Catcher Michael Williams has elected to return to the University of Kentucky for his senior season.
The 37th-round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants made the announcement on Saturday, saying the decision was a tough one but he had to go with his heart. The Knoxville native said he also wants to get his college degree.
"It was a tough decision," Williams said. "When it came down to it, you just have to go with your heart and I feel like with the class we have coming in and the team we already have there we have a good chance to compete in the SEC and make the tournament this year, make a run in the post-season this year. We will see how it goes. I am just ready to get back there and impact the team and help the young guys out."
As a junior, Williams helped anchor a UK lineup that ranked second in the SEC in home runs in 2011.
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With one of the best arms in the nation behind the plate, Williams nailed 16 runners attempting to steal on the year.
A 6-foot-2, 210-pounder, Williams made 47 starts, batting .264 with 11 doubles, seven homers and 23 RBI.
Williams got blistering hot late in the year, batting a team-high .358 in April.
"We are very pleased that Mike has elected to return to school for his senior season," UK Coach Gary Henderson said. "Mike has meant a lot to our program over the last few years and as a junior he really started to progress offensively and defensively.
"Mike is a great teammate and a good leader, and combined with the group of upperclassman we have returning and another talented group of freshmen and sophomores we are excited to get going in the fall."