University of Kentucky junior second baseman Riley Mahan was the first Kentuckian off the board on Tuesday in the Major League Baseball Draft.
Mahan was chosen in the third round with the 89th overall pick by the Miami Marlins. According to MLB.com, the approximate pick value for No. 89 is $616,800.
In all, nine players with ties to the Bluegrass state were chosen Tuesday — five from UK, three from the University of Louisville and one from Morehead State.
“What an unbelievable day,” Mahan tweeted. “So thankful to the @Marlins for making a dream come true. Thanks to everyone I was blessed with along the way!”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder produced a career year in 2017, hitting .336 with 58 runs, 41 extra base hits (including 15 home runs), and a slugging percentage of .618. His 67 RBI are the sixth most in a single-season in UK history, while his 88 hits rank ninth on the single-season chart.
Mahan earned second-team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball and third-team honors from Baseball America. He also was named second-team All-Southeastern Conference.
Next up was former Lexington Christian standout Lincoln Henzman, a fourth-round selection by the Chicago White Sox. The junior closer has helped guide Louisville to the College World Series. The approximate pick value for No. 117 overall is $454,900.
Morehead State junior left-handed pitcher Aaron Leasher went to the San Diego Padres in the sixth round.
Four picks later was UK senior pitcher Logan Salow, chosen by the Oakland A’s at No. 171 overall. The Ashland Blazer graduate had 12 saves with a 1.95 ERA in 31 appearances for the Cats. He was a first-team All-SEC selection.
The sixth round continued with two picks from the University of Louisville. Tates Creek graduate Devin Hairston was chosen by the Milwaukee Brewers at No. 174, and the White Sox took Kade McClure at No. 177.
Junior pitcher Zach Pop was the third Kentucky player off the board Tuesday. The Los Angeles Dodgers chose him in the seventh round at No. 220 overall.
Pop appeared in 22 games for Kentucky, striking out 20 in 20 2/3 innings and holding batters to a .247 average.
“Can’t thank the @Dodgers enough for the opportunity,” Pop tweeted. “Such a world class organization, so happy to be a part of it!”
In the ninth round, the Toronto Blue Jays selected UK left-hander Zach Logue at No. 279 overall. Kentucky outfielder Zach Reks followed in the 10th round, also to the Dodgers.
The first two rounds of the draft were Monday night with the University of Louisville’s Brendan McKay (fourth to the Tampa Bay Rays), Ballard High School’s Jordon “Jo” Adell (10th to the Los Angeles Angels) and UK’s Evan White (17th to the Seattle Mariners) all going in the first round. Cardinals slugger Drew Ellis was chosen by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round at No. 44.
Rounds 11 through 40 of the draft are scheduled for Wednesday.