Latest links and highlights from around Kentucky baseball:
On Saturday Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 1-3 and one-time UK outfielder Jason Kipnis was 1-1 with a double in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game. PRP alum and St. Louis Cardinals 2010 first-round pick Zack Cox was 0-2 in the game.
Junior left-handed pitcher Alex Meyer highlighted the final game of the University of Kentucky Fall World Series with three scoreless innings.
Nick Coman of NESN speculates the Red Sox could fix the team’s bullpen as well as deal a blow to a division foe by signing former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs.
Bill Ballew, writing for BA, names 2010 Bowling Green Hot Rods right-handed pitcher Alexander Colome the No. 7 prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Former Hot Rod left-handed pitcher Matt Moore was ranked the No. 2 prospect.
The Houston Astros named Lexington Legends outfielder Jacob Goebbert the team MVP. Former Legends Brandon Barnes and Koby Clemens were named team MVPs at high A Lancaster and AA Corpus Christi respectively.
Jim Callis of Baseball America ranked Bowling Green Hot Rods right-handed pitcher Alexander Colome No. 16 on his top 20 Midwest League prospects list.
In the accompanying online chat, Callis touches on a number of Midwest League prospects including former WKU infielder Wade Gaynor.
Bowling Green native Corey Hart topped 100 RBI on the season with a RBI Thursday.
Paul Gattis of The Huntsville Times reports on the pink movement in professional sports to raise awareness of breast cancer research including the role Louisville Slugger played in the movement.
Louisville Bats outfielder Todd Frazier and Team USA will begin pool play at 7:30 tonight in the Pan American/World Cup Qualifying Tournament.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods digressed in their second season from a 64-74 record in 2009 to a 61-78 record in 2010. The Hot Rods were slightly worse in the second half of the season than the first, but were consistently below average for the whole year. The season wasn’t without its highlights though as the Hot Rods led the Midwest League with 249 stolen bases, 64 more than the second place team. In the second end of season awards post we’ll look at the best performances at the plate and on the mound from Bowling Green in 2010.
Hitter of the year: 2B Tyler Bortnick
Infielder Tyler Bortnick spent all but 12 games in Bowling Green this season and finished the year as the only Hot Rod with a batting average above .300. Bortnick batted .303 with eight home runs, 45 RBI, 72 runs scored and 39 stolen bases in 113 games with the Hot Rods. Bortnick’s 39 steals were seventh most in the Midwest League, and he ranked tenth in batting average.
Honorable mention — Outfielder Brett Nommensen led the team with 10 home runs and 68 RBI…Outfielder Ty Morrison ranked second in the Midwest League with 58 stolen bases…Outfielder Christopher Murrill stole 28 bases and batted .292 in 70 games.
Pitcher of the year: RHP Alexander Colome
Right-handed starting pitcher Alexander Colome was the only Hot Rods’ pitcher with enough innings to qualify for the league ERA title to post an ERA below 4.00. On the season Colome was 6-6 with a 3.95 ERA in 22 starts for the Hot Rods. Colome struck out 118 batters and walked 45 in 114 innings.
Honorable Mention — Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates posted a 3.30 ERA in 27 games, including 12 starts…Reliever Scott Shuman led the team with 14 saves…Left-handed pitcher Kyle Lobstein led the team with nine wins and 128 strikeouts.
With today’s announcement of the AAA All-Star game rosters each of the full-season Minor Leagues has unveiled its All-Star roster. I’ve listed the Kentucky-related players below on each team with links to the full roster:
Highlights from Wednesday Kentucky Minor League action:
The Louisville Bats lost a heart-breaker 5-4 to the Durham Bulls on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the tenth inning. Bats first baseman Yonder Alonso was 3-5 in the game.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods recorded their second 2-0 shutout in 10 games with a win over the Lansing Lugnuts. Right-handed pitcher Alexander Colome held the Lugnuts scoreless through six and two-third innings while striking out six batters, and third baseman Julio Cedeno was 2-3 with a run scored, RBI and stolen base.
Lexington Legends ace and Houston Astros 2009 second-round pick Tanner Bushue recorded his wort start to-date in a 7-4 loss to the Hickory Crawdads. Bushue surrendered seven runs in just four and one-third innings.
Former Campbellsville University catcher Richie Rowland extended his hitting streak to seven games and with a 2-4, two-run-scored performance for the rookie-level Missoula Osprey. In eight professional games, Rowland is batting .538 with five RBI and five runs scored.
Former UK outfielder Lance Ray was 2-4 with two doubles and one run scored for the rookie-level Elizabethon Twins and is 5-11 over the last two games.
Former UK closer Matt Little has been promoted to the low A West Michigan Whitecaps where he pitched one and one-third scoreless innings with one strikeout in his debut.
Former WKU third baseman Wade Gaynor was 2-5 with two RBI and two runs scored in that same game for the Whitecaps.
Former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer posted his third consecutive three-hit performance for the high A High Desert Mavericks and is 9-12 with four runs scored over that span.
Former NKU left-handed pitcher and 2010 draftee Jarrett Casey picked up his second save in three appearances for the rookie-level Bristol White Sox with three scoreless innings.
In that same game former Morehead St. shortstop Drew Lee was 2-5 with his first professional home run, four RBI and one run scored for the White Sox.
Paducah native Daniel Webb took the loss for the short-season Auburn Doubledays after surrendering three runs in five and two-third innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Paducah native Eric Roof was 2-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored for the short-season Connecticut Tigers.
In that same game Danville native Patrick Cooper made his professional debut with a scoreless inning pitched for the Tigers. He struck out two.
We’re back on the April minor league award series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods.The first month of the season wasn’t kind to the Hot Rods, who stumbled out of the gate to the tune of a 5-17 record. Check out Bowling Green’s standout April performances below:
Hitter of the month: C Mark Thomas
Stats: .298/.365/.426 — 2 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R
It says a lot about the Hot Rods’ first month that the team’s most productive hitter played in just 14 of 23 games. Thomas led Bowling Green with two home runs, ranked second on the team with seven RBI and if he would have played in enough games to qualify for the percentage categories he would have led the team in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.
Honorable Mention: OF Christopher Murrill, 1B Ryan Wiegand
Pitcher of the month: RHP Shane Dyer
Stats: 1-2, 2.17 ERA, 20 SO/3 BB, 29 IP
If Dyer was upset at being sent back to Bowling Green to start 2010 he’s making his case for a promotion. The 2008 6th-round pick led the team in ERA and innings pitched. He even tallied a complete-game shutout in the month.
Christian Friedrich; Photo by Matt McGee via Flickr
Last summer I released the first BluGrass Baseball top prospects lists. The list was divided into two sections: top 10 prospects on Kentucky Minor League teams and top 10 Kentucky alumni prospects. Clearly the in-state Minor League team list has changed significantly for the 2010 season, and the natives list has also seen some slight revisions. I’ve included the list below, but you can always find it on the “Top Prospects” page here. A player’s ranking on the Baseball America top 100 prospect list is included in parenthesis next to his name.
BluGrass Baseball Top Prospects (Ky. Minor League Teams)
LHP Aroldis Chapman (22) — Louisville Bats
LF/3B Todd Frazier (43) — Louisville Bats
SS Jiovanni Mier (73) — Lexington Legends
OF Chris Heisey — Louisville Bats
RHP Tanner Bushue — Lexington Legends
3B Juan Francisco — Louisville Bats
LHP Travis Wood — Louisville Bats
RHP Alexander Colome — Bowling Green Hot Rods
LHP Matt Maloney — Louisville Bats
SS Zach Cozart — Louisville Bats
BluGrass Baseball Top Prospects (Ky. Alumni)
LHP Christian Friedrich (33) — EKU — Colorado Rockies
OF Ben Revere — Lexington Catholic High School– Minnesota Twins
RHP Robbie Ross — Lexington Christian Academy — Texas Rangers
1B Ryan Streiby — UK — Detroit Tigers
OF Collin Cowgill — UK — Arizona Diamondbacks
RHP Trystan Magnuson — UofL — Toronto Blue Jays
3B Chris Dominguez — UofL — San Francisco Giants
RHP Chaz Roe — Lafayette High School — Colorado Rockies
The Bowling Green Hot Rods have released their 2010 Opening Day roster for its first season in the Midwest League. The Hot Rods will feature four players, right-handed pitchers Shane Dyer, Jairo De La Rosa and Deivis Mavares and infielder Robi Estrada, who spent part of 2009 with the team. Five 2010 Hot Rods were ranked by Baseball America on the Tampa Bay Rays’ top 30 prospects list, and I’ve included those rankings next to the players’ name below.