The Arizona Fall League is over, but two Kentucky college alums are still playing in winter league action. The two Philadelphia Phillies farmhands are both playing for Yaquis de Obregon in the Caribbean league. You can see their stats so far this winter below:
3b Neil Sellers — EKU — AA Reading Phillies
- .371, 3 HR, 18 RBI in 27 games
RHP B. J. Rosenberg — UofL — AA Reading Phillies
- 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 7 games
- 2 saves, 6.2 IP, 6 SO/4 BB
Sawyer Carroll; Photo: UK Athletics
Jonathan Mayo and Lisa Winston of MLB.com have picked their minor league offensive and pitcher of the year winners for each of the 30 major league franchises. As you might expect, several include information about BluGrass Baseball players, and I’ve passed those along below.
- EKU alum Christian Friedrich was named the Rockies best minor league pitcher.
- Lexington Christian Academy alum Ben Revere was named the Minnesota Twins offensive player of the year.
- UK alum Sawyer Carroll was named co-offensive player of the year in the San Diego Padres system.
- MLB.com selected 2009 Louisville Bats Chris Heisey and Travis Wood as the Reds’ player and pitcher of the year.
- Lexington Legends ace Jordan Lyles was named the Astros’ pitcher of the year, and former Legend Koby Clemens was named the offensive player of the year in the Houston Astros’ system.
- Bowling Green Hot Rods ace Matt Moore is mentioned among the lower level prospects in the Tampa Bay Rays’ system that will likely contribute down the road.
James Paxton; Photo: UK Athletics
The holiday season is officially here. With Thanksgiving in mind I thought I’d pass along my list of reasons for baseball fans in Kentucky to be thankful this year. Feel free to pass along your lists as well
I’m thankful for:
- Another season to watch James Paxton in college
- A healthy return in 2010 for Brandon Webb
- A second consecutive World Series appearance from Joe Blanton.
- Conference titles from UofL and WKU
- The resurgence of Scott Downs
- A respectable Lexington Legends team in 2009
- Bowling Green becoming the third minor league franchise in the state
- A playoff appearance for the Louisville Bats
- Josh Anderson and Brandon Webb being inducted into the EKU and UK Halls of Fame
- Dan Uggla, Austin Kearns, Todd Wellemeyer and Corey Hart dominating offseason storylines.
- Sawyer Carroll continuing to prove his detractors wrong.
- Christian Friedrich moving even closer to the big leagues.
- Kentucky high school alums Robbie Ross, Ben Revere and Chaz Roe moving up their organization’s prospect lists.
- What’s sure to be an even greater impact from Kentucky on major league baseball in 2010!
Josh Hopkins with John Calipari; Photo via Twitter
Former Sayre School baseball player, turned Hollywood actor Josh Hopkins will give his high school and the University of Kentucky a shoutout on tonight’s episode of Cougar Town on ABC. Hopkins, a 1989 Sayre graduate, will wear a Sayre basketball shirt during the episode and will perform the infamous “John Wall dance” during a pickup basketball game, Scott Shive of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.
Hopkins was evidently better on the court than the diamond, but Sayre teammate Robert Goodman (whose name appears on the shirt during the episode) described him as “a real good athlete” in high school. (Read more)
During two recent NL Central top prospect chats, Baseball America correspondents answered questions about Kentucky prospects that I wanted to hire. The Houston Astros chat saw several Lexington Legends questions, but I wanted to highlight one in particular (mostly because I asked it). During the Pittsburgh Pirates chat Hardin County alum Nathan Adcock also was mentioned.
Jon (Lexington, KY): I know he’s old, but will Brian Pellegrini warrant top 30 consideration? He did break Hunter Pence’s Lexington home run record
Ben Badler: He had a great year and he’s in consideration for the back end of the top 30 just because he does have some power, but he is a 23-year-old in low Class A who’s limited defensively and doesn’t handle breaking balls well.
Dave (PA): What can you tell me about a couple of young pitchers the Pirates acquired, Nathan Adcock and Hunter Strickland? Will they be in the Top 30?
John Perrotto: Strickland was throwing 94 mph at the end of the season and it looks like the Pirates might have something in him. Adcock is a decent prospect. One is in the top 30 and one isnt’. The Prospect Handbook will reveal the answer.
In the second of our early signing class breakdowns we’ll look at Western Kentucky University. WKU coach Chris Finwood and the Hilltoppers signed five players in the early period for 2011. Four came from high schools and one from a junior college. I’ve included each player’s 2009 highlights and Finwood’s quote about him below. You can read the full WKU release here.
RHP/INF Brian Doering — Dupont Manual High School
- All-District, All-Region 2009
- Finwood: “Brian is a bit of a late bloomer, and we really like his athleticism both on the mound and at the plate. He has an outstanding breaking pitch, and we think he has a bright future in our program. I think he was a bit overlooked on the mound this summer as he played on the same summer team as (fellow incoming Hilltopper Justin) Hageman and probably didn’t get seen as much.”
RHP/OF Justin Hageman — Hopkinsville High School
- All District, All Region, 2010 Mr. Baseball Nominee
- Finwood: “Justin is a true two-way player who will have an impact on the mound and at the plate for us. He is an ultra-aggressive and competitive young man who is a fearless competitor. We expect Justin to contribute right away as a pitcher and hitter.”
INF Mike Mosby — Hawesville, Ky. — Wabash Valley Community College
- .373 BA, 15 home runs, 73 RBI and 11 stolen bases
- Finwood: “Mike is a big, strong power-hitting third baseman from former Hilltopper All-American Wade Gaynor’s high school (Hancock County High School). Mike is listed as one of the top junior college hitters in this region, and we expect him to compete for a middle-of-the-order spot in the lineup right away.”
RHP/OF G. J. Strauss — St. Louis, Mo.
- First-team All District, First-team All Conference
- Finwood: “G.J. is a big, strong pitching and hitting prospect that we think has a great future both on the mound and at the plate. He has a great arm and can really pitch. We expect him to develop into a premium pitching prospect during his career at WKU. He was a teammate of current Hilltoppers Matt Borgschulte and Ryan Huck on the prestigious St. Louis Pirates travel team.”
RHP/INF Bret Sutton — Independence, Mo.
- First-team All- Conference, First-team All-Area, All-State
- Finwood: “Bret is another two-way player who we expect to help us on the mound and at the plate. Bret was very highly recruited mostly as a pitcher and he has a chance to be special on the mound, but we really think he will be a good hitter at this level as well. He is a fierce competitor and brings that edge to everything he does.”
Tim Beckham; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
We have plenty of hot stove news for your Tuesday morning. I’ll be back later with a breakdown of the WKU early recruiting class. I will hopefully crank out another post today, but I will be traveling so it might be this evening.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America writes while the Rays won’t admit it publicly they know they should have drafted Giants top prospect Buster Posey over 2009 Hot Rod Tim Beckham with the first pick in 2008.
- Former Lexington Legends manager Tim Bogar will serve as the Red Sox’s third base coach in 2010 after being passed over for the Astros’ managerial job this offseason.
- Carrie Muskat of MLB.com writes Louisville-native Dan Uggla is probable too expensive for the Cubs, and she answers a question in her mailbag about UK alum Chris Rusin.
- Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports the Marlins are almost 100 percent certain they will keep infielder Jorge Cantu. That likely further ensures arbitration-eligble Uggla is on his way out of cost-cutting Florida.
- Ken Rosenthal and John Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com report the Reds have to decide if they are willing to let 2009 Louisville Bats Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey man the outfield in 2010 before they offer a contract to slugger Jonny Gomes.