Paxton selected in MLB supplemental 1st Round

The Toronto Blue Jays have chosen UK pitcher James Paxton with the 37th pick in the supplemental 1st round of the MLB Draft. Paxton is the highest Kentucky player drafted since Joe Blanton went 24th overall to the Oakland A's in 2002.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder finished the year with a 5-3 record and a 5.86 ERA, ranking third in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings (13.2), just behind No. 1 overall pick Steven Strasburg of San Diego State – considered to be the best draft prospect in MLB history – and Oral Roberts hurler Mark Serrano. Paxton fanned 115 in 78.1 innings in 2009, issuing just 20 walks while holding opponents to a .266 average.

In his three-year career, Paxton has totaled an 11-5 record and a 4.91 ERA, appearing in 55 games with 24 starts. Paxton has two career saves in 148.1 innings, allowing 149 hits, while striking out 168. Paxton's 115 strikeouts in 2009 check in fifth-best in the 105-year history of the Kentucky program, marking just the 10th player in program history to eclipse 100 strikeouts in a season. Paxton and UK senior southpaw Chris Rusin (108 strikeouts in 94.1 IP) teamed to help UK set a new season strikeout record, as the UK staff fanned 523 in 2009, breaking the previous record of 502 team strikeouts in 1995.

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