COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) -- Despite being drafted by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 20th round of the MLB Draft, South Carolina first basemen Kyle Martin will instead spend his senior year in school.
The South Carolina Athletics department announced today that Martin, the Gamecocks top hitter last season, is placing his professional baseball pursuits on hold, because Martin said "I love this university, I love this baseball program, and I'm just not ready to leave all that this great place provides me."
He said it wasn't an easy decision for him, and expressed gratitude for being drafted by the Angels organization.
"I'm very excited to be a part of the Gamecock baseball program one more year, and I'm anxious to get back on the field with my teammates... It's important for me to earn my degree, and I'm grateful to the entire university community that is helping me get closer to achieving that goal."
Martin batted a .336 average, and started every game at first base last season with the Gamecocks. Martin's batting average earned him an SEC ranking of 7th best hitter in the Conference, and his fielding while at first base was an impressive .995 last season, posting just three errors. The SEC named Martin to the 2013 Academic Honor Rolls as well, for his academic achievements in pursuit of his mechanical engineering major.
Head Coach Chad Holbrook said "We are thrilled to have Kyle back for another year... Kyle is the best defensive first basemen in the country, and one of our top hitters. To have his bat in the middle of the lineup one more season is huge, and we appreciate his desire and passion to want to don the Garnet & Black one more time."