UK baseball's Kuhn, Shepherd drafted in 13th round; Mariners like Cousino's glove

June 7, 2014 

A pair of University of Kentucky juniors was taken at the end of the 13th round of the Major League Baseball Draft on Saturday afternoon.

The Oakland A's took Max Kuhn with the 402nd overall pick, and the Boston Red Sox followed two picks later by selecting pitcher Chandler Shepherd.

Kuhn, from Zionsville, Ind., batted .324 with eight home runs, 18 doubles and 58 RBI for the Cats this season. He was named the All-SEC second team as a third baseman.

Shepherd, a former Lawrence County standout who was runner-up for Mr. Baseball in 2011, was 5-5 with a 3.66 ERA.

Senior catcher Micheal Thomas, a former Elizabethtown standout, was the next Cat taken. The Detroit Tigers drafted him in the 22nd round with the 670th overall pick. Thomas hit .315 with eight home runs and 45 RBI.

M's like Cousino's glove

The Seattle Mariners took former Kentucky centerfielder Austin Cousino with the sixth pick of the third round — 80th overall — on Friday.

It was Cousino's 2013 Gold Glove that piqued the Mariners' interest.

Mariners director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara called him a true center fielder.

"He's a real good defensive player that can swing the bat. We were happy to get him," McNamara told MLB.com.

The Mariners took outfielders, including Cousino, with their first three picks. Alex Jackson of Escondido, Calif., was sixth overall and Gareth Morgan of Toronto was 74th.

"Obviously, you try to take the best guy in each spot," McNamara told MLB.com. "We were happy with our first two picks (Thursday) and then we were very happy with our first pick (Friday). We didn't plan to have three outfielders go with our first three picks."

Cousino, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior batted .308 with four home runs, 15 doubles and 38 RBI in 61 games for Kentucky. He scored 58 runs and stole 19 bases.

The Dublin, Ohio, native was also the Southeastern Conference's freshman of the year in 2012.

Big day for Louisville

■ U of L pitcher Jared Ruxer was the first Kentuckian off the board on Saturday when the Los Angeles Angels selected him in the 12th round with the 359th overall pick. The junior from Indianapolis was 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 13 starts.

■ U of L junior pitcher Joe Filomeno, was taken by the Minnesota Twins in the 15th round. He was 1-3 with a 7.54 ERA this season.

■ The Tampa Bay Rays took second baseman Grant Kay in the 27th round. The Nebraska native hit .293 with five home runs, 35 RBI and 23 stolen bases.

■ Zach Lewis, another Cardinals second baseman, was selected in the 29th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He batted .264 with five homers and 44 RBI.

■ Junior left-hander Kyle McGrath was a 36th-round pick by the San Diego Padres. He was 2-1 with a 1.38 ERA in 22 relief appearances for the Cardinals. The Butler High School graduate and Eastern Kentucky University transfer had 40 strikeouts in 39 innings.

More picks

■ Western Kentucky junior left-handed pitcher Ian Thompkins was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 14th round. The former St. Xavier standout was the Hilltoppers' closer this past season and finished with 14 saves and a 2.42 ERA.

It's the second straight season that the Royals have drafted a pitcher from WKU. Andrew Edwards plays for the Lexington Legends, Kansas City's Class A affiliate.

■ The Boston Red Sox took Northern Kentucky junior catcher Jordan Procyshen in the 14th round. The Canadian batted .276 with 10 home runs and 33 RBI for the Norse.

Johnny Baseball?

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round — the 837th player taken overall.

Manziel was listed as a shortstop for Texas A&M, although he never played for the Aggies as he focused on football.

Manziel, who was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012, was taken by the Browns with the 22nd overall pick in the NFL Draft last month.

Manziel played both baseball and football at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, and asked Texas A&M coaches about being part of the baseball team before winning the Aggies' starting quarterback job as a redshirt freshman.

Earlier this week, Manziel was set to throw out the first pitch in Cleveland before the Indians played Boston. His toss was washed out by rain that delayed the start.

Nats draft Ripken's son

The Washington Nationals selected Ryan Ripken, the son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., in the 15th round.

The younger Ripken is a 6-foot-6, 230-pound first baseman from Indian River State College in Florida. The lefty hitter batted .321 with one homer and 24 RBI in 42 games this season after transferring from South Carolina, where he did not make the roster and redshirted.

He could become a third generation of Ripkens to play in the pros, following in the footsteps of his father; his uncle Bill, who played 12 years in the majors; and late grandfather Cal Sr., who managed in the bigs.

"I think it's great for Ryan to get a chance to go and play," Nationals Manager Matt Williams said before his team played at San Diego. "I think there's immense pressure on that young man. It's too bad, but I think he handles it really well."

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