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
|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