For the first time ever, a Kentucky Wildcat will participate in the MLB's Futures Game, an exhibition of some of the pro's top prospects that takes part during All-Star weekend.
James Paxton, who pitched for UK from 2007-09, is one of two representatives for the Seattle Mariners on the U.S. roster. The Futures Game will take place Sunday at 6 p.m. ET from Chase Field in Phoenix.
Although Paxton's career at Kentucky ended in controversy, he was one of the game's top pitchers when he left Lexington. Paxton sported a 5.86 ERA with a 5-3 record in his junior season, but he had 115 strikeouts in 78.1 innings pitched. The lefty featured a fastball in the mid to upper 90s.
Paxton opted to return to school despite being a first-round pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, but he never threw a pitch for the 2010 team. Paxton left the team in February 2010 after declining to meet with the NCAA over potential eligibility issues.
Even so, Paxon has flourished in the minors after landing with the Seattle Mariners organization. He's 3-3 this year in stops at single-A and double-A ball, posting a 2.45 ERA with 81 strikeouts.
The Futures Game has featured some of the MLB's top players, including Eric Braun, Josh Beckett, Eric Bedard, Jay Bruce, Adam Dunn and more.