UK recruiting class ranked 11th

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- For the seventh consecutive year, the Kentucky baseball team has brought in one of the top recruiting classes in the NCAA, with Collegiate Baseball tabbing the Wildcats 2013 newcomer crop as the 11th best in the nation and the fifth-best in the Southeastern Conference, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon.

The Wildcats checked in as the 11th-best class in the NCAA, the third-highest ranking for the Wildcats in program history. Since UK won the 2006 SEC Championship, UK has annually brought in one of the top classes in the NCAA, highlighted by a record No. 4 ranking by Baseball America in 2008 and a No. 6 ranking by Collegiate Baseball in 2009.

The Wildcats placed fifth in the SEC in the recruiting class rankings for 2013, as Vanderbilt claimed the recruiting title. LSU ranked fourth, Florida seventh and South Carolina checked in No. 10. Also of note, Texas A&M (No. 14), Georgia (No. 14), Alabama (No. 16), Auburn (No. 22), Arkansas (No. 26), Mississippi State (No. 37) and Ole Miss (No. 39) rounded out the SEC teams in the top-40. In state foe Louisville ranked as the 35th-best class in college baseball.

UK will again welcome a bevy of talent to campus for the 2013 season, including drafted newcomers: catcher Zach Arnold, righty Kyle Cody, left-hander Chase Mullins, catcher Casey Schroeder and right-hander Matt Pope. Among the five drafted newcomers included three highly projectable talented pitchers, the 6-foot-9 lefty Mullins, and 6-foot-8 right-handers Cody and Pope.

A 6-foot-2, 190-pound catcher out of Ohio, Schroeder was UK’s highest drafted signee, going to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 21st round. A native of Paris, Ky., Mullins was picked by the Texas Rangers in the 24th round. A 6-foot-2 catcher out of Franklin County High School, Arnold was picked in the 27th round by the New York Mets, while Cody was picked by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 33rd round. A right-hander out of Matthew Science Hill High School (Tenn.), Pope marked UK’s final signee drafted, going to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 38th round.

UK welcomes a total of 14 newcomers for 2013, including Georgia outfielder Kyle Barrett, Lexington Bryan Station southpaw Ryne Combs, Lexington Dunbar righty Tyler Cox, Calloway County lefty Dylan Dwyer, Tates Creek outfielder Dorian Hairston, former UK football quarterback Jacob Russell, London, Ky., infielder Zack Storm, Salem, Va., infielder Thomas Weaver and switch-hitting outfielder Storm Wilson out of Somerset.

Kentucky, led by SEC 2012 Coach of the Year Gary Henderson, returns one of the top teams in college baseball in 2013, a year after rewriting the UK record book in nearly every category and finishing a win shy of the conference title. UK returns SEC Freshman of the Year and USA National Team leading hitter Austin Cousino, and fellow consensus first-team freshman All-America two-way star A.J. Reed. The Wildcats welcome back a dynamic weekend rotation, including All-SEC lefty Corey Littrell and one of the top senior prospects in the nation, senior southpaw Jerad Grundy. During the summer, UK led the NCAA with nine players in either the Cape Cod League or with the USA National Team, and its nine players picked in the 2012 MLB Draft ranked second-best in college baseball.

UK Recruiting Class Rankings (Since 2006 SEC Championship)

2006: No. 21

2007: No. 31

2008: No. 4

2009: No. 6

2010: No. 16

2011: No. 25

2012: No. 11

2013 Collegiate Baseball Recruiting Class Rankings

1. Vanderbilt


3. Arizona St.

4. LSU

5. Clemson

6. Stanford

7. Florida

8. North Carolina

9. Miami, Fla.

10. South Carolina

11. Kentucky

12. Texas Christian

13. Texas A&M

14. Georgia

15. Texas

16. Alabama

17. Cal. St. Fullerton

18. U.C. Santa Barbara

19. Florida St.

20. Fresno St.

21. Arizona

22. Auburn

23. Oregon

24. Southern California

25. California

26. Arkansas

27. Rice

28. Georgia Tech.

29. Stetson

30. Missouri St.

31. Oklahoma

32. Virginia

33. East Carolina

34. Oregon St.

35. Louisville

36. Houston

37. Mississippi St.

38. Kennesaw St.

39. Mississippi

40. Central Florida