ORLANDO, Fla. -- For the second consecutive year, the Kentucky baseball team had an excellent showing at the annual Major League Baseball Draft, as five UK players heard their name called on Friday afternoon, including four top-20 round selections. Included in the Wildcat draft picks were Sean Coughlin, Scott Green, Antone DeJesus, Sawyer Carroll, and Collin Cowgill. UK signee Dan Killian was also selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 32nd round.
Sean Coughlin led off what would be a productive day for the Wildcat program, getting picked up in the 13th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Coughlin, a native of Morrison, Colo., finished his two-year Wildcat career as a .335 hitter. As the primary catcher for UK the last two seasons, Coughlin established himself as one of the better left-handed hitting catchers in the country, ripping 30 career home runs and 128 career RBI.
In 2007, Coughlin batted .344 with a team-best 13 home runs and 73 RBI. The slugger's 73 RBI ranks as the second-best season total in school history and at the conclusion of the regular season, ranked as tops in the SEC. In the 2006 MLB Draft, Coughlin was selected in the 42nd round by the Diamondbacks, as well as having been picked by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 32nd round of the 2003 MLB Draft.
In the 15th round, UK right-hander Scott Green was picked up by the Boston Red Sox. Green, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound right hander, has been an imposing force on the Wildcat club for three seasons. Green, a native of Louisville, Ky., served several roles for UK his freshman season in 2005, appearing in 18 games and starting seven, earning three saves and a 4.85 ERA. After redshirting during the 2006 season with an injury, Green returned to the Wildcat staff in limited form in 2007, appearing in nine games out of the bullpen. Green, who was picked with the 474th pick in the Draft, worked 17 2/3 innings in 2007, accumulating a 2-0 record and a 3.06 ERA, striking out 20.
Antone DeJesus went in the 16th round (pick No. 502) to the St. Louis Cardinals and Sawyer Carroll was picked by the Washington Nationals in the 18th round (No. 550).
DeJesus, UK’s starting centerfielder, batted .318 on the season, belted one home run and drove in 36 runs. The Amherst, Ohio native, is a career .328 hitter, having been an everyday starter for the Wildcat club for three years. DeJesus is an excellent runner, stealing a team-high 16 bases during the 2007 season.
Carroll, a junior from Henryetta, Okla., came to UK for the 2007 season as a smooth-swinging, junior college transfer. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder settled in at first base, starting all 54 games and batting for a .350 average. In addition to first base duties, Carroll saw time in right field and at designated hitter, seeing time in the lineup mainly as the No. 3 hitter. A dangerous gap hitter, Carroll led the team in doubles with 23, as well as ranking second on the team in RBI with 56.
Outfielder Collin Cowgill rounded out the Wildcats top-30 round draft picks, getting selected by the Oakland Athletics with the 900th pick in the 29th round. Cowgill helped power UK during its Southeastern Conference Championship run in 2006, batting .296 with 17 home runs and 61 runs scored. The Lexington, Ky. native, missed the 2007 season due to injury.
Wildcat signee Dan Killian also joined the Draft party, getting the call from the Washington Nationals in the 32nd round. Killian is a high school senior from Stanwood, Mich, who projects as a catcher on the collegiate level. As a 6-foot-3, left-handed hitting catcher, Killian was rated as the 166th best prospect in the country by PGcrosschecker.com.
After the historic 2006 SEC Championship season, Kentucky had a school-record six players selected in the 2006 MLB Draft. Ryan Strieby (Fourth Round - Detroit Tigers) and John Shelby (Fifth Round - Chicago White Sox) both went in the top-five rounds in 2006, marking the highest a UK player has been drafted since Joe Blanton went in the first round to the Oakland Athletics in 2002.