The UK Bat Cats have lost another important cog in their 2010 roster. Two-year starting shortstop Chris Wade has signed a contract to play professional baseball with the Florida Marlins according to Eric Lindsey at the UK Athletics blog “Cat Scratches.”
Wade was the Marlins’ 11th round pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Players Draft. He batted .313 with six home runs and 42 RBI for UK in 2009. He was named a freshman All-American in 2008 and was All-SEC in 2009. He was UK’s first All-SEC shortstop since 1961.
Wade becomes the second underclassman to leave UK after being drafted this year. RHP Clint Tilford signed with the Colorado Rockies after being selected in the 31st round of the draft. UK has also lost one signee to the draft (Keith Butler, 24th round Cardinals) and expects to lose junior pitcher James Paxton who was selected in the first supplemental round by the Toronto Blue Jays. Senior pitcher Chris Rusin signed with the Chicago Cubs as their fourth round pick.
Rising sophomore Andy Burns is the obvious choice to succeed Wade at shortstop for the Cats, but will have to improve on his 13 errors from 2009 to handle the position full time.