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Rusin close to the Majors?

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bb_042707_rusin1.jpgWas doing a typical Internet search today and stumbled across a great story from Baseball America, found from Jon Hale's BlueGrass Baseball Web site, a comprehensive blog covering baseball in the state.

In the story, Baseball America breaks down each MLB team in its 2009 draft report card. In the Chicago Cubs breakdown, BA breaks down all aspects of the Cubs draft and declares that former UK left-hander Chris Rusin, the Cubs fourth-round draft pick in 2009, as one of three players who are "Closest to the Majors."

During his sparkling four-year career, Rusin etched his name throughout UK history, owning a 23-11 career record and a 4.14 career ERA. Rusin, a native of Canton, Mich., started 13 games for UK in 2009, posting a 7-4 record and a 4.20 ERA, striking out 109 in 94.1 innings. Rusin had a career year in 2008, becoming the first UK starting pitcher to earn first-team All-SEC honors since MLB closer Scott Downs, posting a 6-3 record and a 3.33 ERA.

Also included in the Baseball America draft report cards is the analysis from the Florida Marlins draft, which included UK All-SEC shortstop Chris Wade, an 11th-round pick in 2009 who received an above-slot deal. Wade, a native of Lexington, Ky., was tabbed as the best defensive player in the Marlins draft, news that comes as no surprise to the UK coaching staff, who benefited from Wade's defensive prowess the last two seasons.

"SS Chris Wade has good actions, soft hands and a better arm than the Marlins realized," Baseball America's Jim Callis detailed. "A draft-eligible sophomore, he began the summer in the Cape Cod League before singing for $150,000."

Wade, a second-team coaches selection on the All-SEC team in 2009, started and played in 113 games at shortstop for UK in two seasons, batting a combined .304 (123-for-405) with 34 doubles, one triple, 11 homers and 93 RBI, stealing 20-of-25 bases and fielding at a .951 clip. As a freshman in 2008, Wade earned freshman All-America honors after leading the SEC in doubles with 24.

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