Tennessee Infielder Signs With Minnesota Twins

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KNOXVILLE, TN – March 26, 2021 – Infielder Jake Rucker #7 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the LSU Tigers and the Tennessee Volunteers at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee baseball third baseman Jake Rucker has signed with the Minnesota Twins, Rucker announced on his instagram Wednesday.

The Twins selected Rucker in the seventh round with the 219th pick in last week’s MLB Draft.

Rucker was a three-year starter for Tennessee, playing second base as a freshman and the hot corner as a sophomore and junior.

The Greenbrier, Tennessee native hit .330 with nine home runs and 55 RBIs from the three-hole in the 2021 season. While Rucker doesn’t possess the power that some of the SEC’s best three hitters have, his consistency week in and week out and his ability to get on-base at a high rate made him one of the SEC’s best hitters.

On top of his nine home runs, Rucker finished second in the SEC with 21 doubles. 

Rucker’s signing bonus was $250,000, over $50,000 above the projected pick value.

In the Minnesota organization, Rucker has the chance to reunite with former Vol Alerick Soularie. The Twins selected Soularie in the shortened 2020 MLB Draft.

Replacing Rucker will be a major challenge for Tony Vitello and his staff. Rucker’s backup last season— Trey Lipscomb— hit .310 with one home run in 29 at-bats.

Ryan Schumpert is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. Ryan spent three years with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program before joining RTI. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.