Devin Burkes Prepared to Lead Baseball Cats Again in 2024

Devin Burkes Prepared to Lead Baseball Cats Again in 2024

by Lily Turcich

In college baseball, talent is everywhere, but those who truly shine both on and off the field are rare. Devin Burkes, a redshirt junior catcher for the Kentucky baseball team, is one of those unique individuals who has ability as a player but is able to pair that with his dedication to academics and leadership.

A native of Bradenton, Florida, Burkes has established himself as a cornerstone of the Kentucky baseball program. His performance in the 2023 season (nine home runs, 53 runs batted in on a regional championship team) showcased his ability to make a significant impact on the field. Beyond statistics, Burkes’ presence served as a pillar of support for his teammates, encouraging a cohesive and motivated atmosphere within the team. Reflecting on the past season and looking ahead to the future, Burks expressed optimism and determination, highlighting the friendship and work ethic prevalent among the team.

“We had a great run last season,” Burkes said. “This off time has given us returning players the opportunity to work towards another successful season.”

Now, Burkes is back for his junior season and big things are expected of him in 2024. Burkes was named second-team preseason All-SEC and was named one of the top 10 catchers in the country by D1 Baseball.

Burkes’ achievements extend beyond the field. Despite the demanding schedule of a Division I athlete, he has maintained stellar grades, embodying the definition of a true student-athlete.

During the offseason, while many may choose to rest, Burkes continued to hone his skills alongside his teammates, demonstrating an unwavering commitment to improvement.

His enthusiasm for the game is matched only by his appreciation for the bond with his teammates. Speaking of the new additions to the team, Burkes remarked, “They are a great group of guys.”

Burkes will be behind the plate when the Cats’ season begins on Friday at USC Upstate. Kentucky’s home opener is on Tuesday against Morehead State.

As the upcoming season approaches, Burkes and his teammates are excited to write the next chapter in Kentucky baseball, fueled by passion, camaraderie, and the pursuit of breaking more records this season. If the Cats are to reach all of their goals, there is little doubt that Burkes will be in the middle of making it happen.

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