Kentucky right-handed pitcher Justin Lewis and infielder Connor Heady were selected in the 11th and 23rd rounds, respectively, of the 2017 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft on Wednesday, the final day of the three-day event.

Lewis was selected No. 319 overall by the Tampa Bay Rays and Heady No. 700 overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who drafted three Wildcats this week.

The two players gave Kentucky eight selections in the draft, the second most in school history and just one shy of the nine Wildcats picked in 2012. Lewis (11th round, Tampa Bay Rays) and Heady (23rd, Los Angeles Dodgers) join first baseman Evan White (1st round, Seattle), infielder Riley Mahan (3rd, Miami), left-handed pitcher Logan Salow (6th, Oakland), pitcher Zach Pop (7th, Los Angeles Dodgers), left-handed pitcher Zach Logue (9th, Toronto Blue Jays) and outfielder Zach Reks (10th, Los Angeles Dodgers) in being drafted.

Images from the Florida Gators versus Kentucky Wildcats baseball game on Saturday, May 20, 2017 in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 6-4. (Photo by Matt Stamey)
Lewis was the Wildcats’ Sunday starter all season, posting a 6-4 record with a 3.56 earned run average in 91.0 innings. He allows just 77 hits on the season, only 25 of which went for extra bases, and struck out 72 hitters. The 6-foot-7 redshirt sophomore nearly threw a perfect game against UC Santa Barbara on Mar. 5, giving up only a solo home run to lead off the eighth innings, and tossed a complete game in a win over LSU on Apr. 23.

For his career, Lewis is 8-4 with four saves in 38 appearances, 16 of which were starts. His ERA in 3.19 ranks sixth on UK’s all-time career chart and he is fifth on the career hits per nine innings list with 7.45 allowed. Opponents hit just .224 against Lewis and he’s only walked 37 of 508 career hitters faced.

Photo credit UK Athletics

Heady, a 6-foot, 175-pound senior, finally had good health fortune and turned it into a season where he started every game at shortstop for the Cats. The Prospect, Ky. native batted No. 9 all season in a lineup regarded by evaluators as one of the deepest in America, hitting .276 with a career-high seven home runs, 47 runs and 32 RBI.

Heady started 150 games in his career and reached the 100-hit club late this season, to go along with 25 career extra base hits, 95 runs scored and 54 RBI. He turned in highlight reel defensive plays at shortstop and was one of the most respected players on the UK roster.

‑ GO CATS –
For more information contact:
Matt May

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