ST. LOUIS - (WYMT) - Former UK pitcher Zack Thompson is officially a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' organization.
Thompson signed the dotted line with the Cardinals Tuesday.
The Cardinals chose Zack with the 19th overall pick in the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft.
Thompson, who hails from Selma, Indiana, is the third-highest overall pick to come out of the program behind only outfielder Chad Green (8th, 1996) and first baseman Evan White (17th, 2017). Previously, right-hander Alex Meyer had been taken 23rd overall by the Washington Nationals in 2011 draft. Thompson is just the fourth UK pitcher and sixth player overall to be drafted in the first round, and second in three seasons under coach Nick Mingione.
"What we typically do with someone like Zack, who had a very robust junior year, is allow them to have a very slow summer," president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said in a release via St. Louis' team website. "But what we did with Michael Wacha [in 2012], we ended up having him pitch some important innings down the stretch for [Class A Advanced] Palm Beach. If all goes well, that may happen."
Thompson was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award and Dick Howser Trophy, each of which is given to the nation's top player after a dominant season on the mound where he posted a 6-1 record and 2.40 earned run average in 14 starts. In 90.0 innings he allowed just 59 hits and 34 walks while striking out 130 batters. He held opposing hitters to just a .184 batting average and ranked 11th nationally in strikeouts per nine inning with 13.00.