Three UTA Baseball Players Join the Pro Ranks
By UT Arlington Athletics Department
Posted on June 21, 2016, June 21, 2016

Three University of Texas at Arlington baseball players have signed this year with Major League Baseball teams.

Three UTA Baseball Players

UTA Baseball Centerfielder Matt McLean
Photo Credit: Ellman Photography

On June 10, Centerfielder Matt McLean was selected in the ninth round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox.

McLean, a senior from Plano, Texas, hit .307 after starting in all of the Mavericks' 58 games in 2016. McLean knocked 19 extra-base hits in 2016, crossed the plate 54 times and provided 22 RBI.

'I am extremely happy for Matt,' UT Arlington coach Darin Thomas said in an article on university's website. 'I think he was a top-notch leadoff hitter at the Division I level. He was everything you want at the top of the order when making out your lineup. He showed the ability to play left and center as well. The best days are ahead of him.'

Three UTA Baseball Players

UTA Baseball right-handed pitcher Joel Kuhnel
Photo Credit: Ellman Photography

On June 11, right-handed pitcher Joel Kuhnel was drafted in the 11th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.

Kuhnel spent the last two seasons with the Mavericks after transferring from Central Arizona College and was one of the most reliable arms on the UTA staff in that span. In two years with the Mavs Kuhnel went 10-8 with a 3.29 ERA, striking out 96 hitters with just 34 walks issued in 156.0 innings on the mound.

'He's worked very hard to get this chance. He's done a lot of great things to earn this chance and we know he is going to continue to work hard at each level he is at,' Coach Thomas said in an article on the university's website.

Three UTA Baseball Players

UTA Baseball second baseman Darien McLemore
Photo Credit: Ellman Photography

Then on June 17, second baseman Darien McLemore became the third UT Arlington Maverick from this year's squad to join the pro ranks when he inked a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Braves.

The switch-hitting senior was stellar in his final season as part of the Maverick program, rebounding from an injury-riddled junior year to earn first team all-Sun Belt Conference and ABCA all-South Central Region first team honors in 2016.

A former Southlake Carroll Dragon, McLemore competed for four seasons with UTA. He played in 203 games in his career, including starting all 58 game at second base this year.

As a senior he hit .324 with a team-high five home runs and 44 RBI, all marks which ranked in the top 10 in the Sun Belt Conference.

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