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Braden Kapteyn Named to John Olerud Award Watch List

Braden Kapteyn has five homers at the plate and two saves on the mound this season.

Braden Kapteyn has five homers at the plate and two saves on the mound this season.

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Kentucky sophomore right-handed pitcher and infielder Braden Kapteyn has been named to the 25-player watch list for the annual John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year, it was announced by the College Baseball Foundation Monday afternoon.

A native of Lansing, Ill., Kapteyn made the listing of the 25 top two-way players in college baseball, one of four players in the Southeastern Conference to make the list (Jake Smith – Alabama; Brett Eibner – Arkansas; Brian Johnson – Florida). The award will be presented at the annual college baseball awards show on July 2 in Lubbock, Texas, part of a weeklong schedule of festivities sponsored by the College Baseball Foundation, including the induction ceremony for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Kapteyn, a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder, has been a two-way force since arriving on campus in 2009 as part of UK’s school-record fourth-ranked recruiting class. Kapteyn has played in 39 games at the plate for UK in 2010, batting .279 (38-for-136) with seven doubles, five homers and 27 RBI, drawing 18 walks. On the mound, Kapteyn has totaled a 1-0 record and a 2.87 ERA with two saves, tossing 15.2 innings, striking out 17. In his two-year career, Kapteyn owns a .300 average (83-for-277) with 18 doubles, nine homers and 54 RBI at the plate and a 6-0 record in 37 relief appearance, owning six saves in 48.1 innings, striking out 59.

Kapteyn is coming off a highly-productive weekend, as he delivered UK’s lone two RBI in a 2-1 win over No. 4 South Carolina on Saturday, helping even the series for the rubber match Sunday. In Sunday’s game, Kapteyn came on in relief with UK leading by a run in the eighth inning and tossed the final two innings without allowing a base runner, striking out a season-high four for his second save of the year and his first since opening weekend.

A 39th-round MLB draft pick out of high school, Kapteyn was named the best prospect in the New York Collegiate Baseball League last summer, earning NYCBL regular-season, postseason and all-star MVP honors.

Kentucky (26-21, 9-15 SEC) returns to action Tuesday, traveling to Bloomington, Ind., to face off with Indiana at 4 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Blue Sports Network (radio), with the Voice of UK Baseball, Neil Price, calling the action. Fans in Lexington can hear the game live on WLAP 630-AM and online at UKathletics.com.


 

 

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