Taylor Black Named SEC Player of the Week

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- After totaling a .529 average with nine RBI during Kentucky’s five-game week, UK senior shortstop Taylor Black has been named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced on Monday afternoon.

A native of Easley, S.C., Black had a breakout week at the plate during UK’s five games, batting .529 (9-for-17) with a staggering nine RBI. Black scored nine runs, totaling three doubles and one home, drawing five walks and getting hit by two pitches without striking out. Black added a stolen base and reached base at a .667 clip, slugging .882. One of the top defenders in college baseball, Black totaled 11 assists and nine putouts during the week at shortstop.

Black’s highlight reel moment at the plate during the week came when he belted his first homer of the season, a grandslam ripped over the left-field fence to help UK put the game out of reach on Saturday vs. Illinois-Chicago.  In addition to earning SEC Player of the Week accolades, Black was named BluGrass Baseball Player of the Week, honoring the top collegiate player in Kentucky during the previous week.

On the year, Black has totaled a .345 (10-for-29) average with 10 runs scored, three doubles and a triple. Ranked as the 26th-best senior prospect in college baseball, Black has started 63 games at shortstop in his two-year career, totaling a .280 average (58-for-207) with 12 homers and 46 RBI, stealing 13-of-14 bases.

A 28th-round draft pick in the 2010 MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, Black started 55 of UK’s 56 games at shortstop in his first year in Lexington in 2010. A 6-foot-1, 185-pounder, Black got off to a slow start in 2010, before batting .300 in conference play with 10 homers alone in the league.

Kentucky (4-4) returns to action on Friday, traveling to Houston to play in the prestigious Houston College Classic, hosted by the Astros at Minute Maid Park. UK will face No. 21 Rice on Friday at 8 p.m., before facing Houston and Utah the remainder of the weekend.