Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks 2010 Lexington Legends shortstop Jiovanni Mier, outfielder J. D. Martinez, right-handed pitcher Tanner Bushue and second baseman Jimmy Paredes among the top 10 prospects in the Astros’ organization. Likely 2011 Legends Delino DeShields Jr., Mike Foltynewicz and Austin Wates also are included on the list.
Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb feels he is ready to pitch in a game situation, but the Rangers have not decided what his next step will be.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez will start the season with a left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters, who was born in Pikeville, sharing the closer role with right-handed pitcher Craig Kimbrel.
Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun reports Louisville native and former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch has been a key mentor for some of the Blue Jays young pitchers this spring.
Nick Baumgardner of the Bowling Green Daily News reports Western Kentucky University head coach Chris Finwood and 11 player shaved their heads following their Friday win versus Middle Tennessee to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation that supports the fight against childhood cancer.
John Manuel of Baseball America has published the magazine’s top 10 Houston Astros’ prospect list with several current, former and future Legends included in the rankings. The list is headlined by 2009 Legend Jordan Lyles, who is followed by 2010 Legends Jiovanni Mier (No. 5), J. D. Martinez (No. 6), Jimmy Paredes (No. 7) and Tanner Bushue (No. 8). Three players on the list, Delino Deshields Jr. (No. 2), Mike Foltynewicz (No. 4) and Austin Wates (No. 9), could open 2011 in Lexington.
University of Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell recently completed an interview with College Baseball Daily in which he touches on a number of topics including newcomer standouts from fall practice.
The University of Illinois has announced it will play a three-game series at Western Kentucky University on March 11-13 to replace its scheduled appearance in the Metrodome Tournament. The Metrodome suffered a roof collapse on Dec. 12 an officials have announced the facility will not be ready to host previously scheduled college baseball games this spring.
UofL assistant coach Xan Barksdale will speak at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention this weekend about preparing catchers for success.
Nick Evans of the Louisville Bats media relations department notes the Cincinnati Reds Caravan will stop at Louisville Slugger Field on Jan. 27.