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  • Sean Hjelle selected #45 by SF Giants

    UK Media Relations

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sean Hjelle was the first Kentucky player selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft when the San Francisco Giants picked him with the second pick of the second round on Monday. The Wildcats’ ace was selected with the 45th overall pick.

    The 6-foot-11 junior from White Bear Lake, Minnesota developed into one of the nation’s most accomplished and unique pitchers, earning 2017 Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year and numerous All-America honors during his career. He was Kentucky’s Friday starter in his final two seasons, routinely drawing the matchup with opponents’ staff ace in those games.

    In fifteen appearances – including 14 starts - Hjelle went 7-5 with a 3.44 earned run average in 2018, striking out 91 and walking just 22 hitters in 99.1 innings. Opponents hit just .232 against him this season and .242 for his career.

    For his career, Hjelle is all over the Kentucky record books. He is 22-10 overall in three seasons, ranking him fifth on the school’s career wins list. He ranks seventh in career win-loss percentage (.688), ninth in career strikeouts (222), fourth in single-season wins (11 in 2017) and fifth in single-season saves (8 in 2016). He has 54 career appearances, including 31 starts.

    As a sophomore, Hjelle was voted SEC Pitcher of the Year by the league’s coaches after a dominating run through the gauntlet of conference play that saw him go 7-1 with a 1.90 ERA in 10 starts. Opponents hit just .186 off him as he gave up 43 hits in 66.1 innings. He also earned the win in the Cats’ NCAA Tournament opener and returned three days later to pitch 3.1 hitless innings in a winner-take-all game to get the win and send the program to its first-ever Super Regional appearance.

    Hjelle excelled off the field too, serving as UK’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council president the past year and earning Mr. Wildcat honors, the highest award giving to a male student-athlete at Kentucky.

    Hjelle will join a Giants organization that has won three World Series championships in the past eight seasons – 2010, 2012 and 2014 – and has a reputation for developing pitchers it selects in the early rounds of the draft, including Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum.

    SEAN HJELLE BIO

    • 2018 Preseason First-Team All-America (Collegiate Baseball)

    • 2018 Preseason Third-Team All-America (Perfect Game)

    • SEC Pitcher of the Year (2017)

    • Collegiate Baseball Second-Team All-America (2017)

    • ABCA South All-Region Second-Team (2017)

    • First-Team All-SEC (2017)

    • SEC Pitcher of the Week (3/20/17)

    • Perfect Game/Rawlings National Pitcher of the Week (3/20/17)

    • UK Student Athletic Council President (2017-18)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Sean Hjelle selected #45 by SF Giants started by Darrell KSR View original post
    Comments 24 Comments
    1. wes011's Avatar
      wes011 -
      Casey Mize was not selected out of HS and he developed into the #1 pick this year.
    1. wes011's Avatar
      wes011 -
      I’m curious what Hjelle decides to do....i definitely wouldn’t blame him for going but i do think he improves his draft status by returning. I guess it comes down to a $1.6M guarantee vs the opportunity to improve.
    1. Doc's Avatar
      Doc -
      Quote Originally Posted by wes011 View Post
      I’m curious what Hjelle decides to do....i definitely wouldn’t blame him for going but i do think he improves his draft status by returning. I guess it comes down to a $1.6M guarantee vs the opportunity to improve.
      TAKE THE MONEY! Go to the league. He is an adult, not some 19 year old snot nose kid trying to figure life out. Improving draft status vs getting to Free Agency a year quicker where option one gets you an extra million or two vs option two gets you multiple millions...easy choice IMO
    1. wes011's Avatar
      wes011 -
      Doc - I don’t think it is that easy. The only thing that is guaranteed in the draft is what the kid signs for. So if a kid is drafted he gets the money and then goes into the farm system. These guys in the minors might make $12-50K per year. That number doesn’t change until you get to the big leagues. This is why I say it’s not that easy. If he comes back and lands in round 1 he can get a significantly higher amount to sign vs. $1.6M. Of course he could come back and get injured singe has to weigh the risk.

      Jo Adell who played at Ballard HS in Louisville opted to play pro ball after being drafted 10th last year. I think his pick was worth $4.3M. That’s a smart decision. Just my 2 cents of course.

      I attached what the 2017 MLB draft picks are worth in this link.

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.mlb...alues.amp.html
    1. UKFlounder's Avatar
      UKFlounder -
      If Hjelle comes back, he may go higher, but he will be a senior with zero leverage, so the ream would almost certainly offer him less than slot value as his only other choice would be to play in an independent league.
    1. wes011's Avatar
      wes011 -
      Flounder - I didn’t consider that angle and his accolades were phenomenal this year. Maybe he can’t get into the first round. When he was drafted he was mentioned as one of the safest picks in the draft and that he was a great value pick in the second round.

      Like I said, decisions have to be made.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      It's an easy decision. If you are a junior and drafted pretty highly, you sign every time. Hjelle is gone.
    1. wes011's Avatar
      wes011 -
      I agree just playing devil’s advocate.
    1. dan_bgblue's Avatar
      dan_bgblue -
      Quote Originally Posted by UKFlounder View Post
      If Hjelle comes back, he may go higher, but he will be a senior with zero leverage, so the ream would almost certainly offer him less than slot value as his only other choice would be to play in an independent league.
      That very thing has happened to several UK players in the past few years.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      Tristan Pompey selected in the 3rd round, pick # 89, by the Marlins.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      Kole Cottam selected in the 4th round, pick # 130, by the Red Sox.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      UK Media Relations

      LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tristan Pompey became the second Kentucky player selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft when the Miami Marlins picked him in the third round on Tuesday. The Toronto, Ontario native was selected with the 89th overall pick.

      The Marlins also used the 89th overall pick in the 2017 draft to take a UK player, having selected second baseman Riley Mahan there a year ago. The organization also has former Wildcats infielder JT Riddle as its shortstop at the major league level and former Rawlings Gold Glove winner Dustin Beggs pitching for Greensboro at the A-ball level.

      The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder hit .335 in 50 games this season, scoring 41 runs and driving in 39 while connecting for 20 doubles and seven home runs. He also stole a career-high 10 bases in 13 attempts and made just one error in the field. The performance came as a follow up to his incredible 2017 campaign where he hit .361 with 70 runs, 18 doubles, 10 home runs, 45 RBI, 46 walks and nine steals.

      For his career, the switch hitter stroked 193 hits, which ranks 18th on the school’s all-time list. He hits a combined .321 in 165 games with 136 runs, 46 doubles, one triple, 24 home runs, 113 RBI, 99 walks, 21 stolen bases and an OPS of .947. The 46 doubles and 99 walks each rank 11th on UK’s career lists.

      Pompey also is the brother of Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey, who has played 64 career games with his home country club.

      TRISTAN POMPEY BIO

      • SEC Player of the Week (4/9/18)

      • 2018 Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List (2018)

      • 2018 Preseason First-Team All-America (Perfect Game)

      • 2018 Preseason Third-Team All-America (Collegiate Baseball)

      • Collegiate All-Canadian Team (Canadian Baseball Network)

      • Baseball America Third-Team All-America (2017)

      • Perfect Game/Rawlings Third-Team All-America (2017)

      • Collegiate Baseball Third-Team All-America (2017)

      • ABCA South All-Region First-Team (2017)

      • First-Team All-SEC (2017)

      • College Home Run Derby Participant (2017)
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      Here's a weird twist.

      5 rounds of the MLB Draft are complete. Guess how many LSU players have been selected?

      None.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      Zach Watson (OF) and Zack Hess (P) for LSU were both listed in the top 100 prospects (should've gone in the first 3 rounds). Interesting. LSU will likely get both players back and be loaded next season. So what else is new, right?

      Watson and Hess are both draft-eligible sophomores.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      Prep Baseball Report's top players remaining that have not been drafted. There are no Kentucky players or recruits on this list.


      RANK NAME POS SCHOOL
      12 Kumar Rocker RHP North Oconee (HS)
      35 Nander De Sedas SS Montverde Academy (HS)
      47 Cole Wilcox RHP Heritage (Catoosa) (HS)
      49 Michael Byrne RHP Florida
      69 Austin Becker RHP Big Walnut (HS)
      75 Zach Watson OF Louisiana State
      79 Slade Cecconi RHP Trinity Prep (HS)
      80 Elijah Cabell OF TNXL Academy (HS)
      85 Devlin Granberg OF Dallas Baptist
      90 Raynel Delgado SS Calvary Christian Academy (HS)
      92 Jaden Hill RHP Ashdown (HS)
      98 Zack Hess RHP Louisiana State
      101 Isaiah Carranza RHP Azusa Pacific University
      104 Cole Sands RHP Florida State
      108 Isaiah Campbell RHP Arkansas
      109 Landon Marceaux RHP Destrehan (HS)
      110 Chandler Champlain RHP Santa Margarita (HS)
      113 Seth Halvorsen RHP Heritage Christian Academy (HS)
      114 Brandon Williamson LHP North Iowa Area CC
      117 Jonathan Childress LHP Forney (HS)
      118 Jack Neely RHP Churchill (HS)
      120 Charles Mack SS Williamsville East (HS)
      124 Riley Thompson RHP Louisville
      127 Tarik Skubal LHP Seattle
      128 Caleb Killian RHP Texas Tech
      129 Sam Bordner RHP Louisville
      130 Jonathan Gates LHP Nature Coast Technical (HS)
      131 Brian Eichorn RHP Georgia Southern
      132 Ty Madden RHP Cypress Ranch (HS)
      133 Kameron Guangorena C St. John Bosco (HS)
      134 Trey Dillard RHP San Jacinto JC
      135 Brendan Donovan 3B South Alabama
      136 Kerry Wright RHP Montverde (HS)
      137 Bo Blessie RHP Midland Lee (HS)
      138 Brandon Birdsell RHP Conroe (HS)
      139 Garrett Wade LHP Hartselle (HS)
      140 Franco Aleman RHP Alonso (HS)
      141 Jake Mangum OF Mississippi State
      142 DJ Artis OF Liberty
      143 Andrew Moritz OF UNC Greensboro
      145 Gage Canning OF Arizona State
      146 Brett Kinneman OF North Carolina State
      148 Deacon Liput SS Florida
      149 Kyle Datres 3B North Carolina
      151 JJ Schwarz C Florida
      152 Tyler Holton LHP Florida State
      156 Davis Martin RHP Texas Tech
      158 Nolan Kingham RHP Texas
      159 Cody Deason RHP Arizona
      160 Edgar Gonzalez RHP Fresno State
      162 Daniel Bies RHP Gonzaga
      163 Austin Wells C Bishop Gorman (HS)
      165 Brandon Howlett 3B George W. Jenkins (HS)
      166 Cory Acton SS American Heritage (HS)
      167 Kendall Logan Simmons SS Tattnall Square Academy (HS)
      168 Nicholas Northcut 3B Mason (HS)
      169 CJ Willis C Ruston (HS)
      170 Jared Poland SS Cathedral (HS)
      172 Sean Chandler RHP Iowa Western CC
      173 Nick Lee RHP Louisiana-Lafayette
      174 Jack Perkins RHP Kokomo (HS)
      175 Hayden Jones C Carroll (HS)
      177 Hugh Smith RHP Whitworth University
      178 Nick Dunn 2B Maryland
      180 Charlie Cerny RHP Illinois-Chicago
      182 Bryce Montes de Oca RHP Missouri
      184 JJ Montgomery RHP Central Florida
      185 Jason Bilous RHP Coastal Carolina
      186 Cody Morris RHP South Carolina
      187 Sean Guilbe SS Muhlenberg (HS)
      189 Dominic Pipkin RHP Pinole Valley (HS)
      190 Brandon Neeck LHP Horace Greeley (HS)
      191 Steven Hajjar LHP Central Catholic (HS)
      192 Brandon Dieter SS South Hills (HS)
      193 Zaid Walker OF Homewood-Flossmoor (HS)
      194 Jacob Maton RHP Chatham-Glenwood (HS)
      195 Taj Bradley OF Redan (HS)
      196 Ryan Cusick RHP Avon Old Farms (HS)
      197 Levi Kelly RHP IMG Academy (HS)
      198 Adrian Del Castillo C Gulliver Prep (HS)
      199 Addison Barger SS King (HS)
      200 Blaze Alexander SS IMG Academy (HS)
    1. dan_bgblue's Avatar
      dan_bgblue -
      Prep Baseball Report's top players remaining that have not been drafted. There are no Kentucky players or recruits on this list.
      That bothers me just a bit. Not the current players so much as the lack of recruits being on the list.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      Zach Haake selected in the 6th round, pick # 182. Slot money is $258,000.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      Quote Originally Posted by dan_bgblue View Post
      That bothers me just a bit. Not the current players so much as the lack of recruits being on the list.
      Yeah, you want to walk that fine line. Sign players who will be top draft choices, and plenty who will have to make tough decisions. As you know, college baseball, it's a good thing to have even your top picks drafted highly. It's a huge marketing plus for the school.

      I always go back to A-Rod. He signed with "my" other baseball school, Miami. Drafted super-high, signed out of high school and never attended Miami. But he's always associated with them. In fact, he has donated millions of dollars to the University. $4 million to the stadium, but also a lot of money to fund scholarships and MBAs. I know he's not always the most popular guy, but I've always been a big fan.

      Kentucky could use some A-Rods.
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      UK Media Relations

      LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kole Cottam became the third Kentucky player selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft when the Boston Red Sox picked him in the fourth round on Tuesday. The Knoxville, Tennessee native was the 130th overall pick.

      The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder junior was selected by the storied Red Sox franchise as a catcher, his primary position for much of his three-year collegiate career. He had the larger share at first base of a first base/catcher platoon with senior Troy Squires this season, earning First-Team All-Southeastern Conference honors from the coaches as a first baseman, as well as Second-Team All-America by Collegiate Baseball.

      The first-time draftee had a sensational 2018 season, flashing his plus power stroke on a consistent basis all year. He finished with 19 home runs, the ninth-most for a single-season in UK history, on his way to a 1.105 OPS. Cottam led the team with a .352 average, 54 runs and 77 hits. He added 12 doubles, 31 walks, four steals and 51 RBI.

      Cottam’s raw numbers weren’t empty either. He homered in eight of the Cats’ 10 series against SEC opponents and 12 of 14 weekends overall. He led the conference with 10 home runs in league play and finished the season ranked in the top five in the SEC in home runs (1st), doubles (4th), RBI (1st), total bases (2nd), slugging (3rd).

      He twice had game-winning hits in the eighth inning to win a series, including a bases loaded infield hit to make UK the only team to take a series from Georgia in Athens and a grand slam to erase a three-run deficit and knock off Missouri, a hit that earned him SEC Player of the Week. Cottam also was named a CoSida All-District Academic Team member.

      For his career, Cottam hit .326 in 151 games (129 start) with 99 runs, 162 hits, 30 doubles, one triple, 27 home runs and 11 RBI. He ranks 26th on the school’s career hit list and owns a hefty .952 career OPS.

      KOLE COTTAM BIO

      • 2018 First-Team All-SEC (1B)

      • 2018 Second-Team All-America (Collegiate Baseball)

      • 2018 Second-Team All-America (College Sports Madness)

      • 2018 CoSida Academic All-District Team

      • SEC Academic Honor Roll (2017)

      • SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll (2016)
    1. Darrell KSR's Avatar
      Darrell KSR -
      Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
      Here's a weird twist.

      5 rounds of the MLB Draft are complete. Guess how many LSU players have been selected?

      None.
      Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
      Zach Watson (OF) and Zack Hess (P) for LSU were both listed in the top 100 prospects (should've gone in the first 3 rounds). Interesting. LSU will likely get both players back and be loaded next season. So what else is new, right?

      Watson and Hess are both draft-eligible sophomores.
      Kendall Rogers @KendallRogers
      1m
      .@LSUbaseball is a big winner so far today. Recruiting class is intact for the most part and Zack Hess, Zach Watson and Antoine Duplantis still not taken. Could the Tigers actually get the trifecta back next year? Would be massive going into 2019.
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