Chowning signs; Wood to make MLB debut Thursday

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Travis Wood; Photo via Flickr by mwlguide

Latest links from around Kentucky MiLB:

  • Eastern High School (Louisville) alum and former Oklahoma right-handed pitcher Jason Chowning has signed with the Houston Astros as the team’s 28th-round draft pick according to a Astros’ news release.
  • Danville native Patrick Cooper has been assigned to the short-season Connecticut Tigers. He was the Tigers’ 14th-round pick in the 2010 draft.
  • Jim Shonerd of Baseball America examines the best and worst Minor League offenses and reports the Bowling Green Hot Rods have the third most stolen bases of any MiLB team.
  • Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle profiles Lexington Legends first baseman Kody Hinze and his excellent season in Lexington.
  • Mark Sheldon of reports Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Travis Wood will make his MLB debut Thursday when he is promoted by the Cincinnati Reds to start against the Chicago Cubs.

Kentuckians among ABCA Division II, III and NAIA All-Americans

College Baseball

The American Baseball Coaches Association has released its Division I, II and NAIA All-American teams and several Kentucky players made the cut. Check out those players below. You can see the entire NAIA, Division II and Division III teams by clicking each of the links:

Division II Second Team

  • OF Jason Crisper — Northern Kentucky University

Division II Third Team

  • RHP Kevin Jordan — NKU

Division III Third Team

  • SP Paul Uhl — Thomas Moore College

NAIA First Team

  • OF Troy Frazier — Louisville, Ky. — Cumberland (Tenn.)

NAIA Second Team

  • SP Stephen Shackleford — Louisville, Ky. — SCAD

Minor League Roundup: Legends win; Bats, Hot Rods lose; Nidiffer goes deep twice; Bisson debuts

Minor League Baseball

Marcus Nidiffer, center; Photo: UK Athletics

Check out highlights from Kentucky-related Minor League play Tuesday with links taking you to game box scores:

  • Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman blew his first save since moving to the bullpen in the Louisville Bats7-5 loss to the Durham Bulls. Cincinnati Reds right-handed pitcher Edison Volquez surrendered two runs in six innings and struck out seven in his second rebah start with the Bats.
  • First baseman Aaron Bray tallied four hits and scored twice to lead the Lexington Legends to a 6-5 victory over the Hickory Crawdads. Right-handed pitcher Zachary Grimmett earned the win with four scoreless innings out of the Lexington bullpen.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods‘ offense was held in check by the Lansing Lugnuts in a 4-2 loss. Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates took a no decision after surrendering two runs in five innings in his fourth start of the season.
  • Former UK catcher Marcus Nidiffer continued to make teams look foolish for not drafting him with a 3-7, double-header performance for the Greeneville Astros. Nidiffer launched his first two professional home runs and drove in four runs on the day. He’s batting .435 in his young career.
  • Former UK second baseman Chris Bisson made his professional debut for the short-season Eugene Emeralds with an 0-3 performance. He did walk, steal a base and score.
  • Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 draftee Dean Kiekhefer has been promoted to the low A Quad City River Bandits where he made his debut with four scoreless innings of relief Tuesday.
  • Former NKU outfielder Jacob Shafer was 3-4 with a run scored Tuesday for the high A High Desert Mavericks and is 6-8 in his last two games with two runs scored.
  • Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones moved to 6-2 on the season for the high A Winston-Salem Dash after allowing four runs in six and two-third innings Tuesday.
  • In his first start for the AA Akron Aeros former Union College right-handed pitcher Marty Popham took a no decision despite allowing just one run in six innings. He struck out six and walked none.
  • Boyd County native Tyler Gatrell recorded his first professional save by striking out two of the three batters he faced for the rookie-level AZL Royals.

Wright leads Ky. players on ABCA All-American teams

College Baseball

The American Baseball Coaches Association has released its Rawlings All American teams for the 2010 baseball season. Check out the Kentuckians who made the cute below or look at the entire list here:

First Team

  • 2B — Ryan Wright — University of Louisville

Second Team

  • RP — Neil Holland — UofL
  • 3B — Zack Cox — Pleasure Ridge Park High School (Arkansas)

Third Team

  • SP — Matt Ridings — Western Kentucky University
  • SP — Thomas Rose — UofL
  • C — Matt Rice — WKU

UofL, Morehead signees named Louisville Slugger All-Americans

College Baseball, High School Baseball

Two signees from the University of Louisville and Morehead State University have been named Louisville Slugger All Americans by the Collegiate Baseball newspaper. One of the four players, Duran Elmore, attended a Kentucky high school. Check out the list of players with Kentucky connections below or look at the entire list here:

First Team

  • RHP Dace Kime — Defiance HS (Ohio) — UofL
  • C Jake Depew — Granite City HS (Ill.) — UofL

Honorable Mention

  • OF/LHP Duran Elmore — Danville High School — Morehead St.
  • C Caden Cleveland — Christian Heritage Academy (Okla.) — Morehead St.

Minor League Roundup: Dominguez has big night; Bats, Hot Rods win; Legends lose; Cowgill, Green, Sellers homer

Minor League Baseball

Chris Dominguez; UofL Photo

Now that the college season and draft are officially out of the way, BluGrass Baseball will shift its focus to a greater emphasis on the Minor Leagues during the second half of the MiLB season. Each morning we’ll update you on what the three in-state teams did the day before and some highlights from other Kentuckians in the minors. Links below will take you to box scores.

  • Recently signed outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. was 3-5 with his first home run to lead the Louisville Bats to a 7-2 win over the Toledo Mud Hens.
  • Five different Bowling Green Hot Rods recorded two hits in the team’s 5-3 win over the Lansing Lugnuts. Right-handed pitcher Jason McEachern earned the win after holding the Lugnuts scoreless on four hits for six and one-third innings while striking out four and walking two.
  • The Lexington Legends lost 4-3 to the Rome Braves despite a relatively solid pitching performance from Brad Dydalewicz, who surrendered four runs on seven hits in seven innings and struck out four while walking three.
  • Former UK and Henry Clay High School standout Collin Cowgill launched his seventh home run of the season for the AA Mobile BayBears.
  • Former UofL third baseman Chris Dominguez was 4-5 with a home run, double, stolen base, two RBI and three runs scored for the low A Augusta GreenJackets.
  • Lafayette High School alum Chaz Roe continued his struggles for AAA Colorado Springs, allowing seven runs on nine hits in five and one-third innings to take his eighth loss of the season.
  • UofL alum and Futures Game selection Trystan Magnuson continued his stellar pitching for the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats with two and one-third scoreless innings. Magnuson allowed just one hit, struck out four Reading Phillies and walked none.
  • EKU alum Neil Sellers was 2-5 with a home run, double, two RBI and two runs scored in that same game for the Phillies.
  • UofL alum and 2010 draftee Thomas Royse took the loss in his first professional decision after allowing five runs on five hits in three and one-third innings for the rookie-level Great Falls Voyagers.
  • Campbellsville alum Richie Rowland was 2-4 with a double, two RBI and one run scored in that same game for the Missoula Osprey.
  • UK alum Andy Green was 2-5 with a home run for the AAA Buffalo Bisons.

Burke contemplating retirement after release

Minor League Baseball

Chris Burke; Photo by grovesa16 via Flickr

Louisville native and St. Xavier High School alum Chris Burke is contemplating retirement after being released by the Cincinnati Reds, Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal reports. Burke had spent all of 2010 with the Louisville Bats. The 30-year-old outfielder is perhaps most famous for his game-winning home run, above, in the bottom of the 18th inning of game four of the 2005 National League Division Series. The victory clinched the series win for the Houston Astros. Burke told Grant he has been contacted by several Major League teams but would only consider continuing to play if he had a chance for a MLB callup this season. (Read more)

2010 Draftees Minor League Debuts

Minor League Baseball

Marcus Nidiffer; BluGrass Baseball photo

Most of the 2010 draftees who have already signed professional contracts have a few Minor League games under their belt by now so I thought I’d update you on their early performances. Check out the list below, organized by draft position, with Minor League team listed and Kentucky connection in parentheses:

  • RHP Thomas Royse (UofL) — Great Falls Voyagers — 0-0, 1 GS, 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO
  • 2B Chris Bisson (UK) — Eugene Emeralds — Has not played
  • OF Lance Ray (UK) — Elizabethton Twins — 5-23 (.217), 2 RBI, 2 R
  • SS Jonathan Roof (Paducah) — AZL Rangers — Has not played
  • RHP Neil Holland (UofL) — Vermont Lake Monsters — 0-0, 2 G, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
  • 2B Adam Duvall (UofL) — Salem-Keizer Volcanoes — 2-11 (.182), 3 R
  • SS Drew Lee (Morehead St.) — Bristol White Sox — 8-23 (.348), 5 RBI, 3 R
  • 1B Andrew Clark (UofL) — Spokane Indians — 11-28 (.393), 2 RBI, 3 R
  • 3B Michael Mosby (Hawesville) — Bluefield Orioles — 4-10 (.400), 1 RBI, 3 R
  • RHP Patrick Cooper (Danville) — Not assigned to a team
  • 3B Jayson Langfels (EKU) — Tri-City Dust Devils — 2-15 (.133), 1 RBI
  • 1B Wes Cunningham (Murray St.) — Eugene Emeralds — 1-14 (.071), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
  • OF Cameron Conner (Frankfort) — AZL Royals — 3-18 (.167), 1 RBI
  • C Jeff Arnold (UofL) — Salem-Keizer Volcanoes — 4-14 (.286), 2 R
  • 2B Matt Payton (WKU) — GCL Phillies — 2-19 (.105)
  • RHP Matt Little (UK) — Connecticut Tigers — 0-0, 4 G, 1 SV, 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
  • LHP Jarrett Casey (NKU) — Bristol White Sox — 0-1, 2 G, 1 SV, 2.2 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO
  • 1B Tyler Oliver (Lexington) — 7-18 (.389), 5 RBI, 2 R
  • RHP Stephen Shackleford (Louisville) — 0-1, 2 G, 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
  • LHP Dean Kiekhefer (UofL) — 0-1, 1 G, 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
  • OF Jeremy Shelby (Lexington) — Bluefield Orioles — 1-8 (.125), 2 R, 1 SB
  • LHP Bart Carter (WKU) — Fort Myers Miracle — 3 G, 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
  • RHP Matt Ridings (WKU) — Out for season after Tommy John Surgery
  • 2B Patrick Brady (Bellarmine) — AZL Mariners — 0-4, 1 R
  • LHP Bob Revesz (UofL) — Johnson City Cardinals — 0-0, 1 G, 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
  • C Marcus Nidiffer (UK) — Greenville Astros — 7-16  (.438), 2 RBI, 2 R
  • 3B Gunner Glad (UK) — Elizabethton Twins — 5-20 (.200), 3 R
  • RHP Tyler Gatrell (Boyd Co.) — AZL Royals — 0-0, 2 G, 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
  • OF J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead St.) — 2-11 (.182), 1 R
  • C Richie Rowland (Campbellsville) — 9-17 (.529), 3 RBI, 3 R

CU catcher signs with D’Backs; Bray, Bats ready for second half; Hot Rods second baseman honored with weekly award

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Richie Rowland; Photo: Campbellsville University

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Campbellsville University junior catcher Richie Rowland has signed a professional contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a non-drafted free agent, CU reports in a news release. Through his first five games for Rookie Missoula, Rowland is 9-17 (.529) with three RBI and two runs scored.
  • Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal reports Louisville Bats reliever Bill Bray is ready to return to the Cincinnati Reds according to Bats manager Rick Sweet.
  • Grant also reports Bats left-handed pitcher Phillip Valiquette will accompany first baseman Yonder Alonso as a Bats’ representative to the Futures Game on the World Roster.
  • Jason Stella recaps the Bats’ up-and-down first half of the season for the team’s website.
  • Bowling Green Hot Rods infielder Tyler Bortnick was named Midwest League hitter of the week for the week ending June 20 after batting .429 with two home runs and six runs scored.

Kentuckians in the NYCBL

College Baseball

We’ll continue our look at where Kentucky collegians are playing summer leauge baseball with the New York Collegiate Baseball League. Check out the list of Kentuckians below with their college and NYCBL teams:

  • RHP Kyle Williams — Morehead State University — Allegany County Nitros
  • RHP Shane Stancill — University of Cumberlands — Albany Dutchmen
  • OF/RHP Sam Kidd — University of Kentucky — Amsterdam Mohawks
  • C Luke Maile — UK — Amsterdam Mohawks
  • RHP Sean Bouthilette — UK — Amsterdam Mohawks
  • C T. J. Daugherty — UK — Mohawk Valley Diamond Dogs
  • 3B Tyler Townsend — UK —  Mohawk Valley Diamond Dogs
  • OF Jared Clarkson — University of Louisville — Oneonta Outlaws
  • OF Tyler Fisher Georgetown College — Allegany County Nitros
  • C Brian Erie — Northern Kentucky University — Elmira Pioneers
  • RHP Matt Atkins — Kentucky Wesleyan University — Geneva Red Wings