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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coaches say Lexington baseball draftees
will attend college instead of signing pro deals

Three Lexington high school baseball players were selected in the MLB draft in June, but don’t expect to see them suiting up for a professional team any time soon.


Lexington Catholic High School head coach Taylor Brooks told KyForward his two draftees, right-handed pitcher Taylor Martin and outfielder Tyler Wells, will both attend colleges in the fall instead of signing professional contracts. Martin, who the Colorado Rockies selected in the 41st round, will attend the University of Kentucky, and Wells, who the Boston Red Sox selected in the 31st round, will attend Ohio University.


Lafayette High School outfielder Jonathan Youngblood, who the Atlanta Braves selected in the 30th round of the 2011 draft, will attend Meridian Community College in Mississippi instead of signing a professional contract, Lafayette head coach Chris Langston told KyForward.


The deadline for MLB teams to sign draft picks in Aug. 15.


The Lexington trio were three of the eight Kentucky high school seniors selected in the 2011 draft. Warren East High School right-handed pitcher Mark Biggs (Blue Jays, eight round), St. Xavier High School right-handed pitcher Matt Spalding (Red Sox, 29th round), Boone County High School first baseman Jackson Laumann (Braves, 31st round), Lawrence County High School left-handed pitcher Chandler Shepherd (White Sox, 41st round) and Ballard High School second baseman Sutton Whiting (Braves, 44th round) were also drafted in June.


Shepherd, who was ranked as the top high school prospect in the state by Baseball America, will join Martin in attending UK, according to Lawrence County head coach Travis Feltner.


Martin, who was 7-0 with a 0.96 ERA in 51 innings pitched for Lexington Catholic in 2010, has already enrolled in summer classes at UK. In Lexington Catholic’s first-round loss to Pleasure Ridge Park in the KHSAA state tournament, Martin surrendered three runs on 11 hits in six and two-third innings in a no-decision.


In addition to Martin and Shepherd, UK saw five of its out-of-state signees selected in the 2011 draft. None of those players had signed a professional contract as of Aug. 10.


Two of the six players from UK’s 2011 roster selected in the draft — right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer (Nationals, first round) and catcher Michael Williams (Giants, 37th round) — remain unsigned.


Photo: Taylor Martin pitches in the KHSAA state tournament. By Jon Hale.



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