The third and final day of the MLB draft was a record-breaking one for Kentucky. The BatCats saw seven players selected in the final 30 rounds of the draft and finished with a school-record 13 players selected. The 13 selections were also the most by any school in the 2018 draft.
With the 2018 @MLBDraft in the books, some notes ?
? Our 13 picks this year are the most in the country.
? Our 21 total picks in 2017/18 drafts are the most in the country.
? Our 12 total Top 10 round picks the past two drafts are the most in the country.#WeAreUK
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) June 6, 2018
Justin Lewis had to wait a little longer than expected, but he heard his name called in the 12th round (369th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The junior pitcher returned to school after being selected in the 11th round in 2017. Lewis struck out 92 batters in only 72 innings before going down with an arm injury in May. The Georgia-native graduated in May and is expected to sign with Arizona.
— Justin Lewis (@jlew21_) June 6, 2018
If you had said in February that Trey Dawson would be selected in the draft, many people would not have believed it. The slick-fielding shortstop developed into one of the most clutch hitters for UK this season. The Houston Astros must have seen the immense strides Dawson made at the plate. The defending World Series champs took Dawson in the 15th round (462nd overall). It remains to be seen if Dawson will sign or return for his second season at UK.
Chris Machamer was taken in the 16th round (490th overall) by the Boston Red Sox as a draft-eligible sophomore. Machamer had a 3.08 ERA and 38 strikeouts as the Cats’ primary closer in 2018. Along with 4th rounder Kole Cottam, it is expected that Machamer will sign with the Red Sox.
There is no one that works harder than Troy Squires. The former walk-on developed into one of the best catchers in UK history in his five years at UK. Squires drove in 51 runs as a senior and earned SEC Player of the Week once. The Toronto Blue Jays selected the Elizabethtown-native in the 23rd round (686th overall) on Wednesday.
Many guys selected after the 30th round will return to school. The first player selected in this stage was junior Ben Aklinski. The Cats’ centerfielder was picked in the 32nd round (947th overall) by the Philadelphia Phillies. Aklinski hit .304 with six home runs in his first year at UK after transferring in from Phoneix College.
The fourth senior selected from UK was reliever Alec Maley in the 32nd round (971th overall) by the Washington Nationals. The sidearmer struggled in his senior season, allowing 17 runs in 19 appearances.
The final UK player selected today was one that is yet to suit up for the Cats. Andrew Miller, a transfer from Maryland, was picked by the Miami Marlins in the 40th round (1,197th overall). Miller is recovering from Tommy John and should be back in Lexington next season.
It is important to remember that all non-seniors can return to UK if they choose to decline a contract offer.