J.T. Riddle Named Kentucky Mr. Baseball
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky signee J.T. Riddle, a shortstop and right-handed pitcher for Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Ky., has been selected Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball, the Kentucky High School Coaches Association announced.
A 35th-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft, Riddle marks the second consecutive UK signee to earn Mr. Baseball accolades, as catcher Luke Maile was honored in 2009. Maile, a graduate of Covington Catholic, played in 26 games with 12 starts as a true freshman for UK in 2010.
“We are very proud of J.T., winning Kentucky Mr. Baseball. It is a tremendous honor which he shares with past Wildcat great Collin Cowgill and Luke Maile,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “J.T. was dominant on the mound and had an outstanding season at the plate and at shortstop. We are very pleased that J.T. is a Wildcat and look forward to getting him in a Kentucky uniform.”
Riddle had an excellent season while helping lead Western Hills to its first district title in 15 years. A two-way standout, Riddle posted eye-popping numbers at the plate, batting .514 with seven homers, 62 RBI and 32 runs, striking out only five times all season. On the mound, Riddle was equally dominating, posting an 8-0 record and a 1.26 ERA, striking out 90 in 61 innings, issuing just 12 walks.
Riddle was selected from a final grouping of six standouts in the state, including UK signees Corey Littrell and Trevor Gott. Littrell, a star left-handed pitcher from Trinity in Louisville, Ky., and a 43rd round MLB draft pick in 2010, has been rated as the top prospect in the state of Kentucky and Gott is a strong-armed right-handed pitcher from Tates Creek High School in Lexington. Littrell and Gott were both honored as first-team All-State selections, as well as UK signee and Lexington Christian Academy outfielder Lucas Witt, a 38th round MLB Draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. Gott and Littrell were also each honored as Region Players of the Year by the KHSBCA, Gott in Region 11 and Littrell in Region 7.
Since 2004, four of the seven Kentucky Mr. Baseball winners have signed to play baseball at Kentucky, with 2005 winner Chaz Roe signing a professional contract as a first-round draft pick. In 2004, Henry Clay outfielder Collin Cowgill was tabbed Mr. Baseball and in 2008 Cowgill wrapped up a storied career at Kentucky with a first-team All-America season, helping UK to school-record 44 wins in 2006 and 2008 and UK’s first Southeastern Conference Championship in 2006. A fifth-round MLB Draft pick in 2008, Cowgill is currently at double A with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Recent Mr. Baseball Winners
* 2010: J.T. Riddle, Western Hills
* 2009: Luke Maile, Covington Catholic
* 2008: Zack Cox, Pleasure Ridge Park
* 2007: Ben Revere, Lexington Catholic
* 2006: Nathan Adcock, North Hardin
* 2005: Chaz Roe, Lafayette
* 2004: Collin Cowgill, Henry Clay
* 2003: Josh Ellis, Paul Dunbar
* 2002: Brad Corley, Pleasure Ridge Park
* 2001: Jeremy Sowers, Ballard
* 2000: Spencer Graeter, Ballard
* 1999: Joe Blanton, Franklin-Simpson
- UK signees listed in bold.