Wildcats Ranked No. 29 by Collegiate Baseball
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky has been ranked No. 29 in the preseason top-40 poll, announced on Monday by the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
The Wildcats return their entire weekend starting pitching rotation, including junior Friday starter Zack Brown, and senior righties Kyle Cody and Dustin Beggs. Beggs and Cody return for 2016 after electing to postpone their professional careers after being selection in the 2015 MLB Draft.
Beggs led UK in wins (seven), innings (93.2) and strikeouts (75) as UK’s Saturday starter. Brown, a 6-foot-2 flamethrower, went 6-6 with a 3.48 ERA, leading the SEC in complete games (three) and complete-game shutouts (two). A 6-foot-7, 245-pounder, Cody made 12 weekend starts for UK in 2015, fanning 63 and walking just 17 in 66 innings, and is the second-highest draft pick in 2015 to return to college.
UK also welcomes back All-Southeastern Conference standouts JaVon Shelby and Evan White. Shelby, who earned All-SEC honors at second base in 2015, will shift across the diamond to third base in 2016. The 6-foot-3 power-armed junior hit .312 with nine homers and 44 RBI as a sophomore, sporting a .442 on-base percentage. White, an elite defender at first base, hit .318 with 12 doubles and 28 RBI in his collegiate debut.
The Wildcats also return catcher Zach Arnold, outfielders Dorian Hariston, Storm Wilson and Marcus Carson, and infielders Riley Mahan and Connor Heady. In relief, UK has a bevy of options, including seniors Bo Wilson, Dylan Dwyer and Zach Strecker, with Zach Pop, Brad Schaenzer and Logan Salow helping form a veteran bullpen. Sophomore Zach Logue also returns after a historic summer in the Perfect Game Collegiate League, where he was named the pitcher of the year.