UK Baseball

Ex-Cat Paxton signs with independent team in Texas

Former University of Kentucky pitcher James Paxton, who gave up his final season with the Wildcats after a dispute involving the NCAA, will play for an independent minor-league baseball team in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The Grand Prairie AirHogs, located in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, announced the acquisition of the left-handed pitcher Thursday.

Paxton, who was chosen in the first round of last year's Major League Baseball Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays before electing to return to UK, plans to re-enter the draft this spring while playing for the AirHogs.

Last spring at Kentucky, Paxton, 22, pitched 781⁄3 innings with 115 strikeouts. Paxton, originally from Ladner, British Columbia, finished his UK career 11-5 with a 4.91 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 1481⁄3 innings.

The AirHogs will start their third season May 14.