Despite being selected in the 33rd round of the MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, Kentucky pitcher Carson Coleman will forgo the professional ranks and stay in Lexington for his junior season.
So excited to have @Carson_Coleman back!!! Carson, we can’t wait to get you back in the blue and white! We are proud of what you’ve accomplished so far and know your future has BIG things in it, including graduating next spring! #WelcomeHome #WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/RE3wNniF4N
— Nick Mingione (@Coach_Mingione) July 12, 2019
The right-handed reliever led the Wildcats with five saves last season, appearing in 23 games. Through two seasons, Coleman has held batters to a .214 hitting percentage.
Joining the former Lexington Catholic product next season with the Cats will be four others who elected to stay in college despite being drafted. Outfielder Oraj Anu (16th round), infielder Jaden Brown (40th round), and pitcher Sam Wibbels (36th round) will all join Coleman in wearing the blue and white next season.
“Playing professional baseball has been a dream of mine since I was a kid and I can’t thank the Tampa Bay Rays enough for giving me the opportunity to make that a reality,” Coleman said, according to the University of Kentucky. “However, I believe there is more for me to accomplish and more growth to experience before I begin that journey. As such, I’m excited to say that I’ll be returning to the University of Kentucky for my junior season. Our job is not finished in Lexington, and I can’t wait to get back to work with the boys. Go Cats!”
After finishing 26-29 last season with a conference record of 7-23, the Bat Cats will look to rebound with several high-level prospects in the mix.