Shortstop Taylor Black Wraps up UK in MLB Draft on Tuesday

SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Kentucky junior shortstop Taylor Black was drafted in the 28th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, going 859th overall in the draft, it was announced Tuesday night.

A native of Easley, S.C., Black wraps up a furious day of activity for the Kentucky baseball team on day one of the MLB Draft, consisting of rounds 2-30. Black is the fifth UK player to be selected on Tuesday, joining Chris Bisson (fourth round), former UK pitcher James Paxton (fourth round), southpaw Logan Darnell (sixth round) and outfielder Lance Ray (eighth round). In addition, UK signee and native of Danville, Ky., 6-foot-5 right-hander Blake Perry, was drafted in the sixth round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Rounds 31-50 will conclude the 2010 MLB Draft on Wednesday, with coverage available on MLB Network and MLB.com.

Black stepped into the starting role at shortstop upon arrival in Lexington, after spending his freshman season as a Freshman All-America selection at Charleston Southern and his sophomore year at Spartanburg Methodist. A 6-foot-1, 180-pounder, Black started 55 of UK’s 56 games, batting .270 (48-for-178) with six doubles, 11 homers and 37 RBI, stealing 12-of-12 bases. In SEC play alone, Black led UK with 10 homers, batting .300 (30-for-100) with 26 runs, two doubles, 22 RBI and four steals.

After establishing himself as the starting shortstop in fall and preseason practice with a slick-fielding reputation, Black got off to a slow start to open the season, owning an average of .182 entering the series opener with IPFW on March 12. The UK coaching staff elected to give Black the day off and after that game, Black was a fixture in the lineup, starting the final 43 games of the season. During the final 43 games, Black boosted his average by hitting .290 (42-for-145) with 39 runs, five doubles, 11 homers and 32 RBI, stealing 8-of-8 bases. Before the day off, Black was off to a .182 (6-for-33) start with five runs, one double, five RBI and eight strikeouts to just one walk.