Kentucky Wildcats senior outfielder Jaren Shelby has announced he will return for the 2021 season. He’s taking advantage of the NCAA’s ruling on eligibility relief for spring athletes whose seasons were cut short due to the coronavirus.
“Lexington is home and Kentucky is family,” Shelby said in a press release. “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.”
Shelby, a Lexington native, has hit .270 with 39 runs, 19 extra-base hits, 41 RBI, 19 stolen bases in 22 attempts over the last two seasons. In 65 career games, he’s recorded an .811 OPS.
The 5-11, 200-pound Shelby had hits in five straight games before the 2020 season ended, scoring seven runs and setting new career highs with three hits and three runs on March 8 vs. Oakland. He finished with as many walks as strikeouts and a perfect 6/6 on stolen base attempts. He also stole five bases against EKU in 2019, becoming the first SEC player to do so in 22 years.
Shelby joins fellow seniors T.J. Collett and Zeke Lewis in returning to Lexington for a final season. Shelby graduated in May with a degree in communication and was a member of the SEC Honor Roll.