Grundy to return to UK

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky junior southpaw Jerad Grundy, who posted a pair of wins and a 1.50 ERA in two postseason starts in 2012, has elected to turn down the Minnesota Twins as a 27th round pick in the MLB Draft to return to UK for his senior season, he announced on Friday afternoon.

A native of Johnsburg, Ill., Grundy was a 27th-round selection of the Twins in the MLB Draft in June, part of a UK school-record nine players picked, marking the second-most selections from one school in the nation.

“We are thrilled that Jerad has elected to return to Kentucky for his senior season,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “Jerad had a tremendous first year here in Lexington and was a key part of one of the best pitching staffs in UK history. Jerad owns a great work ethic, is a tremendous team leader and has a great passion to improve. His decision to return to school will help him continue to progress in the best conference in the nation, will help further his development for professional baseball and will help him finish his degree.”

Grundy is the ninth Wildcat to be drafted out of UK as a junior to elect to return to school for their senior seasons in the last six years. Among the players who have improved their draft positions by returning to UK include MLB outfielder Collin Cowgill (29th round in 2007, fifth round in 2008), Sawyer Carroll (18th round in 2007, third round in 2008), Scott Green (15th round in 2007, third round in 2008), Taylor Black (28th round in 2010, 16th round in 2011), Chris Rusin (23rd round in 2008, fourth round in 2009), Michael Williams (37th round in 2011, 30th round in 2012) and Sean Coughlin (42nd round in 2006, 13th round in 2007).

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound lefty was drafted for the third time in the last four years, transferring from Miami (Fla.) and Heartland College to Kentucky, where he helped UK to a school-record 45 win season as the Saturday starter. Grundy made 16 weekend starts for the Wildcats in 2012, owning a 6-3 record and a 3.78 ERA. He worked 85.2 innings, allowing 79 hits and 36 walks, striking out 63.

Grundy starred during the postseason for UK, posting a 2-0 mark and a 1.50 ERA in his two starts, striking out 15 in 12 innings. In 2012, he tossed six quality starts, owning a staggering 5-1 record and a 1.36 ERA in those starts. He had a 3.03 ERA over his final six starts of 2012 and without a five-start stretch in the middle of the year, owned a 6-2 record and a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts. Grundy, combined with weekend starters Taylor Rogers and Corey Littrell, helped UK set new school records in nearly every pitching category, including strikeouts and opponent average, ranking second in UK history with a 3.41 team ERA.

Grundy began his collegiate career at Miami, where he pitched in nine games with two starts, posting a 2-0 mark and a 3.57 ERA. He then transferred to Heartland with UK outfielder Zac Zellers, striking out 70 in 62 innings, owning a 7-3 mark and a 3.77 ERA.

He is currently in the Cape Cod League with Orleans and has made four starts, owning a 1-1 record and a 4.50 ERA. Grundy has hurled 20 innings, allowed 18 hits and five walks, striking out 17. He ranks ninth in the CCBL with 20 innings tossed.

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