LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas first baseman and catcher Cole Elvis has signed a free agent contract with the Minnesota Twins. Elvis transferred to Kansas for the 2023 season to play his final year of college eligibility. He has signed as a catcher with the Twins organization.
“Having the opportunity to sign and play professional baseball is a dream come true,” Elvis said. “I’m forever grateful for my family, coaches, teammates, and the University of Kansas for helping me achieve this lifelong dream. I’m honored to represent KU at the next level and blessed to be a part of a top-tier organization like the Minnesota Twins.”
Elvis became the leader of the 2023 team on and off the field upon his arrival to Kansas. The Vacaville, California, native was the only Kansas player to start every game in 2023, and he earned a spot on the All-Big 12 Second Team. Elvis led the team in home runs (14), RBIs (52), total bases (121) and at-bats (234), while he was tied for the most doubles (16). His 14 home runs were the most by a Jayhawk since 2009, with 10 of the 14 homers coming in the sixth inning or later.
The first four years of Elvis’ career were spent in the Pac-12 at California-Berkeley. The transition to Kansas and the Big 12 benefitted Elvis as he slashed .313/.387/.698 (30-for-96) with seven doubles, 10 home runs, 32 RBIs, 21 runs and 11 walks in conference play this season. His 32 RBIs and 67 total bases in Big 12 contests were the most in the league, while his 10 home runs were tied for the most.
Elvis earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors on April 10 following the Jayhawks’ series win at No. 19 West Virginia. He posted a 1.167 slugging percentage and homered to the opposite field in all three games of the series.
“Cole will forever be one of the all-time great Jayhawks,” Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald said. “His leadership from day one was palpable, he immediately had universal respect from everyone in our program, and he set a new standard for what it means to be an exceptional teammate. The Minnesota Twins got better today. Their scouting staff is one of the best in all of professional sports, and they did an awesome job in their evaluation of Cole – he is going to be a great Twin!”
Elvis homered in at least two straight games on four occasions in 2023. He hit a home run in four consecutive games from April 19-23, making him the first Jayhawk with a long ball in four-straight contests since at least 1993. Elvis also hit a home run in five consecutive conference games from April 1-9, making him the only player in the Big 12 to accomplish that feat in 2023.
Elvis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and sciences in May.