LEXINGTON, Ky. – Carson Coleman and Ryan Shinn were selected on the final day of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, bringing Kentucky’s three-year total of draft picks under head coach Nick Mingione and his staff to 24.
A year after shattering the program-record for most draftees in a single year with 13, which is tied for the Southeastern Conference record and second-most nationally since 2006, UK added a trio of selections to its growing contingent of former Wildcats in the pros. With left-handed pitcher Zack Thompson being taken No. 19 overall UK now has had 13 players drafted in the first 10 rounds over the past three seasons.
On Wednesday, redshirt sophomore right-hander Carson Coleman was taken in the 33rd round by the Tampa Bay Rays coming off a season that saw him lead the club with five saves out of the Cats’ bullpen. A round later, senior outfielder Ryan Shinn saw his name called by the New York Mets after a breakout campaign where he blasted 13 home runs as part of his 30 extra-base hits, ranking him amongst the SEC’s top power hitters.
For the three-day event, the Wildcats drafted included: LHP Zack Thompson (1st round, St. Louis), RHP Carson Coleman (33rd, Tampa Bay), and OF Ryan Shinn (34th, New York Mets). Additionally, five players committed to or signed to play at UK were selected in the three-day event.
The Cats taken on Wednesday were:
CARSON COLEMAN (Tampa Bay Rays; 33rd Round, No. 998)
Coleman continued to show flashes of brilliance in his second season on the mound, racking up a team-high five saves and 36 strikeouts in 28.0 innings pitched out of the bullpen. He allowed just 24 hits and opponents hit only .235 against him in 23 appearances as one of the Cats’ top arms at the back end of games.
The right-hander delivered a one-pitch save against No. 5 Arkansas on May 5, stranding the tying run at third base when he coaxed a double play ball to end the game and deliver star lefty Zack Thompson a victory. The Lexington, Kentucky native also earned saves on the road against No. 10 Ole Miss and Missouri, as well as against a Michigan team that is in this week’s NCAA Super Regionals.
RYAN SHINN (New York Mets; 34th Round, No. 1018)
Perhaps no player had a bigger breakthrough in 2019 than Shinn, a senior outfielder from Jobstown, New Jersey that led the Cats in doubles, home runs, hits, runs scored, slugging percentage, hit by pitch and total bases. He posted an OPS of .967 and ranked among the SEC’s league leaders in home runs in conference games with eight.
A second-year player out of junior college, Shinn started every game after being a part-time starter in 2018 and became the Cats’ most reliable offensive threat while playing both left and right field. He stole seven bases and delivered a thrilling walk-off home run in the first week of Kentucky Proud Park’s history.