Tampa Bay top prospect Tim Beckham was named a South Atlantic League postseason All-Star Monday. Beckham batted .279 with five home runs and 62 RBI on the season. Tim, the All-Star shortstop, batted .295 in August but went 0-4 Monday, ending a 13-game hitting streak.
The Bats team that will take the field in the International League playoffs will look little like the one that took the field for most of the 2009 season. Louisville lost two more regulars Monday when the Cincinnati Reds promoted slugger Kevin Barker and relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez to the big leagues. Barker led the Bats in home runs and RBI. Ramirez appeared in 31 games for Louisville including 20 starts.
Louisville, Ky., native and St. Xavier alum Paul Byrd returned to the major leagues Sunday with a six-inning shutout performance for the Boston Red Sox. Byrd was making his first start of the season after announcing his “temporary retirement” in the off-season. Bryd hoped to sign with a team following the June draft when that team would no longer risk losing a draft pick because of his Type B free agent status, but no team called until the Red Sox made him an offer in August.
Byrd worked his way back through the minor leagues before receiving his call to Boston to replace an injured Tim Wakefield Sunday. He responded in a big way, outdueling Cy Young contender Roy Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays. Check these links to see what the Boston writers are saying about Byrd’s performance.
Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe writes no one could have expected what Byrd gave the Red Sox.
John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that Byrd costs little, wins big.
Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that the Red Sox swept the Blue Jays behind “Byrd’s fine outing.”
Just a day after clinching the International League West division, the Louisville Bats were back to their winning ways. The key to the Bats playoff hopes lies with recent callups who have replaced some of the Bats key players who are now with the parent club. Check out which new Bat stepped up Sunday and other storylines in Monday’s hot links:
Lexington Legends outfielder Brian Pellegrini moved one home run from the single-season team record with his 24th home run of the season in a 12-inning Lexington victory. Pellegrini has eight games remaining in the season to break Beau Herod’s and Hunter Pence’s record of 25 home runs in a season. Brian has 31 home runs on the year between Lexington and high A Lancaster. His 31 home runs rank second in all of minor league baseball.
The Louisville Bats clinched the International League’s West Division Saturday with an Indianapolis 12-0 win over Toledo. The Bats lost Saturday, but needed only a win or a Toledo loss to clinch the division. Louisville will play the winner of the South division in the first round of the International League playoffs. Tickets for the opening series are on sale now for games three through five that would be played in Louisville. Durham is currently one game ahead of Gwinnett for the South division lead.
Baseball America ranked Bowling Green shortstop, and Tampa Rays top prospect Tim Beckham number eight on its “Prospect Hot Sheet.” Beckham extended his hitting streak to 11 games Friday night and was 12-24 (.500) with four doubles and six runs scored on the week. According to BA “Overall, Beckham’s first season has been a success.”
BA also includes Louisville starting pitcher Travis Wood and EKU alum Christian Friedrich in the “In The Team Photo” of the Hot Sheet. BA’s Connor Glassey responded to a question about Friedrich in the Hot Sheet chat by saying he thinks Friedrich should rank in the top 10 of 25 prospects in baseball following the season.
Reds prospect Chris Heisey was 3-4 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI in leading Louisville to a near division clinching victory. Check out how far the Bats are from sealing their playoff ticket and other storylines in Saturday’s hot links:
The Bats lowered their magic number to one game with a 10-4 victory over Columbus. A Louisville win or Toledo loss Saturday will clinch the West division for the Bats.
The Minnesota Twins have acquired Louisville native and Morehead State alum Jon Rauch from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Rauch, a right-handed relief pitcher is 2-2 with a 4.24 ERA on the season with two saves. Jon has struck out 35 and walked 17 in 58 appearances for Arizona. Since 2006, Rauch has made 305 appearances, most in the majors. The Twins will send a player-to-be-named to Arizona to complete the trade.