Kyle Cody, Austin Cousino, Jerad Grundy, Corey Littrell, A.J. Reed Honored
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky baseball had five players listed among the top NCAA prospects in their respective class, including Kyle Cody, Austin Cousino, Jerad Grundy, Corey Littrell and A.J. Reed, it was announced by Baseball America on Friday.
As part of its extensive college baseball preview edition, Baseball America ranks the top 50 prospects in each NCAA class, with five Wildcats earning spots on the prestigious lists. A 6-foot-7, 230-pound right-hander, Cody was ranked as the No. 39 freshman, Cousino the No. 6 sophomore, Grundy the No. 8 senior, Littrell the No. 36 junior and Reed the No. 16 sophomore.
A native of Chippewa Falls, Wis., Cody was one of a school-record five UK signees that were picked in the 2012 MLB Draft, going to the Phillies in the 33rd round. The strong right-hander was named the Wisconsin Gatorade High School Player of the Year in 2012.
Cousino, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound native of Dublin, Ohio, is a preseason All-America by Baseball America, Louisville Slugger and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The 2012 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year was a consensus freshman All-America in 2012 while leading UK in average (.319), doubles (20), triples (two) and steals (15), adding nine homers and 41 RBI. After the season he joined the USA Collegiate National Team, leading the club in average en route to a bronze medal during Honkbal Week in the Netherlands.
A 6-foot-1, 200-pound southpaw, Grundy elected to return to Kentucky for his senior season after a stellar campaign in 2012 as UK’s Saturday starter. A native of Johnsburg, Ill., and a transfer from Miami (Fla.) and Heartland CC, Grundy went 6-3 with a 3.78 ERA in 16 starts as a junior for the Wildcats, including posting a 2.88 ERA in his last seven starts of the campaign. Grundy is a three-time MLB Draft selection, also going in the 42nd round in 2011 and the 46th round in 2009.
The 2010 Louisville Slugger Kentucky High School Player of the Year out of Louisville Trinity, Littrell enters the season as a preseason All-America selection by the NCBWA and Louisville Slugger. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound lefty went 9-2 with a 2.74 ERA as a sophomore in 2012, including posting a 1.48 ERA and a 9-1 record in his 10 quality starts. Littrell earned All-SEC honors, won the Rawlings Gold Glove as the NCAA’s top defensive pitcher and was a semifinalist for the College Baseball Hall of Fame NCAA Pitcher of the Year Award.
Reed became the first consensus first-team freshman All-America in program history in 2012 as a two-way threat. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound lefty/first baseman enters the year as a preseason All-American by the NCBWA. A semifinalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award as a freshman, Reed posted a 5-3 record and a 2.52 ERA on the mound and hit .300 with four homers and 43 RBI at the plate.
No. 8 Kentucky opens its 2013 season on Feb. 15 in Spartanburg, S.C., against UNC Asheville at Russell C. King Field on the campus of Wofford.