T.J. Collett Named Preseason First-Team All-America by Perfect Game
Kentucky baseball senior first baseman T.J. Collett has been named to Perfect Game’s Preseason First-Team All-America Team, it was announced on Tuesday.
Collett, who hails from Terre Haute, Indiana, earned a spot on the first team as the designated hitter. Hailed for his prodigious left-handed power at the plate, he has slugged 26 career home runs, including back-to-back seasons with 10 in both 2018 and 2019, and is poised to join the school’s career top 10 home run list with eight more in 2020.
“Double digit home run hitters in the SEC don’t grow on trees and Collett has 26 big flies to his name in a little over two full years playing,” Perfect Game wrote. “Collett returns for his fourth year in Lexington and should be a fixture right in the middle of Kentucky’s lineup with the potential to go deep on any swing that he takes. He’s a first base/designated hitter type of slugger whose value is going to be derived from his bat. Collett takes big hacks from the left side of the dish with the potential to go deep to any part of the ballpark and should be in store for another 10+ home run year.”
In the abbreviated 2020 season, Collett started all 17 games at first base, batting .290 with 10 extra-base hits in just 69 at-bats. He drove in 17 runs and was named both Southeastern Conference and National Player of the Week after driving in 13 runs in five games during the final full week of the season, including his first career two-homer game.
In 2019, the lefty blasted 10 home runs and drove in a team-high 40 runs while delivering 12 multi-hit and 10 multi-RBI games. He was named SEC Player of the Week after hitting the game-winning home run in both games of a doubleheader at No. 10 Ole Miss and also became the first player to clear the fences in Kentucky Proud Park with a blast in the stadium’s inaugural game.
In 2018, Collett was a force in the middle of the lineup before a hip injury prematurely ended his season. In 34 games he batted .304 with 27 runs, four doubles, 10 home runs and 34 RBI and was named National Player of the Week after homering in four consecutive games, the first UK player to do that since All-American Sawyer Carroll in 2008. He had a 13-game hitting streak, a 17-game reached base streak and delivered one of the most memorable moments of the season when he hit a blast into the second deck at Minute Maid Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros.
Off the field, Collett has been even more accomplished. He was honored as UK Athletics’ 2020 Mr. Wildcat and the 2020 SEC Brad Davis Community Service Award winner for his work in the community. He also has been inducted into UK’s prestigious Frank G. Ham Society of Character, is a two-time member of the SEC Community Service Team and four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.