LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky fifth-year senior catcher Micheal Thomas has been picked in the 22nd round of the 2014 MLB Draft, going No. 670 overall, by the Detroit Tigers, it was announced on Saturday afternoon.
A native of Elizabethtown, Ky., Thomas was nabbed in the 22nd round by the Tigers, his first career draft selection. Thomas is the fifth Kentucky player picked in the 2014 MLB Draft, joining teammates A.J. Reed (second round; Astros), Austin Cousino (third round; Mariners), Max Kuhn (13th round; Athletics) and Chandler Shepherd (13th round; Red Sox).
Kentucky has had a program-record 38 players drafted or sign a professional contract in the six years of the UK head coach Gary Henderson era, with at least four players drafted in every season. Since Henderson and recruiting coordinator Brad Bohannon arrived on campus in 2004, Kentucky has had 60 players drafted or sign a professional contract.
Thomas starred for the Wildcats behind the plate in 2014, starting 57 of UK’s 62 games behind the plate. He hit .315 with 11 doubles, one triple, eight homers and 45 RBI as a senior, with a .484 slugging and a .402 on-base percentage. A defensive dynamo for the last two seasons, Thomas finished his 137-game UK career with a .995 fielding percentage. In his career, Thomas hit .279 (107-for-383) with 17 doubles, one triple, 12 homers and 70 RBI, with six steals.
After collecting 26 at-bats in his first three years on campus, Thomas emerged as the everyday backstop in 2013, belting three homers and owning 21 RBI. As a senior, Thomas solidified himself as one of the top defensive catchers in college baseball, while serving as a middle-of-the-order run producer. He finished 2014 ranked fifth in the Southeastern Conference, and first among league catchers, in homers, ranking 12th in RBI.
The 2014 MLB Draft will conclude on Saturday through the 40th round.