Kentucky star pitcher Sean Hjelle was the lone Wildcat selected on day one of the MLB Draft last night, coming in at No. 45 to the San Francisco Giants.
In day two of the draft, however, the Cats made a bigger splash with five more players coming off the board.
Junior outfielder Tristan Pompey was the first Cat selected this afternoon, who was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the third round at No. 89 overall. Pompey hit .335 this season with seven home runs and 39 RBI. His signing bonus value comes in at $642,600
The Boston Red Sox selected first baseman Kole Cottam in the fourth round with the 130th overall pick. He led the SEC in home runs with 19 en route to First-Team All-SEC honors. His signing bonus value comes in at $417,800. According to 247 Sports’ Derek Terry, Cottam is expected to sign with the Red Sox.
Zach Haake was the next off the board for Kentucky, as the Kansas City Royals took a chance on him in the sixth round at No. 182. He struggled a bit as a junior, finishing the year with an 8.47 ERA and going winless in the process. Should he sign, his bonus is expected to be $258,000.
The Los Angeles Dodgers took senior Luke Heyer in the eighth round at No. 254 overall. In a breakout year for the Cats, Heyer hit .348 with 18 home runs and 57 RBI. His bonus comes in at $155,300.
Hard work pays off for @lukeheyer2, whose huge breakout season gets him selected in the 8th round by the @Dodgers, who list him as a 2B! Proud of you, Nuke! #WeAreUK #MLBTrainingGround pic.twitter.com/WUgmvDKoCk
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) June 5, 2018
Luke Becker didn’t have to wait too much longer, as the San Diego Padres drafted the senior No. 261 overall. He finished the year hitting .286 with seven home runs and 38 total RBI. The bonus for his draft position comes in at $151,600.
Becker’s selection gave Kentucky their sixth draft pick through two days, tying the record for most MLB draft picks in the first ten rounds with Arizona.
Most 2018 @MLB draft picks by school in rounds 1-10:
Arizona – 6
Kentucky – 6
Oregon State – 6
Arkansas – 5
Florida – 5
Florida State – 5
Oklahoma – 5
Virginia – 5
Wichita State – 5
Clemson – 4
NC State – 4
NC Wilmington – 4
South Carolina – 4
Texas Tech – 4
— Brian Hennessy (@Brian_ClemsonAC) June 5, 2018
Makes missing the tournament hurt that much more…
In a bit of a surprise, senior pitcher Justin Lewis remains on the board after 10 rounds. He decided to return to Kentucky after being drafted in the 11th round last season, and though he upped his numbers as a senior, he struggled a bit with injuries.
The draft will continue tomorrow, where we will likely hear Lewis’ name called, along with a few of UK’s high school commitments.