Collegiate Baseball News recognizes the pair of Wildcats heading into 2021 season
LEXINGTON – December 28, 2020
Kentucky baseball infielder Austin Schultz and outfielder John Rhodes were named All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball News, it was announced on Tuesday. Both players also were recognized by Collegiate Baseball at the end of the shortened 2020 season, including Rhodes being named National co-Freshman of the Year.
Schultz was named the Second-Team second baseman after hitting .393 with 11 extra-base hits and a team-high 20 runs and 20 RBI in just 61 at-bats last spring. He ranked third in the Southeastern Conference in total bases with 46 and fourth in slugging percentage at .754. The Adams, Nebraska native had five doubles, a triple, five home runs, five stolen bases and posted a 1.233 OPS as he anchored the Wildcats’ offense.
The 5-foot-9, 190-pounder crushed first grand slam of his career on March 8 vs. Oakland as part of a two-day span where he homered in back-to-back games. He drove in career-high four runs on Feb. 18 vs. Southeast Missouri. He has reached base safely in 56 of 60 career games.
Rhodes, from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, earned Third-Team honors after ranking second nationally in doubles in 2020 with 10, twice as many as any other rookie in the talent-rich SEC. He batted .426 overall in 61 at bats with 11 runs, 26 hits, 10 doubles, a triple, a home run, 19 RBI and five hit by pitch. He slugged .672 as part of a 1.157 OPS. The .426 average was the highest for any UK player with at least 50 at-bats since Jeff Abbott batted .445 in 1994.
The 6-foot, 200-pounder was one of the top hitters in the SEC regardless of class. He ranked sixth in the SEC in total hits and 10th in RBI, led all SEC freshmen in batting average, hits, on-base percentage, doubles and total bases and ranked second in slugging percentage.
Rhodes’ biggest moment came when he clubbed the first home run of his career for a walk-off winner vs. Murray State on March 4. In just 17 games he already had nine multi-hit games and six multi-RBI games while logging a career-high three hits three times.