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Cats’ White drafted by Mariners in MLB Draft; Cards’ star McKay chosen as fourth overall pick by D-Rays

By Keith Taylor
KyForward Senior Sports Writer

Evan White is going to the next level and Louisville standout Brendan McKay also is taking his two-way act to the major leagues.

The University of Kentucky first baseman was the 17th overall pick by the Seattle Mariners in the Major League Baseball Draft Monday night, becoming the fifth player in school history chosen in the opening round. He joins Alex Meyer (2011), Josh Paxton (2009), Joe Blanton (2002) and Chad Green (1996) as the school’s top picks in the prestigious draft. Green, now manager of the San Diego Padres, was an eighth pick in the draft more than 20 years go.

Evan White was drafted by Seattle Mariners Monday night in the MLB Draft (UK Athletics Photo)

“We’re very excited to add Evan White to the organization,” Scott Hunter, the Mariners’ director of amateur scouting said on the team’s web site. “His addition will give us another athletic player whose character and baseball acumen will allow him to have success. He understands and values what the Seattle Mariners are all about, both on and off the field.”

White missed 13 games early in the season, but returned and helped lead the Wildcats to the Super Regionals for the first time in school history. White was named a second-team All-American by Baseball America and a Rawlings Gold Glove winner. He also collected more than two hits in 74 games and recorded a pair of 20-game hitting streaks during his career.

White finished his career at Kentucky with 233 hits, fourth win the school’s all-time list, a .356 batting average and 51 doubles. During his senior season with the Wildcats, White batted .373, belted 24 doubles and added 10 home runs. White finished with a .627 slugging percentage this season.

White becomes the third family member to play professionally. His grandfather and uncle played for the Cincinnati Reds, while his parents, Joe and Erin White, played basketball at the collegiate level.

McKay was the fourth overall pick in the draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Jordan Adell, an outfielder at Ballard High School in Louisville, was chosen by the Los Angeles Angels as the 10th overall selection in the draft.

McKay one of the top two-way players in college baseball, helped lead the Cardinals to the College World Series and was the winning pitcher in the final game of a Super Regional sweep of Kentucky last weekend at Patterson Stadium.

McKay, the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, is hitting .343, with 17 homers and 56 RBIs for the Cardinals going into the final leg of the postseason. On the mound, McKay, also a first baseman, is 10-3, with a 2.43 earned run average. McKay has recorded 140 strikeouts through 104 innings this season.

McKay has won the John Olerud two-way Player of the Year for three straight seasons and is a finalist for the prestigious Dick Howser Trophy.

Louisville third baseman Drew Ellis was selected in the second round as the 44th overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Keith Taylor is a senior sports writer for KyForward, where he primarily covers University of Kentucky sports. Reach him at keith.taylor@kyforward.com or @keithtaylor21 on Twitter

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