LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Junior Kentucky southpaw Corey Littrell has been selected in the fifth round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox, going No. 143 overall, it was announced on Friday afternoon from the MLB Network Studios in Secaucus, N.J.
Littrell is the first UK player selected in the 2013 MLB Draft and is the highest Kentucky player selected since Alex Meyer was picked in the 23rd overall pick in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Littrell becomes the 52nd Kentucky player since 2006 to be drafted or sign a free-agent contract and is the 16th UK player to be selected in the top-10 rounds in the last eight drafts.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Littrell has been one of the top performers in UK baseball history as a left-handed starting pitcher. A 6-foot-3, 195-pounder, Littrell led UK starters in 2013 with a 3.72 ERA, posting a 6-5 record in 14 starts, working a staff-best 94.1 innings, striking out a team-high 77.
In his three-year career, Littrell ranks sixth in UK history in wins (21), seventh in starts (43), ninth in winning percentage (.618), eighth in innings (261.2) and ninth in strikeouts (215).
As a sophomore in 2012, Littrell had an All-SEC season, posting the fifth-most wins (eight) and the eighth-best ERA (2.74) in UK single-season history. It marks the second time in Littrell’s career that he has been drafted, as he was picked in the 35th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals after earning Louisville Slugger Kentucky High School Player of the Year honors at Trinity.
Kentucky had a school-record nine players picked in the 2012 MLB Draft, the second-most of any school in the NCAA. Since UK won the 2006 Southeastern Conference Championship, the Wildcats have had a total of 52 players drafted or sign a free agent contract. Before 2006, UK averaged 2.17 MLB Draft picks per season.
On Friday, MLB Network televised the first two rounds with a pair of Wildcats signees going in the second round. Right-hander Clinton Hollon (Versailles, Ky.) was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays, going No. 47 overall, and left-hander Hunter Green (Bowling Green., Ky.) was picked No. 59 overall by the Los Angeles Angels.
The 2013 MLB Draft will continue through the top-10 rounds on Friday evening, before concluding with rounds 11-40 on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. ET, with complete coverage on MLB.com.