LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior catcher/first baseman Kole Cottam and senior infielder/outfielder Luke Heyer have been named to the Collegiate Baseball All-America teams, it was announced Thursday.
Cottam was the second-team first baseman, while Heyer was the third baseman on the third-team. The two combined to hit 37 home runs this season, the fifth-highest total in school history for combined home runs in a season.
Cottam, from Knoxville, Tenn., had not played first base prior to this season but turned in a tremendous year at the plate and in the field. He batted a team-high .352 with an OPS of 1.105 this season, 54 runs, 12 doubles, 51 RBI and 31 walks. The junior’s 19 home runs rank ninth on UK’s single-season list and he left the yard in 12 of the Cats’ 14 weekend series this season, including eight of 10 in SEC play.
Cottam led the SEC with 10 home runs in league play and Finished the season ranked in the top five in the SEC in home runs (1st), doubles (4th), RBI (1st), total bases (2nd), slugging (3rd). He twice had game-winning hits in the eighth inning to win series, including a bases loaded infield hit to make UK the only team to take a series from Georgia in Athens and a grand slam to erase a three-run deficit and knock off Missouri, a hit that earned him SEC Player of the Week. Cottam also was named a CoSida All-District Academic Team member.
Heyer, from Lithia, Fla., burst onto the scene this season with his prodigious power at the plate. He twice was named SEC Player of the Week and also earned National Player of the Week honors earlier this season. Playing three positions defensively did not hinder his bat, as he finished the season batting .348 with an OPS of 1.131. He led the league in home runs (18), RBI (57) and total bases (140), while ranking in the top five in doubles, runs scored and slugging percentage. He also had 21 multi-hit games and 15 multi-RBI games.
Nationally, he finished the regular season ranked eighth in home runs, 14th in slugging percentage, 17th in total bases and 38th in RBI. He also has had clutch hits throughout the season, including a two-strike, two-run, game-tying homer in the ninth inning of a win over Auburn that helped the Cats defeat Tigers’ All-American ace Casey Mize while taking the weekend series.
Both Cottam and Heyer are expected to be drafted in next week’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, which begins June 4.