Joe Blanton; Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:
- Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton said Tuesday he had identified a mechanical problem that was leading to his early season struggles, but Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said he did not know of any problem.
- Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times reports the Angels are enjoying the added flexibility brought to the bullpen since Louisville native and former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs returned from the disabled list, giving the team two left-handed relievers.
- George Von Benko of MLB.com reports Bowling Green native Corey Hart took batting practice on the field with the Milwaukee Brewers for the first time on Thursday.
- Western Kentucky University will retire the jersey of former catcher Jack Glasser, who batted .326 in his three-year career. Glasser is the first WKU baseball player to have his jersey retired.
- Mark Maloney of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports on the baseball side-show in Lexington early this week in the form of 2010 No. 1 pick Bryce Harper.
- Mike Fields of the Herald-Leader reports Lawrence County High School right-handed pitcher Chandler Shepherd, a UK signee, has rebounded from Tommy John surgery to put himself in consideration for Mr. Baseball honors.
We’ve noted each of the college baseball early signing classes released by Kentucky schools, but the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky have not officially announced their early classes. Despite the lack of a university news release Yahoo! Sports posted a signing list for UK on the Rivals.com message board thread where Kendall Rogers was tracking signing classes from across the country. The list matches previous media reports about commitments but has not been confirmed by UK:
- RHP Chandler Shepherd — Lawrence County High School
- RHP Spencer Drake — Eastern High School
- INF Ryan Loehnert — St Xavier High School
- RHP Taylor Martin — Lexington Catholic High School
- OF Jeff Boehm — Lansing, Ill.
- LHP Jerad Grundy — Heartland CC
- OF Austin Cousino — Dublin, Ohio
- C Greg Fettes — Madison Heights, Mich.
- INF Max Kuhn — Zionsville, Ind.
- LHP Sam Mahar — Pleasant Prairie, Wisc.
- LHP AJ Reed — Terre Haute, Ind.
- RHP Shane Grimm — Walters State CC
Yahoo! Sports didn’t list Grimm on their Kentucky early signing period class, but the Herald-Leader reported in August the former Paintsville High School star had committed to UK. The headliner of the class is probably Cousino, who was named the tournament MVP at the 2009 IBAF ‘AA’ World Youth Championships for Team USA (16U). Shepherd, Drake and Martin were each named KHSBCA 2nd Team All-State in 2010.
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.)
Check out the first and second Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association All-State teams:
- 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.