LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky baseball standouts Brian Adams, Braden Kapteyn, Alex Meyer and Taylor Rogers have been ranked among the top prospects in the talent-laden Southeastern Conference by Perfect Game USA as part of the preseason conference preview, it was announced.
Perfect Game USA, PG college baseball managing editor Kendall Rogers and ranking guru Allan Simpson did an extensive preseason conference preview, tabbing the Wildcats to finish fourth in the SEC East. In a ranking of the top prospects available for the 2011 MLB Draft, Perfect Game ranked Meyer as the third-best prospect in the league and Kapteyn as the 17th-best prospect in the SEC. Among SEC prospects available for the 2012 MLB Draft, Perfect Game tabbed Adams as the fourth-best prospect and Rogers as the eighth-best league prospect.
A native of Gainesville, Ga., Adams ranked behind LSU right-hander Kevin Gausman and Florida stars Brian Johnson and Austin Maddox. A 6-foot-4, 230-pound scholarship wide receiver for the football team, Adams emerged late in his freshman season after spring football practice in 2010, finishing the year batting .472 (17-for-36) in nine starts, with three doubles, one triple, one homer and eight RBI. Adams registered starts in eight consecutive games to end the regular season, with the Wildcats locked in a battle for the postseason. His breakout game came in the must-win regular-season finale, belting his first career homer – a grand slam – and adding six RBI and four hits. After a standout career on the diamond and as a dual-threat quarterback at South Forsyth High School, Adams was a 45th round selection in the 2009 MLB Draft. Timed as fast as 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, Adams was ranked as the nation’s No. 55 quarterback by Scout.com, despite missing his senior season due to injury.
Kapteyn, a two-way star out of Lansing, Ill., was ranked as the 17th-best prospect in the SEC available for the 2011 MLB Draft. A 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-handed pitcher and infielder, Kapteyn, a 39th-round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft, is coming off a breakout summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, where he earned All-Star accolades and played in the game at Fenway Park. In his two-year career, Kapteyn owns 10 homers and 55 RBI at the plate and a 7-0 record with six saves on the mound. A member of the 2010 John Olerud Two-Way Player Award Watch List, Kapteyn went 3-1 with a 0.64 ERA during the summer in the CCL, tossing 28.1 innings with 29 strikeouts and only nine hits.
A 6-foot-9, 220-pound right-handed pitcher, Meyer was ranked as the third-best prospect available in the 2011 MLB Draft out of the SEC, just behind Team USA stars South Carolina outfielder and College World Series MVP Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Vanderbilt ace Sonny Gray. Ranked as the 21st-best prospect in college baseball by Baseball America earlier in the preseason, Meyer is coming off a year where he led UK in wins and strikeouts, despite missing three weeks due to illness. A 20th-round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox out of Greensburg, Ind., Meyer debuted as a freshman in the SEC weekend rotation and ranked sixth in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings pitched (12.06). In his two-year career, Meyer has hurled 110.2 innings and fanned 143.
A native of Littleton, Colo., Rogers stepped right into UK’s weekend rotation as a 6-foot-3, 170-pound freshman southpaw in 2010. All told, Rogers made a start every weekend of the season, leading the team in innings pitched (83) and owning four wins. Rogers had a stellar start to his career, going 3-0 in his first three outings, including a 0.66 mark through his first two college games. A 37th-round pick in the 2009 MLB Draft, Rogers was named SEC Freshman of the Week in his collegiate debut, hurling 7.2 shutout innings on opening weekend against West Virginia.
Kentucky opens its 2011 season on Feb. 18 at No. 20 College of Charleston, with first pitch slated for 5 p.m. ET. UK will play three games on the weekend, with all three games broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with Dick Gabriel voicing the action.