Bluegrass natives eligible for All-Time 9 Teams

Major League Baseball
SI Cover March 18, 1996

SI Cover March 18, 1996 and Major League Baseball are running a new promotion where fans can vote on the All-Time 9 Team for each franchise.  The concept is simple, fans are offered a selection of the best individual season at each position in franchise history and vote for their favorite, in much the same way they vote for the All-Star team. A few Kentucky natives are eligible for the voting in case your interested:

  • Arizona Diamondbacks — Brandon Webb — SP — (2008) .149, 11 RBI
  • Arizona Diamondbacks — Mark Reynolds — 3B –(2009) .263, 44 HR, 101 RBI
  • Atlanta Braves — Bill Sweeney — 1B — (1912) .344, 1 HR, 100 RBI
  • Cincinnati Reds — Gus Bell — OF — (1953) .300, 30 HR, 105 RBI
  • Detroit Tigers — Bobby Veach — OF — (1921) .338, 16 HR, 128 RBI
  • Florida Marlins — Dan Uggla — 2B — (2008) .260, 32 HR, 92 RBI
  • Los Angeles Dodgers — Pee Wee Reese — SS — (1949) .279, 16 HR, 73 RBI
  • Seattle Mariners — Jay Buhner — OF — (1996) .271, 44 HR, 138 RBI
  • Washington Nationals — Austin Kearns — OF — (2007) .266, 16 HR, 74 RBI

Ross, Dominguez top Northwest League prospects

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Chris Dominguez

Baseball America’s prospect rankings for the short-season Northwest League are out, and two former Bluegrass players are on it. Left-handed pitcher Robbie Ross, a LCA alum, ranked seventh on the list and third baseman Chris Dominguez, a UofL alum, ranked thirteenth. Since BA’s analysis is subscriber only I’ll refrain from giving away to many details, but here is a look at what scouts had to say about the pair. (Read more)

Robbie Ross — “Nearly every manager agreed that Ross was the best pitcher they faced this year. He was the only NWL hurler to finish in the top five in ERA (2.66) and strikeouts (76 in 74 innings).” Ross needs to get stronger to last through an entire full season in 2010.

Chris Dominguez — “Though he has a tendency to swing through breaking balls, he hits tape-measure shots when he connects.” Scouts say Dominguez’s large frame may prohibit him from staying at third base as a major leaguer.

Wednesday Links: Major League Roundup

Major League Baseball
Dan Uggla; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Dan Uggla; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The playoff races are all but decided, but several BluGrass Baseball players played vital roles in the remaining races Tuesday.  Check those links and more in today’s links:

  • Louisville native Dan Uggla hit his 31st home run of the season while the Marlins dropped Atlanta to three games out of the NL Wild Card.
  • Morehead State alum Jon Rauch picked up his third win in game one of a double-header for the Twins. The Twins remain two games behind Detroit for the AL Central crown.
  • Lexington native Tyler Clippard picked up his third win of the season for Washington.
  • 2009 Bat Homer Bailey picked up his seventh win for the Reds, and former bat Jay Bruce had two home runs in the victory.

BluGrass Baseball All Rookie Team

Minor League Baseball
Chris Rusin; Photo: UK Athletics

Chris Rusin; Photo: UK Athletics

We looked at the best performances among Kentucky minor leaguers last week. Today we’ll examine the four best performances of BluGrass Baseball players making their professional debut. One of the four was a 2008 draftee, but the other three were all selected this year.

SP — Robbie Ross — Short-Season Spokane

  • 4-4, 2.66, 76 SO, 74.1 IP
  • Ross, a LCA alum, was the Rangers’ first-supplemental round pick in 2008 but didn’t make his debut until this season. The short-season Northwest league was no match for Ross. He’s still young, but Robbie could move quickly through the Rangers’ system.

SP Daniel Calhoun — Murray State — Short-Season Batavia

  • 2-0, 1.86, 42 SO, 48.1 IP
  • Calhoun had next to no expectations as the Cardinal’s 29th round pick in the 2009 draft out of small Murray State.  Nobody told him as Daniel dominated in 12 games in the New York-Penn League. Six of his appearances were starts, but he probably figures to end up in the bullpen if he makes the majors.

SP Chris Rusin — UK — Short-Season Boise

  • 0-4, 3.00 ERA, 36 IP, 29 Ks
  • Rusin was never had the pure stuff of UK teammates Alex Meyer and James Paxton, but outperformed both of them consistently. Chris was the Cubs’ fourth-round pick, and the organization chose him as one of its top prospects when it invited him to the instructional league this off season.

3B Chris Dominguez — UofL — Short-Season Salem-Keizer

  • .263, 11 HR, 40 RBI
  • Dominguez was one of the highest drafted college players to return to school in 2008, and he improved his stock enough to be selected in the third round by the Giants. Dominguez dominated Arizona League pitching for nine games before coming down to earth after his promotion to the Northwest League.

Jason Kipnis Among NY-Penn League Top Prospects

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Jason Kipnis; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Jason Kipnis; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Baseball America named former UK outfielder Jason Kipnis the fifth best prospect in the short-season New York-Penn League Tuesday. Kipnis began his career at UK. After redshirting, Kipnis got off to a torrid start his freshman year before former UK head coach John Cohen dismissed him from the team for a violation of team rules. Kipnis transferred to Arizona State where he became a first-day draft prospect before the Indians drafted him in the second round this season

BA writes of Kipnis: “The undersized Kipnis doesn’t fit a typical profile, but he laces hard line drives to all fields and has average power potential in his lefthanded stroke. He has a patient, mature approach at the plate and is a savvy baserunner with slightly above-average speed.” They project Kipnis to move to left-field in pro ball where he’ll have to hit regularly to stay long-term. (Read more)

Tuesday Links: Zobrist Hits Number 25

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Ben Zobrist; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Ben Zobrist; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

About half the major league teams were off Monday, and the minor leagues season is officially over so it was a very slow day for BluGrass Baseball news. But, I do have a couple of links for you on this Tuesday morning.

  • Legends’ Hall-of-Famer Ben Zobrist hit his 25th home run of the season for Tampa.
  • We told you Pikeville-native Mark Reynolds tied Jay Buhner’s single-season Kentucky home run record, but he also broke his own single-season major league strikeout record.

BluGrass Baseball Record Book: Batting Average

Pete Browning

Pete Browning

We’re back to offensive categories in the Record Book series with batting average. This was a little more difficult to compile, but I’m fairly certain this is the accurate list. To qualify for the career list, the player had to play in at least 1,000 games and for the single-season list he had to appear in at least 100 games. Remember, we’re using the “Lincoln Rule” which limits the record book to players born in Kentucky.

Career Batting Average Leaders

  1. Pete Browning — 1882-1894 — .341
  2. Earle Combs — 1924-1935 — .325
  3. Bobby Veach — 1912-1925 — .310
  4. George Harper — 1916-1929 — .303/Mike Greenwell — 1985-1996 — .303

Single-Season Average Leaders

  1. Browning — 1887 — .402
  2. Browning — 1890 — .373
  3. Jimmy Wolf — 1890 — .363
  4. Browning — 1885 — .362
  5. Combs — 1927 — .356

Monday Links:

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Joe BlantonWe’re back in action on this Monday morning.  UK’s only alum with a world series victory was back on the mound as his team marched toward a defense of their title Sunday. Check out those stories and more:
  • UK alum Joe Blanton picked up his 12th win of the season for the Phillies.
  • UofL alum B. J. Rosenberg and Team USA beat Cuba 10-5 to win the 2009 World Cup.
  • Louisville native Paul Byrd was the losing pitcher for the Red Sox in the Yankees’ division-clinching victory Sunday.
  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer talks to Louisville manager Rick Sweet about the Reds’ top prospects.

Jukich Not Concerned About Lack Of Callup

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Ben Jukich

No links today, but check out this video from KQDS in Minnesota about 2009 Bat Ben Jukich. Jukich was 9-6 with a 4.10 ERA for Louisville, but didn’t earn a September callup to Cincinnati. Jukich tells KQDS about not receiving a callup: “I’ve put that in the back of my mind, its something that you just can’t control. You don’t have control over what the organization is going to do, the only thing you can do is control what you do on and off the field and let them make their decisions.  I know I’ll get my chance.”