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Kentucky pitcher Carson Coleman signs with Yankees

The former Lexington Catholic star is off to the pros.

UK Athletics

Kentucky Wildcats pitcher Carson Coleman won’t be back in Lexington next season, as he has signed with the New York Yankees as an undrafted free agent. The right-handed relief pitcher signed his deal on Sunday.

The 2020 MLB Draft was shortened to five rounds instead of the traditional 40 rounds due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which led to the 2020 college baseball season being canceled after just one month.

Coleman, a redshirt junior, graduated last month and is now ready to begin his professional career. The former Lexington Catholic High School star was actually drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 33rd round of last summer’s draft, but he opted for a return to school instead.

The 6-2, 190-pound Coleman struck out 81 hitters in 53.2 career innings at UK, a rate of 13.58 strikeouts per nine innings, the highest such rate for any UK pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched since 1979. He finished with a 5-5 record and five saves to go along with a 4.19 earned run average and .211 opponent batting average, including a mere .172 rate by left-handed hitters.

Last season, Coleman recorded 13 of his 17 outs via strikeout and allowed just four hits and one walk in six appearances.

In 2019, Coleman recorded a team-high five saves in 23 appearances.

In addition, Coleman was inducted into UK’s Frank G. Ham Society of Character earlier this year for his service in the community and academic excellence.