The Kentucky Wildcats‘ top slugger will be returning to Lexington in 2021. Senior first basemen T.J. Collett has decided to take advantage of the NCAA’s ruling on eligibility relief for spring sports student-athletes whose season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During my time in Lexington, the University of Kentucky has given me every opportunity and resource to become the best version of myself, both on and off the field,” Collett said in a press release. Wearing the Blue and White has been an absolute honor and incredibly fun. That’s why I’ll be wearing it for one final ride.”
Collett is a two-time National and Southeastern Conference Player of the Week who has hit .269 with 44 extra-base hits, 97 RBI and a .519 slugging percentage in 118 career games. In 2020 he hit .290 with 17 RBI’s and five home runs in 69 at-bats. He joins Zeke Lewis as the second Wildcat senior to take advantage of the NCAA’s ruling.
In other news, an 11th Wildcat has entered the transfer portal per D1baseball.com. This time it’s infielder Jaden Brown who did not appear in any games as a true freshman with the Wildcats in 2020. Brown was drafted in the 40th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Washington Nationals but opted to come to UK.
He joins a long list of 2020 Wildcats in the transfer portal that includes Matt Golda, Chase Bryan, Will Gambino, Sam Wibbels, Alex Margot, Breydon Daniel, Justin Olson, Jake Tate, Jared Payne and Tanner Holen. Of the group, only Holen (Cincinnati) and Olson (Southern Nevada) have committed to other programs.
While much of the transfer news around the UK Baseball program this offseason include players leaving the program, D1Baseball.com reports the Cats have also added a pair of transfers in right-handed pitchers Holt Jones from Clemson and Sean Harney from Massachusetts.
Jones stands 6-foot-8 and in three seasons’ at Clemson pitched in 54.1 innings pitched over 33 appearances (four starts). He posted a 4-1 record, three saves and a 3.98 ERA while allowing 39 hits (.201 opponents’ batting average) with 63 strikeouts.
Harney posted a 3.49 ERA in his first three college seasons pitching for the Minute Men. He’s made 27 appearances (21 starts) in which he’s posted a 6-10 record and held opposing batters to a .227 batting average.
Both pitchers were juniors in 2020 but will have two years left of eligibility due to the NCAA’s COVID-19 ruling.