Three Kentucky baseball players have been ranked among the top 100 prospects in the college game heading into the 2014 season, according to Baseball America.
Outfielder Austin Cousino, pitcher Chandler Shepherd and pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed were each named as elite prospects for the 2014 MLB Draft.
Cousino was named the No. 97 player in college baseball. The Ohio native has batted .288 over his two-year career in Lexington with 32 doubles, three triples, 15 home runs and 68 RBI. He has also posted a .396 on-base percentage and stolen 29 of 31 bases. In 2013, he won the Rawlings Gold Glove as the nation’s top defensive centerfielder.
Shepherd was ranked No. 70 in the feature. The Louisa, Ky., native was UK’s primary relief ace as a sophomore in 2013. The right-hander has an 8-1 record and a 3.30 ERA in 44 appearances as a Wildcat. He has struck out 72 and walked 33 during his time in Lexington.
Reed came in as No. 85 in the prospect watch. The two-way standout from Indiana enters the 2014 season as a preseason All-America selection by Louisville Slugger and Collegiate Baseball. Last season, he served as UK’S Friday night starting pitcher in SEC play and batted No. 3 or No. 4 in the Wildcats’ lineup. In two years, he has hit .290 with 17 doubles, two triples, 17 homers and 95 RBI. On the mound, he has a 3.44 career ERA with 103 strikeouts and only 24 walks.
Kentucky opens the season against Virginia on Feb. 14 in Wilmington, N.C., also facing off with host UNC Wilmington and VMI during the three-day event.