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.
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."