UK's Wade, Rusin drafted on second day

mmaloney@herald-leader.comJune 11, 2009 

When Chris Wade heard Wednesday that he had been drafted by the Florida Marlins, he was right where he has been for much of his life.

On a baseball field.

A University of Kentucky shortstop out of Lexington Christian Academy, Wade was scrimmaging with his summer team, the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League. Draft coverage was aired over the public address system.

The Marlins took Wade in the 11th round, 338th overall.

"It's my dream since I was little to play professional baseball, so it's exciting," Wade, a redshirt junior-to-be, said by phone. "We'll just have to see what happens — if I end up going to play or come back to school. I loved playing at Kentucky the past three years, so it's great either way."

Wade, a second-team All-Southeastern Conference pick, became the third Wildcat taken in this draft. Left-handed senior pitchers James Paxton (Toronto, first round, 37th overall) and Chris Rusin (Chicago Cubs, fourth round, 140th overall) preceded him.

A family science major, Wade needs one more year to earn his degree.

"I can't say one way or the other right now," he said of his pending decision. "I have to weigh the options and then talk to these people from the Marlins and see how that goes. I'll just be playing up here for a while this summer and then we'll see."

Wednesday morning, an area scout for the Marlins called to ask whether Wade would sign if drafted anywhere from rounds five through eight. The 6-foot 160-pounder didn't commit.

During the scrimmage, Chris' dad, Kent, monitored the cell phone in the stands.

"They called my dad in the seventh round and wanted to know if I'd (sign) in the eighth," Chris Wade said. "We really couldn't commit to what they were talking about."

In two seasons with the Cats, Wade has batted .304 (123-for-405), with 77 runs, 343 doubles, 11 homers, 93 RBI and 20-for-25 success in stealing bases.

He helped LCA to the 2005 state title, his junior season.

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