Carson Coleman may not have been selected in this year's drastically-shortened MLB Draft, but he is headed to the next level nonetheless.
Kentucky's reliever will be wearing the most prominent pinstripes in sports, as he signed with the New York Yankees on Sunday morning.
Dreamed of this since I was a kid! I can’t wait to start this amazing journey and will forever be grateful for the opportunity the @yankees have given me! Let’s get to work...@UKBaseball pic.twitter.com/8Sl9Su5SDH— Carson Coleman (@Carson_Coleman) June 16, 2020
Coleman had a spectacular start to the 2020 season, posting a 3.18 ERA across 5.2 innings in six appearances while striking out 13 and walking just one. His career K/9 of 13.58 is the highest of any UK pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched since 1979, according to his UK athletics bio.
Head coach Nick Mingione offered praise and support for Coleman on Twitter shortly after the announcement. The new Yankee replied with thanks for both his former coach and the university as a whole.
So happy for you @Carson_Coleman! Been a joy watching you develop in so many ways! Thankful for you, your family, and everything you’ve done for our program! Keep making us proud! #WeAreUK https://t.co/BF2DVZnQST— Nick Mingione (@Coach_Mingione) June 14, 2020
I can’t thank you enough @Coach_Mingione Thankful for the opportunity to put on the blue and white and represent the University of Kentucky the last 4 years! I wouldn’t have traded it for anything! Go Cats 💙#BBN @UKBaseball @UKAthletics https://t.co/MgyZk6lT0C— Carson Coleman (@Carson_Coleman) June 15, 2020
Due to an agreement between the MLB and MLBPA, this year's draft was shortened from the typical 40 round spectacle, with over 1,000 picks, to only five rounds with just 160 selections.
The resolution also lowered the signing bonus for undrafted free agents from $125,000 - before counting against the franchise's bonus pool - to a maximum of $20,000.
By signing, Coleman - who was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 33rd Round of the 2019 MLB Draft - has elected not to use the additional year of eligibility granted to spring sport athletes by the NCAA due to cancellation of those sports' respective seasons because of COVID-19.