Kentucky baseball senior outfielder Jaren Shelby is returning to play for the Cats in the 2021 season, according to UK Athletics. The NCAA granted a waiver to all seniors in spring sports after their seasons were canceled due to Covid-19, and Shelby is the third senior baseball player for Kentucky that has taken advantage of the ruling along with TJ Collett and Zeke Lewis.
Shelby expressed his excitement to return to UK for another season in the press release sent out by the Univeristy of Kentucky.
“Lexington is home and Kentucky is family,” he said. “It’s been an honor to represent Kentucky baseball in front of family, friends and the BBN. I’m not ready to walk away from that blessing just yet. To my teammates and coaches, let’s ride together one last time and do something that’s never been done before. Let’s make history.”
The Lexington native has been a bright spot for the Cats in the last two seasons. As the lead off hitter in the batting order, he has a career batting average of .270 with 39 runs and 41 RBI. Shelby is also known for his lightning speed, stealing 19 bases in 22 attempts so far in his career. In a game against Eastern Kentucky in 2019, he was the first SEC player in 22 years to steal five bases in one outing.
Shelby was also starting to heat up this past season before it was canceled due to the Coronavirus, as he had five straight games with a hit and for the year had as many walks as strikeouts.