Nick Mingione and the Kentucky Wildcats baseball program finally get some good news this week, as they have picked up commitments from two transfers in the last several days.
The first is the reigning American East Player of the Year John Thrasher.
I’m excited to announce that I will be pursuing my education and baseball career next year at the University of Kentucky! Thank you to all the teammates and coaches who have got me to this point in my career. I’m excited for this opportunity that lays ahead! #rollcats #SEC pic.twitter.com/ODDC7otLYY— John Thrasher (@john_thrasher22) July 5, 2021
Thrasher, a 6-2 outfielder from Ridgefield (CT), had an incredible season for the University of Hartford, which also translated into a solid season for the Hartford program as well.
This past season he ranked first in the American East in batting average (.369), slugging percentage (.680), on-base percentage (.470), and stolen bases with 37. The 37 stolen bases also were good enough to be the second most in the country. He also added seven home runs, and 23 RBI’s.
Fans should expect to see Thrasher trot out onto the field as an everyday player in the program next season. With the departure of Cam Hill, and the potential that Austin Schultz and John Rhodes go pro, Thrasher could become one of the staples in the outfield next season. With the way Coach Mingione likes to be aggressive on the base paths as well, Thrasher is his ideal player, as his 37 steals only took him 40 attempts.
The big question will be how he adjusts to SEC pitching, but he is a solid pick-up this offseason. He will have one season of eligibility left.
The team also received a transfer from a conference foe, as Magdiel Cotto will be coming to Lexington after spending one season at the University of South Carolina.
Excited for new beginnings and blessed for the opportunity to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of Kentucky! Wildcat Nation here I come! @UKBaseball pic.twitter.com/lrtKmbexaC— Mag_Cotto (@Cotto_magdiel) July 3, 2021
The 6-4 left-handed pitcher is a former top-200 prospect and shows a good mix of pitches. He can show some good speed on his fastball that can touch the mid-90’s consistently, while also mixing in a good variety of off-speed pitches.
If you look at his one season in Columbia then you will not be that impressed. Cotto struggled to find a rhythm in his nine innings pitched this season, but this move is one that could pay off in the long run. If the pitching staff can help Cotto figure out the issues from the past season, then the team’s pitching staff could be the strong point of this coming season.
This offseason has not been kind to the Kentucky baseball team, as there have been double-digit transfers from this past season’s team. These two transfers don't completely make up for how much the program has lost this past season, but it is nice to have a little positive momentum going forward.