Charleston Southern transfer Ryan Waldschmidt made an immediate splash for Kentucky baseball in 2023. Unfortunately, the Wildcats will be without the Florida native in the lineup to start the 2024 season.
Waldschmidt has suffered a torn ACL injury, sources tell KSR’s Derek Terry. The estimated recovery for the junior is currently eight months. The Bat Cats are hopeful that Waldschmidt can rejoin the lineup during SEC play this upcoming spring.
In his first season in Lexington, Waldschmidt slashed .290/.427/.445 with a .872 OPS. The transfer collected 20 extra-base hits (14 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs) in 200 at-bats with 42 strikeouts, 50 walks/hit by pitch, and 17 steals. The starting left fielder was a quality bat for head coach Nick Mingione, and now the Wildcats need to find a replacement.
There has been a ton of good news for Kentucky baseball this offseason. The Wildcats have added nine players to the roster this offseason highlighted by Central Connecticut State starting pitcher Dominic Niman (12-2, 2.77 ERA, 104 innings pitched) and Cincinnati first baseman Ryan Nicholson (.294, 16 home runs, 41 RBI). UK is also getting Devin Burkes back for one more year at catcher. There has been plenty of good news, but this is a bump in the road.
Kentucky must find a replacement for Waldschmidt who was hurt while playing in the Cape Cod League. All signs point to Mingione having a top-25 caliber season, but there is now a hole to fill at Kentucky Proud Park in left field.