Coltyn Kessler Signs Contract with Miami Marlins

UK catch Coltyn Kessler will reportedly enter the NCAA transfer portal.
UK catch Coltyn Kessler will reportedly enter the NCAA transfer portal.(REGINA RICKERT | Regina Rickert)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky catcher Coltyn Kessler has signed a free agent contract with the Miami Marlins, joining an organization that also selected pitcher Holt Jones in this month’s Major League Baseball Draft.

The Marlins’ signing of Kessler represents the sixth UK player they have drafted or signed since 2015, including OF Tristan Pompey and LHP Andrew Miller in 2018, IF Riley Mahan (2017), RHP Dustin Beggs (2016) and OF Kyle Barrett (2015). Zach Pop, an important piece of the bullpen during UK’s 2017 Super Regional run, was acquired by the Marlins last offseason and made his major league debut in 2021.

Kessler, from High Ridge, Missouri, was a semifinalist for the 2021 Buster Posey Collegiate Catcher of the Year award after batting .349 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 25 RBI and a .998 OPS this spring. He ranked sixth in the Southeastern Conference in batting average, eighth in on-base percentage (.439) and 15th in slugging percentage (.559), leading all league catchers.

The recent graduate recorded 16 multi-hit games in 2021, reached safely in 36 of the final 40 games and had a hit in 17 of the last 21. His biggest moment came when he blasted a game-winning, three-run home run with the Cats down to their final strike to defeat No. 2 Vanderbilt in the regular season finale. He also had a huge series in a road sweep of Auburn and the walk-off hit in a ninth-inning rally vs. Butler.

For his career, Kessler batted .280 with 58 runs, 26 doubles, a triple, 12 home runs, 61 RBI and 54 walks in 125 games. He joined the program’s 100-Hit Club, finishing with 111.

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