Junior third baseman JaVon Shelby (pictured above) and junior pitcher Zack Brown were selected on back to back picks in the fifth round by Oakland A's and Milwaukee Brewers, respectively, while senior pitcher Kyle Cody was chosen in the sixth round by the Texas Rangers.
Shelby had a frustrating season at the plate, batting just .212, but still ranked third in the SEC with 12 home runs and drove in 35 runs. As a sophomore, he played second base for the Cats, hitting nine home runs and driving in 44 runs.The 6-foot-2, 195-pound infielder is the son of former Major Leaguer and current Milwaukee Brewers coach John Shelby.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound infielder is the son of former Major Leaguer and current Milwaukee Brewers coach John Shelby.
His stock may have also been affected by a positive test for Adderall leading up to the MLB Draft. The substance is on the banned PED list, but is commonly used to treat ADHD and assist with focus issues in young people.
Likewise, Brown had a rough season on the mound, going 2-11 with a 6.08 ERA, but still impressed scouts with his physical tools and high potential. The 6-2, 200-pound right-hander struck out 62 and walked 34 in 84.1 innings on the mound this season. As a sophomore, he was arguably UK's ace with a 6-6 record and 3.48 ERA.
Cody was picked by the Minnesota Twins in the second round of last year's draft, but elected to return to UK for his senior season in hopes of elevating his stock. He had his best season as a Cat, going 6-2 with a 3.35 ERA, but slipped into the sixth round. The 6-7, 245-pound right-hander struck out 75 batters and walked only 30 in 83.1 innings, showing much better command of his repertoire of pitches.
In his final nine starts of the 2016 season, all against SEC teams, Cody allowed only 14 earned runs in 60.1 innings on the mound. He pitched a complete game with a career-high nine strikeouts in his final collegiate appearance against Missouri.