LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – Sunday was the first day Major League Baseball teams could begin to sign undrafted free agents. And it didn’t take long for one of the league’s most storied franchises to give former Bat Cat Carson Coleman a call, the New York Yankees
“You know you wait for it your whole life and it’s kinda little different, especially having that draft experience last year, but especially when you know it’s going to be a real deal this time,” said Coleman. “You make that decision and you sign a contract, it’s definitely exciting.”
The draft was shortened this year from 40 rounds to 5 because of the pandemic and other circumstances. Regardless of how it happened, Coleman is happy to be headed to the next level.
“It’s all the same excitement,” said Coleman. “It’s definitely easy to say it doesn’t maybe suck, not even get to finish your college season and the draft not working out how you want it to, but still at the end of the day it all means the same and it’s really exciting. I’m really happy to get it going.”
The former Lexington Catholic standout was actually drafted last season. He was selected in the 33rd round by the Tampa Bay Rays, but decided to return for his redshirt junior year. A year later, he’s headed to play for the Yankees organization. While the season was cut short and he wasn’t officially drafted, who doesn’t want to one day throw on the pinstripes?
“I’d be lying if the Yankees weren’t one of them and you never know what team is gonna be talking to you, especially which team you might get drafted or signed with, but it’s definitely special with the Yankees.”
During his career, Coleman struck out batters at a rate of 13.58 strikeouts per nine innings, the highest for any UK pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched since 1979. As he prepares to live out the dream of playing in the big leagues, he’s also saying goodbye to his other dream…playing for the Cats.
“I’ll definitely miss being the hometown kid and being in Lexington and getting to wear that blue and white and have Kentucky across your chest. That’s meant a lot to me the last four years and I’ll definitely miss that.”