Kentucky baseball outfielder John Rhodes was named Preseason Third-Team All-America by D1 Baseball, it was announced on Monday. Rhodes was honored as the designated hitter.
The sophomore from also earned Third-Team Preseason All-America recognition from Collegiate Baseball, which named him the 2020 National co-Freshman of the Year after a blistering start to his collegiate career. He is considered one of the top prospects for the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft, ranking as high as the No. 32 overall prospect by MLB.com/MLB Pipeline.
Rhodes, from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, ranked second nationally in doubles in 2020 with 10, twice as many as any other rookie in the talent-rich SEC. He batted .426 overall in 61 at bats with 11 runs, 26 hits, 10 doubles, a triple, a home run, 19 RBI and five hit by pitch. He slugged .672 as part of a 1.157 OPS. The .426 average was the highest for any UK player with at least 50 at-bats since Jeff Abbott batted .445 in 1994.
The 6-foot, 200-pounder was one of the top hitters in the SEC regardless of class. He ranked sixth in the SEC in total hits and 10th in RBI, led all SEC freshmen in batting average, hits, on-base percentage, doubles and total bases and ranked second in slugging percentage.
Rhodes’ biggest moment came when he clubbed the first home run of his career for a walk-off winner vs. Murray State on March 4. In just 17 games he already had nine multi-hit games and six multi-RBI games while logging a career-high three hits three times.
Kentucky is set to open the 2021 season on Feb. 19 at North Carolina.
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