In part two of our previews of UK Alumni in the Pros, we look at players in Double-A or lower. These are players from as recent as last season. For part one, click here.
Trevor Gott- Pitcher, Arkansas Travelers. Parent Club: Los Angeles Angels. Time at Kentucky: 2011-13
Kentucky fans remember Gott as the dominant closer who would hit nearly 100 MPH on his fastball. Gott is receiving the same amount of love from scouts entering the 2015 season. After being traded from the Padres to the Angels, Gott and his fastball posted a 1.56 ERA in Double-A. Gott, the Angels’ #15 prospect by MLB.com, impressed many in 2015 Spring Training, and he has a chance to be up in the Majors very soon.
A.J Reed- Infielder, Lancaster JetHawks. Parent Club: Houston Astros. Time at Kentucky: 2012-14
There isn’t a way to describe what Reed means to the Kentucky Baseball Program. The Consensus National Player of the Year will begin the season in the hitter-friendly California League with Lancaster. After hitting 12 home runs in half of a professional season in 2014, Reed will surely enjoy the thin air out west.
Micheal Thomas- Catcher, Lakeland Flying Tigers. Parent Club: Detroit Tigers. Time at Kentucky: 2011-14
After spending four years as a letter-winner in Lexington, Thomas was selected in the 22nd Round of the 2014 MLB Draft. The Elizabethtown-Native played in only 15 games after being selected, but was promoted to High-A near the end of the season. Thomas will begin the season in High-A with Lakeland in the Florida State League.
Corey Littrell- Pitcher, Palm Beach Cardinals. Parent Club: St. Louis Cardinals. Time at Kentucky: 2011-13
Following two fantastic seasons in the Red Sox Organization, Littrell was traded to St. Louis last summer. The Cardinals are known for developing young pitchers better than any organization in baseball. Littrell will begin his first full season with the Cardinals where he ended last year, High-A.
Chandler Shepherd- Pitcher, Greenville Drive. Parent Club: Boston Red Sox. Time at Kentucky: 2012-14
After being a starter throughout his career at Kentucky, Boston moved Shepherd to the bullpen in his first professional season. Time will tell if Shepherd will start for Greenville in 2015. Fans will be able to see Shepherd pitch for Greenville when they come to play the Lexington Legends from April 20-22.
Cameron Flynn- Outfielder, Jupiter Hammerheads. Parent Club: Miami Marlins. Time at Kentucky: 2012
Following a season where he only played in 39 games, Flynn returns to Jupiter yet again. The 25-year old has a career batting average of .283 in the Marlins’ farm system since being drafted in 2012. Flynn will look to replicate his success from 2013 and stay on the field more this season.
J.T Riddle- Infielder, Greensboro Grasshoppers. Parent Club: Miami Marlins. Time at Kentucky: 2011-13
Riddle stuck around in big league camp until late March for the second consecutive Spring. The Marlins obviously see the potential oozing from Riddle’s offensive game. Riddle hit nine home runs and had a batting average of .280 in his first year of full-season ball. He will return to Greensboro to begin the 2015 season.
Max Kuhn- Infielder, Beloit Snappers. Parent Club: Oakland A’s. Time at Kentucky: 2012-14
Yet another key piece of the 2014 NCAA Regional Team begins his first full professional season. Kuhn will begin in the Midwest League with the Beloit Snappers. The utility infielder hit .277 last season with Vermont. Kuhn drove in 23 runs in 52 games with Vermont last year.
Jerad Grundy- Pitcher, Beloit Snappers. Parent Club: Oakland A’s. Time at Kentucky: 2012-13
Grundy will join his former teammate (Kuhn) in Low-A Beloit. After pitching in 27 games for Vermont over the last two years, Grundy will begin his first year of full-season baseball. Grundy will continue to work on his control, something that he has improved on the last two years and has began to master.
Austin Cousino- Outfielder, Clinton Lumberkings. Parent Club: Seattle Mariners. Time at Kentucky: 2012-14
Cousino had a prolific career at Kentucky before being selected in the third round by the Mariners last year. The former Collegiate Gold Glove Winner committed only one error in his debut season. Cousino also stole 23 bases and hit 17 doubles. He will begin the season on the disabled list, but will play for Clinton when he returns.
Matt Reida- Infielder, Gulf Coast Rays. Parent Club: Tampa Bay Rays. Time at Kentucky: 2011-14
Signed as an undrafted free agent after four years at UK, Reida made his case to stay in professional baseball with a fantastic debut season. Reida hit .295 and reached base at a .379 clip in 42 games with the GCL Rays. He will remain in the Rays’ Spring Training Facility and play there until he is assigned to a Short-Season Team this June.