Keenan Wiley Inks Free-Agent Deal with Atlanta Braves

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Former Kentucky outfielder Keenan Wiley, a native of Richmond, Ky., has signed a minor league free agent deal with the Atlanta Braves, it was announced on Friday afternoon.

Wiley, a graduate of Madison Central High School, was officially signed by the first-place Braves on Friday. A four-year starter, Wiley spent five years in Lexington, redshirting during UK’s 2006 Southeastern Conference Championship campaign. Wiley finished his career on a 97-game consecutive starting streak, ranking among the UK career record holders in nearly every category.

In 2010, Wiley started all 56 games for UK in centerfield, batting .324 (66-for-204) with a career-best four homers and 37 RBI, leading UK with 20 two-out RBI. Wiley was a sparkplug throughout his career to UK’s unprecedented success over the last five seasons and in games UK won in 2010, batted .393 (44-for-112) with seven doubles, one triple, three homers and 26 RBI.

In his sparkling career, Wiley played in the third-most games in UK history (214), starting 189 total games, ranking seventh in school annals. Wiley also ranked fourth in at bats (751), sixth in hits (230), second in sacrifice bunts (28), 12th in stolen bases (36) and 10th in stolen base attempts (49). In 2008, Wiley was named a prestigious Cape Cod League All-Star, the top collegiate summer league in the nation. During the 2008 summer, Wiley batted an impressive .268 (45-for-168) in the pitching-rich Cape with 10 doubles and 11 RBI.

A 5-foot-11, 175-pound left-handed hitter, Wiley was a tremendous defender in centerfield for UK, utilizing excellent range and instincts to lead the UK outfield, registering seven career outfield assists. Wiley burst into the UK lineup in 2007, with UK battling injuries to All-American outfielder Collin Cowgill. Wiley was inserted in the starting lineup for the first time in his career against eventual No. 1 overall pick David Price and No. 1 ranked Vanderbilt in 2007. Price, the starter for the National League in the 2010 MLB All-Star Game, carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning before a seeing-eye single from Wiley started a six-run UK rally. After that game, Wiley was a fixture in the lineup, batting .327 in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a junior, UK relied upon Wiley, an offensive table setter by nature, more as an RBI producer, with Wiley hitting .251 with four homers and 24 RBI.

Wiley had a slew of highlight-worthy moments during his UK career, most notably a walk-off home run in the 12th inning of a drama-filled win over state-rival Louisville in 2008, part of a four-hit game against the Cardinals that also saw Wiley gun a runner down at the plate from leftfield late in the back-and-forth affair. The homer against UL was a no-doubt jack blasted over the 30-foot-high wall in rightfield, the first career homer for Wiley, coming in his 215th career at bat.

2010 UK Baseball MLB Draft Picks/Free Agent Signings

Round Name Pos. MLB Team Pick
4th Chris Bisson INF San Diego Padres No. 124
4th James Paxton 1 LHP Seattle Mariners No. 132
6th Logan Darnell LHP Minnesota Twins No. 195
6th Blake Perry2 RHP Arizona Diamondbacks No. 181
8th Lance Ray OF Minnesota Twins No. 265
28th Taylor Black INF St. Louis Cardinals No. 859
31st Matt Little RHP Detroit Tigers No. 943
35th Tyler Oliver2 INF Washington Nationals No. 1,046
35th J.T. Riddle2 INF/RHP Boston Red Sox No. 1,073
38th Lucas Witt2 OF Los Angeles Dodgers No. 1,162
43rd Corey Littrell2 LHP Washington Nationals No. 1,286
47th Matt Reida2 INF Chicago White Sox No. 1,418
FA Gunner Glad INF/OF Minnesota Twins ---
FA Marcus Nidiffer C/1B Houston Astros ---
FA Keenan Wiley OF Atlanta Braves ---

 

 

 

 

1 former player, pitched for non-affiliated minor league team in Grand Prairie, Texas in 2010.
2 2010 signee