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Sean Hjelle Selected 45th Overall By The Giants

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

One of the most accomplished players in Kentucky Baseball history heard his name called in the MLB draft on Monday night. Sean Hjelle was selected in the second round (45th overall) by the San Francisco Giants on the first night of the MLB draft. The 6’11” starting pitcher was the first UK player selected in the 2018 draft and the highest selected UK pitcher since Alex Meyer in 2011.

In Hjelle’s three-year career in Lexington, he won 22 games and struck out 222 batters. Hjelle worked as the team’s closer as a freshman in 2016 before moving into a starting role in 2017. Hjelle won SEC Pitcher of the Year in 2017 after going 7-1 with a 1.90 ERA against conference opponents. The biggest moment in Hjelle’s career came when he pitched 3.1 perfect innings in relief to help clinch UK’s first regional title in 2017.

The Giants’ farm system has been depleted thanks to trades over the last year. San Francisco used their top two picks to select a pair of polished college players in Georgia Tech’s Joey Bart and Hjelle. If Hjelle signs (the slot value for the 45th pick is $1,587,600) he will be one of the highest ranked prospects in the Giants’ system.

The Minnesota-native has good command and plays with a tremendous amount of competitive fire. For more on Hjelle, check out KSR’s scouting report on Hjelle.

Hjelle is the first of a handful of UK players that will be drafted at some point in the 40-round draft. Stay tuned for updates on where former BatCats land over the next three days.

Article written by Trey Huntsman

The KSR Baseball guy. Follow me on Twitter @TreyHuntsmanSEC.

8 Comments for Sean Hjelle Selected 45th Overall By The Giants

  1. CombatMedic_98
    12:31 am June 5, 2018 Permalink

    Need him on the BBALL Team

  2. JTHinton
    7:19 am June 5, 2018 Permalink

    Really hoping my Cubbies would snag him

  3. shepdog3720
    10:13 am June 5, 2018 Permalink

    “If he signs?” Can anyone give me a good reason why he wouldn’t?

    • MrPioneer
      10:55 am June 5, 2018 Permalink

      It’s not uncommon for baseball players to return for their senior year after being drafted. Mark Appel of Stanford was drafted 8th overall in 2012 and decided return to school and was drafted first overall the next year.

    • bradinmississippi
      2:12 pm June 5, 2018 Permalink

      Not true. If a player drafted in the top 10 rounds doesn’t sign the team loses the slot money. The teams won’t draft a player that won’t sign

    • bigbluebanana
      7:00 pm June 5, 2018 Permalink

      In first 10 rounds? Wouldn’t that essentially eliminate, ya know, everyone???

    • shepdog3720
      6:40 pm June 5, 2018 Permalink

      I would submit that Mark Appel is an anomaly. I wouldn’t think there are more than a few examples of players returning if drafted in 1st or 2nd round. I think most Cat fans would selfishly love for him to return, but I can’t imagine a scenario where he would come back.