrew Miller will head to South Beach and join Tristan Pompey in the Miami Marlins organization.
UK had 19 draft eligible players, and in total, the Kentucky Wildcats had 13 players taken in the 2018 MLB Draft. That shatters the previous record of nine. Congratulations to all the Wildcats who heard their name called and best of luck with their futures in the big leagues.