University of Louisville junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich has signed a professional contract with the Tampa Bay Rays as the team’s 12th-round pick, Baseball America reports. Wunderlich batted .355 with 21 home runs 62 RBI and 54 runs scored in 64 games for UofL this season. He was named to the second-team all Big East Conference team following the season. Wunderlich was scheduled to play in the Cape Cod League this summer. He has been assigned to the short-season Hudson Valley Renegades and went 0-4 in his professional debut.
Western Kentucky University senior right-handed pitcher and Sun Belt Conference pitcher of the year Matt Ridings has signed a professional contract with the Kansas City Royals as the team’s 41st-round pick. Ridings was projected to be selected in the first ten rounds of the draft before he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow just days prior to the draft. Ridings was 9-1 with a 3.01 ERA in 14 starts for WKU on the season. He struck out 90 batters and walked just 17 in 92 and two-third innings.
Morehead State University senior outfielder J. D. Ashbrook has signed a Minor League contract with the Chicago White Sox as a non-drafted free agent, according to a Morehead news release. Ashbrook batted .432 with 18 home runs and 55 RBI en route to being named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference team. The centerfielder will head to the Appalachian League to play for the rookie-level Bristol White Sox alongside former Morehead teammate Drew Lee.
- Katya Cengel of the Courier-Journal profiles University of Louisville rising redshirt freshman catcher Asaad Ali and his relationship with his father, famed boxer Muhammad Ali.
- Edison Volquez made a rehab start for the Louisville Bats Wednesday and hopes to make two more starts before rejoining the Cincinnati Reds, Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal reports.
- Ben Badler of Baseball America breaks down the Reds’ decision to move Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman to the bullpen in hopes of prepping him for a possible big-league callup.
- The South Atlantic League All-Star game wasn’t kind to the Lexington Legends‘ representatives. Jose Altuve, Kody Hinze and J. D. Martinez combined to go 2-12 in the game. Reliever Kirk Clark surrendered two hits but no runs in one inning.
Last week we began a series of posts informing you where some of Kentucky’s college baseball players were spending their summer with Western Kentucky University. Today we’ll look at the most prestigious collegiate summer league: the Cape Cod League. I’ve listed Kentucky collegians playing in the Cape below with their school and Cape team.
- RHP Tony Zych — University of Louisville — Bourne Braves
- SS Ryan Wright — UofL — Bourne Braves
- 3B Andy Burns — University of Kentucky — Brewster Wildcats
- OF Chad Wright — UK — Cotuit Kettleers
- RHP/1B Braden Kapteyn — UK — Harwich Mariners
- SS Zach Osborne — Pleasure Ridge Park High School (Tennessee) — Hyannis Harbor Hawks
- OF Josh Richmond — UofL — Wareham Gatemen
- RHP Alex Meyer — UK — Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox
- RHP Derek Self — UofL — Chatham Anglers
UK OF Lance Ray, UofL 3B Phil Wunderlich and OF Stewart Ijames were originally scheduled to play in the Cape Cod League this summer, but have since left their teams. Ray signed with the Minnesota Twins as their eighth round pick. Wunderlich was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 12th round, and Ijames was selected by the New York Yankees in the 29th round.
University of Kentucky junior first baseman and outfielder Lance Ray has signed a professional contract with the Minnesota Twins as the team’s eighth-round pick. Ray was a little-used reserve for UK during the first half of the 2010 season, but after moving into the starting lineup full-time during conference play he quickly became the team’s best hitter. Ray finished the season batting .356 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI but didn’t qualify for the batting title with only 118 at-bats. If Ray had qualified for the title he also would have led the team in on-base percentage (.458) and slugging percentage (.720). Ray made his professional debut Tuesday for the rookie Elizabethton Twins, playing alongside former UK teammate Gunner Glad. Ray was 0-4 with a strikeout in his debut.
Now that the rookie leagues’ seasons are underway several other 2010 Kentucky draftees have received their first professional assignment. We listed several assignments earlier this week, but here are the latest we’ve seen listed by draft order.
- Lance Ray — University of Kentucky — Rookie Elizabethton Twins
- Michael Mosby — Hawesville, Ky., Wabash Valley JC — Bluefield Orioles
- Cameron Conner — Frankfort, Ky., IU Southeast — Rookie AZL Royals
- Matt Payton — Western Kentucky University — Rookie GCL Phillies
- Tyler Oliver — LCA, Wabash Valley JC — Rookie GCL Nationals
- Stephen Shackleford — Louisville, Ky., SCAD — Rookie AZL Giants
- Bart Carter — Rookie GCL Twins
- Gunner Glad — Rookie Elizabethton Twins*
- Tyler Gatrell — Boyd County, Marshall — Rookie AZL Royals*
* — Glad and Gatrell were non-drafted free agents.
Lexington Christian Academy alum and Minnesota Twins farmhand Ben Revere, Eastern Kentucky University alum and Colorado Rockies prospect Christian Friedrich and University of Louisville alum and Toronto Blue Jays Minor Leaguer Trystan Magnuson have been named to the 2010 MLB Futures Game to be played during All-Star weekend. Revere, the Twins’ 2007-first round pick, was ranked the No. 5 prospect in the Twins organization by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season and is batting .307 with 21 stolen bases for AA New Britain. Friedrich, the Rockies 2008 first-round pick, was ranked the No. 2 prospect in the Rockies’ organization by Baseball America and is 0-5 with a 4.58 ERA for AA Tulsa. Revere and Friedrich will play for the U.S. team.
Magnuson, the Blue Jays’ 2007 fifth-round pick, is 1-0 with a 2.09 ERA in 25 relief appearances for AA New Hampshire. The Canadian right-handed pitcher will play for the World team. Louisville Bats first baseman Yonder Alonso was also named to the World roster. Former Lexington Legend Jordan Lyles, now playing for AA Corpus Christi was also named to the U. S. team. You can see the entire World roster and U.S. roster via Baseball America.
We did this last summer, but with Monday’s announcement that Western Hills shortstop J. T. Riddle had been named the 2010 Mr. Baseball it’s always fun to look back on previous Mr. Baseballs and see where they are today. Check out the list below with each player’s most recent baseball affiliation:
- 2010: J. T. Riddle (Western Hills) — Riddle has signed to play college ball at the University of Kentucky in 2011 and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 35th round of the 2010 MLB draft.
- 2009: Luke Maile (Covington Catholic) — Maile is a rising sophomore at UK and was 7-25 with three home runs and six RBI in limited action as a freshman.
- 2008: Zack Cox (Pleasure Ridge Park) — Spent 2010 as a sophomore at Arkansas where he was named an All-American by several outlets after batting .429. Cox was the first-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2010 MLB draft.
- 2007: Ben Revere (Lexington Catholic) — Revere was the Minnesota Twins’ first round pick in 2007 and has done nothing but hit in his Minor League career. Revere is currently batting .307 with 21 stolen bases for the AA New Britain Rock Cats and was named the fifth best prospect in the Twins’ system by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season.
- 2006: Nathan Adcock (North Hardin) — After three and one-half mediocre season in the Seattle Mariners’ organization Adcock was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009 as part of the Jack Wilson trade. Adcock is having his best season to date in 2010 for the high A Bradenton Marauders where he is 6-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 13 starts.
- 2005: Chaz Roe (Lafayette) — Roe was the Colorado Rockies’ first-supplemental round pick in the 2005 MLB draft and has worked his way through the Minor Leagues to AAA. Last year was Roe’s best season to date when he went 7-3 with a 3.15 ERA for AA Tulsa, but he has struggled so far in 2010 to the tune of a 5-7 record and 5.86 ERA in hitter-friendly AAA Colorado Springs.
- 2004: Collin Cowgill (Henry Clay) — Cowgill was a standout in his four seasons at UK and has continued to excel in professional baseball after the Arizona Diamondbacks took him with their fifth-round pick in 2008. Named the ninth best prospect in the D’Backs farm system by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season, Cowgill is batting .280 with five home runs and 43 RBI for AA Mobile this season.
- 2003: Josh Ellis (Paul Laurence Dunbar) — While older brother A.J. Ellis has carved a niche for himself as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ backup catcher this season, Josh is still working his way through the Diamobacks system after the team selected him in the 11th round of the 2007 draft. Ellis is 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA in 18 relief appearances between AAA Reno and AA Mobile this season.
- 2002: Brad Corley (Pleasure Ridge Park) — Corley was the Pirates second-round pick as an outfielder in 2005 and was named the tenth best prospect in the team’s system by Baseball America entering the 2008 season. Corely’s career stalled after that honor. and he hasn’t advanced past AA since. He was acquired by Colorado in 2009 and is currently playing for short-season Tri-City as he attempts to become a full-time pitcher.
- 2001: Jeremy Sowers (Ballard) — Sowers was the Indian’s first-round pick in 2004 out of Vanderbilt University and has appeared in 72 games over parts of four season with the Indians. Sowers is 18-30 as a MLB starting pitcher, and he is currently struggling to the tune of a 1-4 record and 6.49 ERA as a left-handed reliever for AAA Columbus.
- 2000: Spencer Graeter (Ballard) — Greater batted .307 with 14 home runs and 98 RBI in four seasons for UK from 2001-2004 but never appeared in affiliated ball.
- 1999: Joe Blanton (Franklin-Simpson) — Blanton has appeared in two World Series and even earned a victory in game four of the Philadelphia Phillies World Series win in 2008. Blanton is just 2-5 with a 6.96 ERA in eight starts for Philadelphia this season, but is 65-59 with a 4.34 ERA in seven MLB seasons with the Oakland Athletics and Phillies.
- 1998: Austin Kearns (Lafayette) — Kearns won a job as a reserve outfielder with the Cleveland Indians in Spring Training and has worked his way into a starting role. On the season Kearns is batting .288 with seven home runs an 32 RBI. In nine MLB seasons, Kearns has batted .258 with 112 home runs and 454 RBI with the Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and Indians.
- 1997: Scott Hodges (Henry Clay) — Hodges was the Montreal Expos’ first-round pick in 1997 and spent nine seasons in the Minor Leagues appearing as high as AAA. In 2005 he was diagnosed with lymphoma, ending his career.
- 1996: Aaron McGlone (Greenup Co.) — McGlone batted .345 with eight home runs and 51 RBI for UK in 2000, but never appeared in affiliated ball.
- 1995: Brad Wilkerson (Apollo) — Wilkerson spent parts of eights season in the Major Leagues, batting .247 with 122 home runs and 399 RBI for the Expos, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays. He retired in 2008 before briefly making a comeback with the Phillies during Spring Training this season only to announce his retirement for good.
- 1994: Scott Downs (Pleasure Ridge Park) — Downs was the Chicago Cubs’ third-round pick in 1997 out of UK, and has spent parts of ten season in the big leagues. Over the past four seasons he has carved out a niche as one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2010 he is 2-5 with a 3.34 ERA in 34 games for the Blue Jays.
- 1993: Dion Newby (Harrison Co.) — Newby played collegiately at North Alabama but never appeared in affiliated ball.
- 1992: Shon Walker (Harrison Co.) — Walker was the Pirates first-round pick in 1992 and last appeared in affiliated ball in 1998 at High A Lynchburg.
- 1991: Trever Miller (Trinity) — Miller’s long Major League career is still going strong as a left-handed reliever in the St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen. Miller is 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 25 games for the Cardinals this season and is 18-16 with a 4.17 ERA over 12 MLB seasons. Miller was the Detroit Tigers’ first-round pick in 1991.
- 1990: Darren Burton (Pulaski Co.) — Burton was the Royals’ fifth-round pick in 1990 and last appeared in affiliated ball at AA Altoona in 2001. He spent parts of six seasons in AAA.
- 1989: Tab Brown (St. Xavier) — Brown was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1989 and spent at least two seasons in the Braves’ organization.
In the last of the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association 2010 awards we’ll look at the players of the year from each of the 16 regions. You can also see the coach and assistant coach of the year for each region here.
- Region 1 — Brock Downey (Murray)
- Region 2 — Kyle Gibson (Henderson County)
- Region 3 — Cole Sturgeon (Owensboro Catholic)
- Region 4 — Ty Downing (Greenwood)
- Region 5 — Aaron Schwoebel (Campbellsville)
- Region 6 — Brandon Alphin (Bullit East)
- Region 7 — Corey Littrell (Trinity)
- Region 8 — A.J. Knezevich (Oldham Co.)
- Region 9 — Austin Pugh (Conner)
- Region 10 — Jared Martin (Harrison Co.)
- Region 11 — Trevor Gott (Tates Creek)
- Region 12 — Aaron Watts (McCreary Central)
- Region 13 — John Wilson (Clay Co.)
- Region 14 — Kevin Smith (Perry Central)
- Region 15 — Chandler Shepherd (Lawrence Co.)
- Region 16 — Joe Hunt (Fleming Co.)
- Brock Downey — Murray High School
- Justin Hageman — Hopkinsville High School
- Kyle Gibson — Henderson County High School
- Cole Isom — Christian County High School
- Cole Sturgeon — Owensboro Catholic High School
- Ty Downing – Greenwood High School
- Shane Waldrop — Warren Central High School
- Brandon Alphin — Bullitt East High School
- Corey Littrell – Trinity High School
- John Fidanza – Ballard High School
- Kyle Cornett – Eastern High School
- Brian Doering – Manual High School
- Jared Martin — Harrison County High School
- Trevor Gott — Tates Creek High School
- J.T. Riddle — Western Hills High School
- Lucas Witt — Lexington Christian Academy
- Louie Helmburg — West Jessamine High School
- Duran Elmore — Danville High School
- Tyler Saltsman — Grayson County High School
- Mikey Scott — Grayson County High School
- Matt Bowles — Bullitt East High School
- Taylor Banks — Pleasure Ridge Park
- Ryan Messex — Louisville Male High School
- Matt Spalding — St. X
- Spencer Drake — Eastern High School
- Corey Bays — Henry Clay High School
- Eric Standafer — Shelby County High School
- Austin Pugh — Conner High School
- Brice Smallwood — Dixie Heights High School
- Logan Dailey — Harrison County High School
- Taylor Martin — Lexington Catholic High School
- Evan Stephens — Lexington Christian Academy
- Aaron Watts — McCreary Central High School
- Noah Smallwood — West Jessamine High School
- Chandler Shepherd — Lawrence County High School
- Gavin Miller — Pikeville High School
You can see the honorable mention team with player’s from each region here.
For the second consecutive season a University of Kentucky signee has been named Mr. Kentucky Baseball by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association. Western Hills High School shortstop J. T. Riddle, who was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 35th round of the 2010 MLB draft, was named Mr. Baseball Monday after a season in which he batted .514 with seven home runs, 62 RBI and 20 stolen bases as a senior. Riddle also pitched for Western Hills and went 8-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched on the mound. UK freshman catcher Luke Maile was named 2009 Mr. Baseball. Trinity pitcher Corey Littrell, Henderson County catcher Kyle Gibson, Tates Creek pitcher/infielder Trevor Gott, Bullitt East pitcher/infielder Brandon Alphin and Hopkinsville pitcher/shortstop Justin Hageman were finalists for the award.
State champion Harrison County High School head coach Mac Whitaker was named KHSBCA’s coach of the year. Whitaker led Harrison County to its fourth state championship under his reign and a 36-4 record. Check back later for the entire KHSBCA All-State team.