Early signing period breakdown: UK

College Baseball, High School Baseball

The first of our fall signing period class breakdowns comes this afternoon with the most recent release. The University of Kentucky signed nine in its fall class, so we’ll start here and work down based on number of signees. Below are all nine player in the class with 2009 statistics and a quote from UK Head Coach Gary Henderson. You can see the complete release here.

RHP/INF Trevor Gott — Tates Creek High School

  • .382 batting average, 1.12 ERA, All-City 2009
  • Henderson: “Trevor is a good athlete and has tremendous arm strength. He had a lot of success in his baseball career at a young age and we have watched him for a long time. His body is beginning to get some strength, which is going to help him tremendously on the mound.”

LHP Corey Littrell — Trinity High School

  • 13-2, 0.72 ERA, 141 SO, 111 IP
  • Henderson: “Corey has an advanced ability to pitch for his age. He can already command his fastball and he has a very good change-up that he can throw for a strike. We expect him to pitch early and often during his UK career. He is a serious competitor that we have a chance to build a staff around. He will need to make the same adjustments that they all do but I expect him to compete for innings immediately.”

INF Paul McConkey — Knoxville, Tenn.

  • .482, 8 HR, 37 RBI
  • Henderson: “Paul has a very good feel to hit and he can play all three infield spots. He also plays the game with a lot of confidence and poise. That is hard to find in a 17-year old. He is an extremely good competitor who is serious about being a great baseball player. His attitude and make-up are strong. He will bring an approach that will make those around him better.”

OF Gavin Patton — South Charleston, W.V.

  • .418, 3 HR, 39 RBI @ IMG Academy in Florida
  • Henderson: “Gavin already looks like a SEC outfielder, he’s big, strong and moves well for his size. He brings a combination of speed and power that is hard to come by. We are very excited about him becoming a Wildcat. He plays extremely hard, competes at a high level and will bring an energy to our club that fans and teammates will enjoy.”

RHP Blake Perry — Danville, Ky.

  • 5-0, 0.95 ERA, 63 SO, 44 IP (Summer League)
  • Henderson: “Blake has good body control and feel to pitch for a large-frame pitcher. He shows solid command of three pitches and falls into the category of very projectable. He wants to be an outstanding pitcher and I anticipate him being a great worker. He has tremendous potential and we are excited to watch him develop.”

RHP/INF J. T. Riddle — Western Hills High School

  • .478, 2 HR, 11 RBI — 3-3, 1.64 ERA
  • Henderson: “J.T. is a gifted athlete that is talented enough to be a two-way player in the SEC. He is like most kids we get in that he needs to develop more strength. J.T. has a good swing, moves well defensively and is clearly a talented pitcher. He has had a lot of success in everything he has done in high school. We are glad to have him with us and are eager to see how he develops.”

INF Matt Reida — Russiaville, Ind.

  • .429. 3 HR, 17 RBI
  • Henderson: “Matt is a tremendous competitor. He brings a seriousness and a level of competitiveness that will put him in the center of our club immediately. Matt brings very good baseball skills, great feel for the game and a winner’s presence. He will eventually be a leader, an outstanding leadoff hitter and a middle-infield presence for our club.”

INF Dallen Reber — St. George, Utah

  • .407, 7 HR, 30 RBI
  • Henderson: “Dallen brings a winner’s personality and a lot of athleticism. He is an absolute winner with very good baseball skills. He is the type of kid that other kids like to be around. He has a combination of strength, speed and skills that we are very excited to bring to our program.”

OF Lucas Witt — Lexington Christian Academy

  • .377, 4 HR, 20 RBI
  • Henderson: “Lucas is an outstanding athlete and an every better young man. He has had a lot of success in both baseball and football at the high school level. He brings with him the knowledge of what it takes to be successful. He is a great competitor, knows how to work and he will make those around him better. We are very excited to see how he develops once he devotes himself to baseball full-time.”

Signing classes; Hot stove news; Hot Rods art program

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Todd Wellemeyer; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

More early signing classes are starting to trickle in from the state’s universities. This week I’ll start breaking down those classes in a little more detail, but check out the releases from the two schools below with some more hot stove news:

  • EKU Sports reports the baseball Colonels have signed three freshman for 2011.
  • UofL Sports also announced four early signers for the baseball team.
  • Catcher Louie Helmburg of West Jessamine High School signed a LOI to play baseball at Marshall.
  • Bellarmine-alum Todd Wellemeyer tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch he plans to start somewhere next season, and a source says the Brewers are one of two teams to already express interest.
  • Joanie Baker Hendricks of the Bowling Green Daily News writes about the Hot Rods’ new art program with local students.

Three Legends make Astros’ top prospect list

Minor League Baseball

Jordan Lyles; Photo: Lexington Legends

Baseball America released its top 10 prospects list for the Houston Astros Friday and several Lexington Legends made the cut. The Astros’ system still ranks toward the bottom of the major league organizations, but the talent improvement from 2008 to 2009 was a nice indication of the improvement of the system overall. Here’s a glimpse at the Legends who made the cut and their statistics. The analysis of the list is subscriber only, so you’ll have to check out BA for the full package.

 

#3 RHP Jordan Lyles

  • 7-11, 3.24 ERA, 167 SO/38 BB
  • 145 IP, 26 GS, 134 hits
  • BA: “He has the repertoire and control to fit in the middle of a big league rotation, and each of his pitches has enough projection for him to become a potential frontline starter.”

#6 RHP Ross Seaton

  • 8-10, 3.29 ERA, 88 SO/39 BB
  • 137 IP, 24 GS, 137 hits
  • BA: “At Lexington, Seaton stood out more with his size and control than his stuff.”

#8 OF Jay Austin

  • .267, 23 SB, 49 runs
  • .267/.32o/.360
  • BA: “He has enticing tools, but he has a lot of refining to do if he’s going to be more than an extra outfielder in the major leagues.”

Check out the full list here.

BluGrass Baseball top fantasy players

Major League Baseball

 

Joey Votto; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Tristan H. Cockcroft ESPN.com has released his preliminary rankings for the 2010 top 200 fantasy players. Clearly this list will change based on offseason movement and injuries before March, but it’s never too early to start preparing your fantasy draft. Here are the players with Kentucky ties on the list:

 

  • 41) 1B Joey Votto — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
  • 44) 3B Mark Reynolds — Pikevilly, Ky. — Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 58) OF Adam Dunn — Louisville Bats — Washington Nationals
  • 90) INF/OF Ben Zobrist — Lexington Legends — Tampa Bay Rays
  • 100) OF Hunter Pence — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
  • 114) OF Jay Bruce — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
  • 136) SP Wandy Rodriguez — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
  • 145) SP Brandon Webb — Ashland, Ky., UK — Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 146) 2B Dan Uggla — Louisville, Ky. — Florida Marlins
  • 177) 2B Felipe Lopez — Louisville Bats — FA

You can see Cockcroft’s full list here.

Reds set 40 man; Guillen wasn’t on UofL radar

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

Free agency is officially in full stride. All free agents can now negotiate with new teams so some might start signing contracts in the coming days. Don’t look for any of the Kentucky natives to sign until later this offseason though.

  • The Reds added 2009 Bats Chris Heisey, Logan Ondrusek, Chris Valaika, Philippe Valiquette and Travis Wood to the 40 man roster.
  • MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports 2009 Bat Lance Nix refused assignment to Louisville and became a free agent.
  • Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal reports UofL did not recruit White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen’s son Ozney Guillen despite published reports he signed with South Florida over Louisville.
  • The Bowling Green Daily News reports on WKU’s new baseball signing class.
  • Dan Conolly of The Baltimore Sun reports the Orioles claimed 2009 Bats catcher Craig Tatum off waivers from the Reds.
  • Tristan H. Cockcroft of ESPN.com answers some questions about the 2010 top 200 fantasy players rankings including one about Pikeville-native Mark Reynolds. (Check back latter for full breakdown)

Arizona Fall League Bluegrass wrap-up

Minor League Baseball

The Arizona Fall League regular season officially wrapped up Thursday. No Kentucky players are represented in the championship game to be played tomorrow, so their AFL seasons are now over. With that in mind here’s a look at each BluGrass Baseball AFL season:

RHP Chaz Roe — Lexington, Ky. — Scottsdale Scorpions

  • 0-2, 4.50 ERA, 10 SO/4 BB
  • 5 GS, 12 IP, .365 BA against

OF Chris Heisey — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguaros

  • .297, 5 home runs, 14 RBI
  • .297/.379/.593

1B Yonder Alonso — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguaros

  • .267, 2 home runs, 23 RBI
  • .267/.353/.395

RHP Logan Ondrusek — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguaros

  • 2-1, 13.50 ERA, 8 SO/2 BB
  • 10 games, 10 IP, 1 save

RHP Sean Watson — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguaros

  • 0-1, 7.11 ERA, 12 SO/6 BB
  • 10 games, 12.2 IP, .371 BA against

RHP Daniel Meszaros — Lexington Legends — Peoria Saguaros

  • 0-0, 4.63 ERA, 15 SO/3 BB
  • 12 games, 11.2 IP, 1 save

Arbitration raises; trade rumors; recruiting classes

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Hunter Pence; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Lots of news in on a Friday morning. Check back this afternoon for updates on a couple of the these stories as we start breaking down the early signing period baseball classes of the state universities.

  • Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports arbitration raises to Lexington Legends Hall of Famers Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez will limit the Houston Astros’ offseason moves.
  • Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes in the Marlins do trade Louisville-native Dan Uggla they might be more active in the free agent market.
  • Former WKU pitcher Brady Frey has transferred to Nicholls State.
  • 2009 Bat Yonder Alonso was 1-5 with a double and two RBI in the Arizona Fall League finale. Teammate Sean Watson pitched two scoreless innings for Peoria. 2009 Legend Daniel Meszaros struck out the side in a scoreless inning.
  • WKU baseball reports it signed five incoming freshmen for 2011. (Check back later for further breakdown)
  • Morehead State also announced six signees for 2011.

Uggla, Hart evening trade rumors

Major League Baseball

 

Corey Hart; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Two evening trade rumors to pass along concerning Kentucky natives. Jason Stark of ESPN.com reports that trade talks from the Marlins with the Giants and Rangers about Louisville-native Dan Uggla got “pretty hot and heavy” at the GM meetings. Uggla remains the most likely Marlin to be traded, but the team told Stark they would keep him and trade someone else if they didn’t get what they wanted for the second baseman.

 

Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports the Braves are trying to move starting pitcher Derek Lowe and there most serious discussion so far came with the Brewers concerning Bowling Green-native Corey Hart. That deal appears to have fallen through, and Mark Bowman of MLB.com says the Braves would prefer prospects to Hart.

BluGrass Players up for Unsung Star of 2009

Major League Baseball

 

Ben Zobrist; Photo by Keith Allison via Flickr

Voting for the This Year in Baseball awards is currently live on MLB.com and two BluGrass Baseball players are nominated for the “Unsung Star” award. Pikeville-native and Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds and Lexington Legends Hall of Famer and Tampa Bay Rays utility man Ben Zobrist are up against eight others for the award.

 

Reynolds batted .260 with a record 44 home runs for a Kentucky native and 102 RBI to go with 42 stolen bases. Zobrist, who appeared at first, second, third, shortstop and outfield for the Ray in 2009, batted .297 with 27 home runs and 91 RBI. Zobrist was elected to the Legends’ Hall of Fame this season.

Jason Bartlett, Billy Butler, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Aaron Hill, Ubaldo Jiminez, Adam Lind and Jayson Werth are also nominated for the award. (Vote here)

New UK stadium; WKU and EKU sign one each

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

 

UK Athletics Wallpaper

Major league hot stove, minor league prospects, college signees and high school commitments all in some Thursday links for your pleasure:

 

  • UK Athletics provides an update on the progress of filling contracts to upgrade its facilities including a new baseball stadium.
  • J. J. Cooper at Baseball America answers a number of Louisville Bats questions during the Reds top prospects chat. (Subscription required)
  • EKU Sports reports the baseball Colonels have signed Fairfield, Ohio, corner infielder Mitchell Durbin as part of the 2011 freshman class.
  • Chad Bishop of the Bowling Green Daily News reports Greenwood outfielder Hunter Thompson has signed his LOI to play college baseball at Western Kentucky.
  • Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com includes Louisville-natives Paul Byrd and Todd Wellemeyer on the list of free agent veteran pitchers the Indians might look at this offseason.