Kentucky reliever Carson Coleman signs with Yankees


University of Kentucky freshman Carson Coleman pitches during the game against Louisville on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Braden Ramsey

Carson Coleman may not have been selected in this year’s drastically-shortened MLB Draft, but he is headed to the next level nonetheless. 

Kentucky’s reliever will be wearing the most prominent pinstripes in sports, as he signed with the New York Yankees on Sunday morning.

Coleman had a spectacular start to the 2020 season, posting a 3.18 ERA across 5.2 innings in six appearances while striking out 13 and walking just one. His career K/9 of 13.58 is the highest of any UK pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched since 1979, according to his UK athletics bio.

Head coach Nick Mingione offered praise and support for Coleman on Twitter shortly after the announcement. The new Yankee replied with thanks for both his former coach and the university as a whole.

Due to an agreement between the MLB and MLBPA, this year’s draft was shortened from the typical 40 round spectacle, with over 1,000 picks, to only five rounds with just 160 selections.

The resolution also lowered the signing bonus for undrafted free agents from $125,000 – before counting against the franchise’s bonus pool – to a maximum of $20,000. 

By signing, Coleman – who was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 33rd Round of the 2019 MLB Draft – has elected not to use the additional year of eligibility granted to spring sport athletes by the NCAA due to cancellation of those sports’ respective seasons because of COVID-19.