Chris Wade signs with Florida Marlins

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky sophomore shortstop Chris Wade – an 11th-round pick in the 2009 MLB Draft – has signed with the Florida Marlins, he announced Monday.

Wade, a 2009 second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection, becomes the third UK player to sign a professional contract from the 2009 club, joining senior southpaw Chris Rusin (fourth round; Chicago Cubs) and right-hander Clint Tilford (31st round; Colorado Rockies). Wade was nabbed with the 338th overall selection by the Florida Marlins and had been playing during the summer in the prestigious Cape Cod Collegiate Summer League with the Harwich Mariners, batting .260 (13-for-50) in 13 games.

A native of Lexington, Ky., and graduate of the Lexington Christian Academy, Wade redshirted during the 2007 season, becoming UK's slick-fielding, starting shortstop during the fall of 2008. Wade started all 63 games in 2008, earning Freshman All-America honors after batting .296 (67-for-226) with five homers and 51 RBI, leading the SEC with 24 doubles. In 2009, Wade started 50 games and hit .313 (56-for-179) with 10 doubles, one triple and six homers, driving in 42 RBI and stealing 14-of-17 bases.

Wade finished his career with a .951 fielding percentage, including a .962 clip in 2009 despite playing much of the year on an injured hamstring. Wade started all but four games of his collegiate career at shortstop, a span of 113 games, batting .304 (123-for-405) with 77 runs scored, 34 doubles, 11 homers and 93 RBI, while swiping 20-of-25 bases.

In 2009, Wade totaled 14 multi-hit games and nine multi-RBI games, finishing his season on a career-long 13-game hitting streak, equaling a 13-game streak from 2008. Wade charted five RBI games twice in 2009, including a 4-for-5, five RBI game against Morehead State in his final appearance at Cliff Hagan Stadium. One of the more memorable moments of Wade's career came with UK trailing Indiana State in 2009, when the 6-foot, 160-pounder belted a walk-off grand slam to give UK the win and series sweep. Wade also added a game-winning homer in the 11th inning of a drama-filled win at New Orleans in 2009.

After the SEC coaches voted Wade second team All-SEC in 2009, he became the first UK shortstop to earn All-SEC honors since Dickie Parsons in 1961. Wade is one of only four UK players all-time to earn first- or second-team All-SEC honors as a shortstop in the 105-year history of the program.
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