SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Kentucky junior outfielder Chad Wright has been selected in the ninth round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers, it was announced during Day 2 of the MLB Draft on Tuesday afternoon.
Wright went with the No. 287 pick overall in the 2011 MLB Draft, going in the ninth round to the Detroit Tigers. He is the second Wildcat selected in the draft so far through the first 10 rounds, as UK junior righty Alex Meyer was selected with the No. 23 overall pick in the first round on Monday night by the Washington Nationals. Wright is the fifth UK star to be selected in the draft by the Tigers since UK won the Southeastern Conference in 2006, including Ryan Strieby (2006), Michael Bertram (2006), Scott Green (2008) and Matt Little (2010).
A native of Paducah, Ky., Wright finished his junior season just 66 hits shy of the all-time UK career record. A 5-foot-10, 195-pound left-handed hitter, Wright hit .359 with team-highs in hits (78), triples (three), walks (23) and stolen bases (16). Wright finished with a .544 slugging percentage and a .449 on-base mark, belting a career-high six homers with 40 RBI. A graduate of Heath High School, Wright ranked throughout the SEC stats, including eighth in average, seventh in slugging, seventh in on-base percentage, third in hits, 12th in doubles, sixth in triples, 21st in homers, seventh in total bases, third in hit by pitch and 10th in stolen bases. A 2010 Cape Cod League Summer All-Star, Wright owns a .339 (211-for-623) career average with 36 doubles, six triples, 12 homers, 100 RBI and 38 stolen bases in 155 games.
Since the Wildcats jumped onto the college baseball scene in claiming the SEC Championship in 2006, Kentucky has boasted a bevy of draft selections, including a school-record seven selections following a 44-win season in 2008. Since 2006 and including the picks on Tuesday, the Wildcats have had a total of 36 players selected in the MLB Draft or signing a free agent contract. Since 1965, UK has had a total of 148 players drafted or sign a free agent contract, with 24-percent of the 148 total players coming since the 2006 season.
The MLB Draft will continue through round 30 on Tuesday and resume on Wednesday, with the remaining 20 rounds. Several UK stars are expected to be selected on Day 3 of the draft, which will be live on MLB.com.
Breaking down Wright
• Chad Wright was voted second-team All-SEC in the outfield by the league coaches, UK’s first All-SEC outfielder since Collin Cowgill and Sawyer Carroll in 2008.
• Wright hit .359 with 16 doubles, three triples, six homers and 40 RBI, drawing 23 walks and striking out just 16 times, stealing 16 bases.
• Wright led UK in at bats (217), triples (three), on-base percentage (.449), walks (23) and stolen bases (16).
• Among SEC stats, Wright ranked eighth in average (.359), seventh in slugging (.544), seventh in on-base percentage (.449), third in hits (78), 12th in doubles (16), sixth in triples (three), 21st in home runs (six), seventh in total bases (118), third in hit by pitch (14), 10th in stolen bases (16), total plate appearances (262) and ninth in at bats (217).
• In SEC games alone, Wright ranked 10th in hits (42), first in triples (three), 10th in total bases (63) and fifth in hit by pitch (six).
• Reached base safely in 52 of UK’s 55 games in 2011 and owned a stretch of 24 consecutive games reaching base safely.
• Led UK with 24 multiple-hit games, running up hitting streaks of nine and seven games in 2011.
• With four outfield assists in 2011, Wright now owns 12 career outfield assists.
• Totaled 29 two-out hits – second-most on the club – and 12 two-out RBI.
• Only struck out 16 times in 262 plate appearances in 2011.
• Led the team with 24 two-strike hits.
• In his three-year career, Wright owns a .339 average (211-for-623) with 118 runs, 36 doubles, six triples, 12 homers and 100 RBI, posting a .474 slugging percentage and a .418 on-base clip, stealing 38-of-47 bases.
• Wright ranks ninth in UK career history in average (.339), 13th in hits (211), 10th in triples (six), eighth in sacrifice bunts (21), 12th in stolen bases (36) and 11th in stolen base attempts (47).
• Wright needs just 66 hits to break the all-time UK career record for hits. The fewest hits he has recorded in a season were 62 in 181 at bats as a freshman.
• SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll (2009)
• SEC Freshman of the Week (4/20/09)
• Cape Cod League Summer All-Star (2010)
• SEC Academic Honor Roll (2010)
• 2011 Second-team All-SEC Outfield (coaches)
Was named second-team All-SEC in the outfield in a voting of the league coaches, UK’s first All-SEC outfielder since Sawyer Carroll and Collin Cowgill in 2008 … Was an offensive force throughout the year, leading UK in hits (78), on-base percentage (.449), triples (three), walks (23) and stolen bases (16) … Hit .359 on the year with career highs in doubles (16), triples, homers (six), RBI (40), runs (42), slugging percentage (.544), total bases (118), on-base percentage, walks, hit by pitches (14), on-base percentage and stolen bases … Fielded a perfect left and centerfield for UK, starting all 55 games and totaling four outfield assists … Reached base safely in 52 of UK’s 55 games and had a stretch of 24 consecutive games reaching safely … While drawing 23 walks and getting plunked by 14 pitches, only struck out 16 times in 262 plate appearances … Among SEC stats, Wright ranked eighth in average, seventh in slugging, seventh in on-base percentage, third in hits, 12th in doubles, sixth in triples, 21st in home runs, seventh in total bases, third in hit by pitch, 10th in stolen bases, total plate appearances and ninth in at bats (217) … In just conference games, Wright hit .339 and ranked 10th in hits (42), first in triples (three), 10th in total bases (63) and fifth in hit by pitch (six) … Hit .397 with two outs, collecting 29 two-out hits and 12 two-out RBI … Batted .384 with runners in scoring position and .353 with runners on base … Prolific at using both sides of the field and stroking line drives from foul pole to foul pole, led UK with a total of 29 hits hit to the opposite field, including 21 hits to leftfield, 12 hits to centerfield and 23 hits to rightfield … Led UK with 24 multi-hit games, including hitting streaks of nine and seven games … Totaled a team-best 24 two-strike hits and struck out only 16 times in 262 plate appearances … Hit .387 in non-conference games and .361 in games at Cliff Hagan Stadium … In games, UK won, Wright hit a team-leading .417 and in games UK lost he hit .314 … During UK’s 22 night games (first pitch after 6 p.m. local time), Wright hit a staggering .425 with 20 RBI … Finished the year on a blistering pace, batting .522 with three doubles and a triple over the last five games and .467 with two homers and 11 RBI over the final 10 games … Got off to a slow start in February, batting .276, hitting .375 in March, .316 in April and .467 in May … Finished the year on a seven game hitting streak, with all seven games coming as multi-hit contests, including three three-hit games … Had nine three-hit games in 2011 and four three-RBI performances … Launched a career-high six homers, including two against two of the top arms in the SEC, including Vanderbilt lefty and SEC Pitcher of the Year Grayson Garvin and Auburn righty Derek Varnadore.
Had a breakout summer onto the prospect map, earning all-star accolades in the prestigious Cape Cod League … Helped lead Cotuit to the league championship title … Batted .300 (45-for-15) during the summer, with 18 runs scored, six doubles and 10 RBI in 43 games … During the regular season, batted .290 (40-for-138), ranking ninth in the CCL in average … Ranked 10th in the league in hits … Overall, drew eight walks and struck out just 24 times on the summer … Stole 6-of-12 bases during the summer, laying down two sacrifice bunts and charting one sacrifice fly … Selected for the prestigious CCL All-Star Game at Fenway Park, going 1-for-3 as the leadoff hitter in the game … UK teammate and CCL standout reliever Braden Kapteyn was also selected to the game, with Wright grounding out against Kapteyn.
Every day starter in the outfield, playing in 54 games with 53 starts … Batted .316 (71-for-225), with 12 doubles, two triples, two homers and 37 RBI … Drew 19 walks and struck out 31 times, getting hit by nine pitches for a .388 on-base percentage … Stole 12-of-15 bases … Had four outfield assists on the year, leading the team … Laid down five sacrifice bunts and had two sacrifice flies … Led the team in at bats (225), doubles (12) and triples (two) … Hit .292 (35-for-120) in SEC play, with 20 runs scored, eight doubles, one triple and 16 RBI … Batted .343 (36-for-105) in non-conference games, with four doubles, one triple, two homers and 21 RBI … Hit .322 (39-for-121) in 29 home games, with eight doubles, two homers and 24 RBI … Got off to a great start, batting .355 (44-for-124) with eight doubles, two triples, two homers and 23 RBI in the first 30 games of the season … Hit .286 (34-for-119) over the last 30 games of the season … Led the team with 21 multi-hit games, adding eight multi-RBI games … Had a 10-game hitting streak during the year and finished the year on a team-best six-game hitting streak … Made 43 starts in leftfield and 10 starts in rightfield, depending on the dimensions of the home stadium … Had 12 two-hit games, eight three-hit games and one four-hit game … Hit in the first three spots in the order, batting primarily No. 1 (33 times), No. 2 (six times), No. 3 (11 times) … Hit .300 (15-for-50) with four doubles and one triple as the leadoff hitter, drawing six walks … Hit .333 (36-for-108) with 36 RBI, seven doubles, one triple and one homer with runners on base … Was 2-for-11 with seven RBI with the bases loaded, hitting into one double play … Went 3-for-4 with four RBI against Monmouth in San Diego … Had a 3-for-5 game vs. IPFW, adding three RBI, and then batting 4-for-4 in the IPFW series finale … Played in the Northwoods League during the summer for the Wisconsin Woodchucks … Played in 60 games, batting .300 (68-for-227) with 33 runs, nine doubles, two triple, three homers, 20 RBI … Drew 31 walks and struck out 29 times … Ranked fourth in the league with 27 steals, also checking in 19th in runs (33), ninth in hits (68), 13th in walks (31), 13th in on-base percentage, with his .300 average ranking 14th-best in the Northwoods League.
Had a breakout season as a true freshman starter in the SEC, ranking second on the team with a .343 (62-for-181) average in 50 games and 47 starts … Had eight doubles, one triple, four homers and 23 RBI, drawing 19 walks and striking out 34 times, stealing 13-of-15 bases … Led the team with four outfield assists … Played in all 30 SEC games for UK, batting .336 (37-for-110) with 25 runs scored, five doubles, two homers, 10 RBI, 16 walks, 22 strikeouts, stealing 7-of-9 bases … Led UK with a .357 (25-for-70) average in 18 games played on the road … Batted .373 (38-for-102) in 29 day games and .304 (24-for-79) in 21 night games … In UK’s last 15 games in SEC play, while fighting for a postseason berth, hit .369 (24-for-65) with five doubles, two homers, 10 RBI, nine walks, eight strikeouts and 5-of-6 stolen bases … In UK’s final 20 games overall, hit .381 (32-for-84) with 23 runs, five doubles, one triple, three homers, 14 RBI and six steals … Made a move to the lead-off spot in the order late in the year with great success, batting .375 (33-for-88) in 21 games as the No. 1 hitter, adding 23 runs scored, five doubles, one triple, three homers, 14 RBI and six steals … Had a team-high eight bunt singles … Got first career start against James Madison in the Caravelle Resort Invitational … Went 3-for-4 with a double a steal and four RBI as the designated hitter in his first start at Cliff Hagan Stadium against Western Michigan … Followed that game with a four-RBI outing against Eastern Kentucky, belting his first career home run, a three-run homer … Had back-to-back three-hit games against Indiana State and Georgetown College … Had three consecutive two-hit games against Vanderbilt and West Virginia … Went 2-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases against Vanderbilt … Had a breakout performance at Louisville, going 3-for-5 with two runs, two RBI a triple and a homer … Scored five runs in a 4-for-5 outing against Mississippi State, with two doubles, two walks and one steal in the series finale … Was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the three-game series with MSU and the win at Louisville, reaching base safely in 18-of-24 plate appearances, batting .550 (11-for-20) with 10 runs, two doubles, one triple, one homer and three RBI ... In UK’s last game of the year at Florida, needing a win to clinch a postseason berth, went 4-for-5 with three runs, two doubles, two RBI, a walk and a solo home run … Homer at UF came in the top of the ninth with UK trailing, a no-doubt jack hit off Florida closer Billy Bullock.
First-team All-State selection and brother of former UK outfielder Brock Wright …Two-time All-State honoree, earning the distinction as a junior … Hit .418 with 51 runs, 15 doubles, five homers and 34 RBI, stealing 32 bases as a senior … Batted .472 with five doubles, nine home runs, 32 RBI, and a school-record 60 stolen bases … As a sophomore, hit .412 with 46 runs, eight doubles, three homers, 34 RBI and 41 stolen bags … Owns school records for single-season stolen bases, career triples, and career stolen bases … Led team to the regional championship in three of four years, including a state championship appearance in 2007 … Five-year letterwinner, coached by Jimmy Long … A pure athlete, owns football school records for career rushing yards (5,813) and single-game rushing yards (357) … Was a first-team All-Western Kentucky selection as a football player junior and senior years … Member of the National Honor Society and honor graduate.
Full name is Chad Everett Wright … Born July 27, 1989 in Paducah, Ky. … Son of Greg and Trina Wright … Brothers Bryce (16) and Brock (24), a former outfielder at UK …Brock hit .242 (15-for-62) in 30 games and 15 starts as a freshman outfielder in 2007, totaling five homers and 15 RBI, drawing 19 walks and stealing 5-of-6 bases … Brock had a solo home run during Super Bulldog Weekend at Mississippi State in 2007, with the Bulldogs advancing to the College World Series that season.