Yesterday we looked at the hitting and pitching leaderboards for full-season Kentucky minor leaguers in advance of the BluGrass Baseball MiLB awards post. If you saw that post you already know former UK catcher Marcus Nidiffer was named the rookie of the year, but looking at the statistical leaders among players that made their professional debuts in 2010 is still helpful.
The 2010 MiLB season is winding down with league playoffs set to start over the next week. The three rookie-level leagues have finalized their playoff participants with four Kentucky minor leaguers qualifying for postseason play. Check out a quick break down of each below:
Gulf Coast League
Matt Payton — The former Western Kentucky University infielder and 2010 Phillies draftee batted leadoff for the GCL Phillies in the team’s semifinal victory. Payton didn’t record a hit but scored twice. The Phillies face the GCL Rays in a best-of-three series starting tonight.
Logan Darnell, Gunner Glad — Former University of Kentucky teammates Darnell and Glad will look to lead the Elizabethton Twins to victory in the Appalachian League playoffs. Glad is batting .240 with two home runs and 14 RBI for the Twins, and Darnell is 2-3 with a 2.20 ERA in 10 games. Since moving to the starting rotation, Darnell is 2-2 with a 1.44 ERA in five games. The Twins face the Pulaski Mariners in the first round.
Bob Revesz — The former University of Louisville left-handed reliever and 2010 Cardinals draftee is 4-2 with a 4.84 ERA in 16 appearances for the Johnson City Cardinals. Revesz will look to be a valuable southpaw out of the Cardinals’ bullpen during the team’s first round series against the Burlington Royals.
Two teams still haven’t qualified for the rookie Pioneer League playoffs.
The Louisville Bats dropped consecutive games for the first time since the end of June and were shutout first the first time since July 1 with a 1-0 loss to Columbus. Left-handed pitcher Matt Maloney surrendered just one run in six innings of relief of Travis Wood.
Great Lakes scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning to break open a tied game and hand the Bowling Green Hot Rods a 10-5 loss. Shortstop Tyler Bortnick was 2-6 with a home run.
The Lexington Legends‘ game with the West Virginia Power was rained out.
In his second game for short-season Tri-City, former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer was 3-4 with two home runs, five RBI and two runs scored.
Former UK outfielder and 2010 Twins draftee Lance Ray was 3-4 with a double for low A Beloit.
Former UK catcher Sean Coughlin slugged his fifth home run of the season for AA Mobile.
Former UofL left-handed reliever and 2010 Cardinals draftee Bob Revesz earned his third win of the season for rookie-level Johnson City.
Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich was 3-4 with two doubles for short-season Hudson Valley.
Former WKU infielder Wade Gaynor was 3-6 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored for low A West Michigan.
Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones earned his ninth win of the season after surrendering one run on five hits in seven innings for high A Winston-Salem.
One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker picked up his 10th win of the season for AA Carolina with seven innings of one-run ball. Klinker struck out seven and walked none.
Paducah native Michael Broadway picked up his third win of the season for AAA Gwinnett.
Boyd County native and 2010 Royals NDFA Tyler Gatrell picked up his first career win for the rookie-level AZL Royals.
The Louisville Bats extended their winning streak to six games with an 8-7 win over Toledo. Designated hitter Wladimir Balentien was 3-5 with two doubles, a run scored and five RBI.
The Lexington Legends offense gave right-handed pitcher Tanner Bushue plenty of run support but he didn’t need it in the team’s 10-3 win over Delmarva. Bushue surrendered just one unearned run on six hits in six innings, and three different Legends tallied three hits in the game.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods scored six runs after the sixth inning to earn a come-from-behind 9-5 win over Fort Wayne. Right fielder Brett Nommensen was 3-5 with two triples, five RBI and one run scored.
Former UK left-handed pitcher and 2010 Twins draftee Logan Darnell picked up his first career win for rookie-level Elizabethton with five scoreless innings in his second professional start.
Former UofL infielder Chris Dominguez was 4-5 with a walk for low A Augusta.
Lexington native Robbie Ross picked up his 12th win of the season after surrendering two runs on five hits in five innings for high A Bakersfield. Ross struck out five and walked one.
Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 Cardinals draftee Bob Revesz picked up his first career save for rookie-level Johnson City.
Frankfort native and 2010 Royals draftee Cameron Conner tripled and drove in three runs for the rookie-level AZL Royals.
Three different Louisville Bats homered in the team’s 7-5 win over Charlotte. First baseman Yonder Alonso, third baseman Juan Francisco and designated hitter Wladimir Balentien each launched a long ball for Louisville.
Bowling Green Hot Rods left-handed pitcher Kyle Lobstein earned his seventh win of the season in the Hot Rods’ 5-3 win over Dayton. Lobstein surrendered three runs in seven innings and struck out five while walking none.
The Lexington Legends were off Wednesday.
Former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin took a no decision for high A Daytona despite surrendering just two unearned runs in five innings. Rusin struck out five and walked none.
Former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill slugged his 13th home run of the season for AA Mobile.
Former UK catcher Sean Coughlin was 3-4 with two doubles and two runs scored for AA Mobile.
Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 Cardinals draftee Bob Revesz earned his second win of the season with three scoreless innings of relief for rookie-level Johnson City.
Former UofL outfielder and 2010 Rangers draftee Josh Richmond was 3-3 with a walk and two runs scored for short-season Spokane.
Former NKU left-handed pitcher and 2010 White Sox draftee Jarrett Casey recorded his longest outing of the season since being moved to the rookie-level Bristol starting rotation but still took a loss after surrendering one earned run in six innings.
Also playing for rookie-level Bristol, former Morehead St. shortstop and 2010 White Sox draftee Drew Lee extended his hitting streak to ten games with a 2-3 performance.
One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker picked up his fourth win of the season for the Louisville Bats in the team’s 8-4 victory over Charlotte. Center fielder Michael Griffin was 2-2 with two home runs, three RBI and two runs scored.
Lexington Legends right-handed pitcher Tanner Bushue scattered three hits in seven shutout innings to lead the Legends to a 3-1 win over Rome. Bushue struck out five and walked just one in the game to earn his fifth win of the season.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods were off Tuesday.
Former UK outfielder John Shelby slugged his seventh home run of the season for AA Birmingham and was 2-3 with one RBI and two runs scored.
London native Jon Townsend slugged his fourth home run of the season, drove in four runs, tallied two hits and scored twice for high A Rancho Cucamonga.
Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer slugged his seventh home run in just 26 professional games for rookie-level Greeneville.
Former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was 3-4 with a double, triple, one RBI and two runs scored for AA Mobile.
Former UK infielder Michael Bertram was 3-4 with a double, three RBI and one run scored for AA Erie.
Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 Cardinals draftee Bob Revesz pick up his first professional win with a scoreless inning and one-third for rookie-level Johnson City.
Former UofL outfielder Boomer Whiting scored three times for AAA Syracuse and was 2-4 with a stolen base.
Former WKU infielder and 2010 Phillies draftee Matt Payton scored three times and was 2-4 with two walks and a stolen base for the rookie-level GCL Phillies.
Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcocktook the loss for high A Bradenton despite allowing just three runs in six innings. He struck out six and walked just one.
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
Minor League Baseball short-season league play began over the weekend, and rookie leagues are set to start this week so most of the 2010 Kentucky draftees have been given their first professional assignments. You can always access these assignments for all Kentucky minor leaguers on the “Ky. in the Minors” page, but here’s a rundown of the players making their professional debuts listed in draft order:
Thomas Royse — University of Louisville — Rookie Great Falls Voyagers
Chris Bisson — University of Kentucky — Short-Season Eugene Emeralds
University of Kentucky junior second baseman and preseason All-America Chris Bisson has signed a professional contract with the San Diego Padres as the team’s fourth-round draft pick, Corey Brock of MLB.comreports via Twitter. Bisson batted .329 with five home runs, 43 runs scored and 35 RBI for UK in 2010 and led the Southeastern Conference with 32 stolen bases. The Ontario native missed five games after being hit in the face by a pitch early in the season and had to play through a minor slump after returning from injury. As a sophomore Bisson batted .360 and led the Cape Cod League with 36 stolen bases during the summer of 2009. Bisson will begin his professional career at short-season Eugene.
Three more University of Louisville Cardinals have signed professional contracts, led by senior first baseman Andrew Clark. Clark, who signed with the Texas Rangers as the team’s 13th round selection, batted .370 with 13 home runs and 61 RBI in 2010 despite missing several weeks with a rib cage injury. Junior left-handed pitcher Dean Kiekhefer and senior left-handed pitcher Bob Revesz wont have to change mascots after signing with the St. Louis Cardinals as the team’s 36th and 49th round picks respectively. Kiekhefer was 3-4 with a 4.34 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 62.2 innings pitched in 2010, and Revesz was 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched.
No. 9 University of Louisville‘s elimination from the NCAA tournament was slightly overshadowed by the draft coverage here at BluGrass Baseball, but now it’s time to finish the season review series with a look at the Big East champion Cardinals. UofL finished the season at 50-14 and one win shy of a NCAA super regional.
Hitter of the year: 2B Ryan Wright — The Cards had plenty of hitters to choose from for this honor, as evidenced by their six offensive draftees, but the award goes to the sophomore second baseman who wasn’t even eligible for the draft. Wright was second on the team in batting (.366) behind senior first baseman Andrew Clark (.370)but played in 11 more games than Clark. He led the team in RBI (80), hits (93) and triples (2) and ranked third in runs scored (61). Wright also stole 10 bases in 11 attempts.
Pitcher of the year: RHP Thomas Royse — The Big East pitcher of the year was a shoe-in for this award as he lead the state in most major pitching categories. Royse, a third-supplemental round pick by the Chicago White Sox, finished the season at 9-1 with a 2.85 ERA and 99 strikeouts compared to 26 walks in 104 and one-third innings pitched. Opponents batted just .257 against Royse on the season.
Season high point: Battling for the Big East Conference regular season title with Connecticut in the season’s final weekend, UofL outscored Notre Dame 23-6 in a series sweep to clinch the title. The Cards all but wrapped up a top eight national seed in the NCAA tournament with the conference championship.
Season low point: The vaunted UofL offense picked the worst time to go cold as the Cards were held scoreless for a season-high 15 consecutive innings in back-to-back losses to Vanderbilt to be eliminated from the NCAA tournament. Even worse, the first loss came against soft-tossing lefty Richie Goodenow, who had made just one previous start for Vanderbilt before pitching a complete-game shutout against UofL.
Micellaneous: The Cards had five batters, Phil Wunderlich (21), Wright (16), Stewart Ijames (14), Clark (13), Adam Duvall (12), reach double digits in home runs…Royse, Neil Holland, Duvall, Wunderlich, Josh Richmond, Clark, Jeff Arnold, Ijames, Dean Kiekhefer and Bob Revesz were each selected in the 2010 draft…Holland was among the country’s best relievers after saving 17 games and going 8-1 with a 2.08 ERA and .160 batting average against…Freshman right-handed starting pitchers Justin Amlung (5-2, 4.27) and Matt Koch (3-0, 3.27) performed admirably down the stretch, setting UofL up well for the 2011 season.