LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky first baseman Evan White and right-hand pitcher Zach Pop were named to Baseball America’s Top 100 draft eligible prospects list for the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft, it was announced on Friday.
White checked in at No. 33 on the preseason list, while Pop ranked No. 74.
White, a junior from Gahanna, Ohio, is coming off a stellar 2016 season where he earned Second Team All-Southeastern Conference honors. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder’s defensive prowess earned him a Rawlings Gold Glove in 2016 and All-SEC Defensive Team honors for the second consecutive season. As a freshman in 2015, White earned Freshman All-SEC honors.
In 2016, he led the team in average (.376), at bats (226), hits (85), runs (44), doubles (15), triples (3), runs batted in (40), total bases (121) and stolen bases (10). White’s career .348 batting average ranks No. 7 on UK’s all-time list (min. 300 at bats). White’s .376 batting average in 2016 ranks him tied with Terry Shumpert (1987) for the 11th highest single-season mark in school history and his 85 hits rank him 11th on the single-season hits list.
White spent the summer playing for the United States Collegiate National Team, which traveled to Cuba, Japan and Taiwan. White was the team’s primary first baseman, starting 15 of 19 games and hitting .250 with eight runs scored. He recently earned Second Team Preseason All-America by Collegiate Baseball.
Pop, a junior from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, features a dominating fastball that regularly reaches the mid-to-upper 90s and has garnered the attention of professional scouts since his arrival in Lexington. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder appeared in 19 games with six starts in 2016, posting a 5.21 earned run average and striking out 24 in 38 innings pitched. He pitched well in the prestigious Cape Cod League last summer, striking out at least three batters in six of his nine appearances.
In 2016, UK pitchers Kyle Cody (No. 30) and Zack Brown (No. 35) made the Baseball America preseason college prospects list. Both would go on to be drafted last summer, Brown by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth round (No. 141 overall) and Cody by the Texas Rangers in the sixth round (No. 189 overall).
The Wildcats open the 2017 season on Feb. 17 at North Carolina.