Blanton, Phillies talking long-term deal; Heisey hopes to make Reds roster

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

Two more updates on the prominent Kentucky arbitration eligible players from this offseason, a profile of a 2009 minor leaguer and a ¬†news release from one of the state’s minor league teams for your Thursday morning:

  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports the Philadelphia Phillies are negotiating a long-term contract with University of Kentucky alum Joe Blanton instead of just a one-year deal.
  • The Miami Herald reports Florida Marlins President David Samson said on his radio show he expects Louisville-native Dan Uggla to be Florida’s Opening Day second baseman.
  • Mark Sheldon of MLB.com profiles 2009 Louisville Bat Chris Heisey and his attempt to make the 2010 Reds roster.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods have released their 2010 promotions schedule.

Friedrich, Revere, Carroll, Heisey, Wood and Lyles earn MLB.com Player of the Year honors

Minor League Baseball

Sawyer Carroll; Photo: UK Athletics

Jonathan Mayo and Lisa Winston of MLB.com have picked their minor league offensive and pitcher of the year winners for each of the 30 major league franchises. As you might expect, several include information about BluGrass Baseball players, and I’ve passed those along below.

  • EKU alum Christian Friedrich was named the Rockies best minor league pitcher.
  • Lexington Christian Academy alum Ben Revere was named the Minnesota Twins offensive player of the year.
  • UK alum Sawyer Carroll was named co-offensive player of the year in the San Diego Padres system.
  • MLB.com selected 2009 Louisville Bats Chris Heisey and Travis Wood as the Reds’ player and pitcher of the year.
  • Lexington Legends ace Jordan Lyles was named the Astros’ pitcher of the year, and former Legend Koby Clemens was named the offensive player of the year in the Houston Astros’ system.
  • Bowling Green Hot Rods ace Matt Moore is mentioned among the lower level prospects in the Tampa Bay Rays’ system that will likely contribute down the road.

No Byrd threequel in Boston; MVP voting

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Paul Byrd; Photo by scart via Flickr

Light day for news as baseball and journalism slows down a little for the Holiday. Don’t worry though, BluGrass Baseball is still chugging away.

  • 2009 Bat outfielder Chris Heisey finished in the voting for Arizona Fall League¬†MVP.
  • Chad Finn of The Boston Globe tries to predict the Red Sox 2010 Opening Day roster and favors Tim Wakefield in the fifth starter spot over “Paul Byrd, the threequel.”
  • Lexington Legends Hall-of-Famer Ben Zobrist finished eighth in the American League MVP voting.
  • Pikeville-native Mark Reynolds finished tied for 20th in the National League MVP voting.
  • Former Louisville Bat Joey Votto also received votes.

Beckham wrong choice; 2010 Reds may look like 2009 Bats

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

 

Tim Beckham; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

We have plenty of hot stove news for your Tuesday morning. I’ll be back later with a breakdown of the WKU early recruiting class. I will hopefully crank out another post today, but I will be traveling so it might be this evening.

 

  • Jim Callis of Baseball America writes while the Rays won’t admit it publicly they know they should have drafted Giants top prospect Buster Posey over 2009 Hot Rod Tim Beckham with the first pick in 2008.
  • Former Lexington Legends manager Tim Bogar will serve as the Red Sox’s third base coach in 2010 after being passed over for the Astros’ managerial job this offseason.
  • Carrie Muskat of MLB.com writes Louisville-native Dan Uggla is probable too expensive for the Cubs, and she answers a question in her mailbag about UK alum Chris Rusin.
  • Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports the Marlins are almost 100 percent certain they will keep infielder Jorge Cantu. That likely further ensures arbitration-eligble Uggla is on his way out of cost-cutting Florida.
  • Ken Rosenthal and John Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com report the Reds have to decide if they are willing to let 2009 Louisville Bats Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey man the outfield in 2010 before they offer a contract to slugger Jonny Gomes.

Reds set 40 man; Guillen wasn’t on UofL radar

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

Free agency is officially in full stride. All free agents can now negotiate with new teams so some might start signing contracts in the coming days. Don’t look for any of the Kentucky natives to sign until later this offseason though.

  • The Reds added 2009 Bats Chris Heisey, Logan Ondrusek, Chris Valaika, Philippe Valiquette and Travis Wood to the 40 man roster.
  • MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports 2009 Bat Lance Nix refused assignment to Louisville and became a free agent.
  • Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal reports UofL did not recruit White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen’s son Ozney Guillen despite published reports he signed with South Florida over Louisville.
  • The Bowling Green Daily News reports on WKU’s new baseball signing class.
  • Dan Conolly of The Baltimore Sun reports the Orioles claimed 2009 Bats catcher Craig Tatum off waivers from the Reds.
  • Tristan H. Cockcroft of ESPN.com answers some questions about the 2010 top 200 fantasy players rankings including one about Pikeville-native Mark Reynolds. (Check back latter for full breakdown)

Arizona Fall League Bluegrass wrap-up

Minor League Baseball

The Arizona Fall League regular season officially wrapped up Thursday. No Kentucky players are represented in the championship game to be played tomorrow, so their AFL seasons are now over. With that in mind here’s a look at each BluGrass Baseball AFL season:

RHP Chaz Roe — Lexington, Ky. — Scottsdale Scorpions

  • 0-2, 4.50 ERA, 10 SO/4 BB
  • 5 GS, 12 IP, .365 BA against

OF Chris Heisey — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguaros

  • .297, 5 home runs, 14 RBI
  • .297/.379/.593

1B Yonder Alonso — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguaros

  • .267, 2 home runs, 23 RBI
  • .267/.353/.395

RHP Logan Ondrusek — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguaros

  • 2-1, 13.50 ERA, 8 SO/2 BB
  • 10 games, 10 IP, 1 save

RHP Sean Watson — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguaros

  • 0-1, 7.11 ERA, 12 SO/6 BB
  • 10 games, 12.2 IP, .371 BA against

RHP Daniel Meszaros — Lexington Legends — Peoria Saguaros

  • 0-0, 4.63 ERA, 15 SO/3 BB
  • 12 games, 11.2 IP, 1 save

Bats make up most of Reds’ top prospect list

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

 

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

Baseball America has released its top 10 prospects list for the Cincinnati Reds, and the Louisville Bats ran away with most of the honors. Players who appeared in Louisville this season made up four of the top five slots, and six of the top ten. No. 1 prospect Todd Frazier recorded 63 at-bats in Louisville after spending most of the season with AA Carolina. Here’s a look at the Bats’ players in the top ten and a snippet of analysis. The list is subscriber only, so to get the full Baseball America experience you’ll have to sign up there. (Full list)

 

#1) 2b/OF Todd Frazier

  • Frazier batted .302 with two home runs an 9 RBI in 16 games with the Bats, and .292 with 16 home runs and 77 RBI on the season.
  • BA: “Frazier’s initial big league opportunity would seem to more likely come at third base or left field. He’ll head to Triple-A Louisville in 2010 for some final polish.”

#2) 1B Yonder Alonso

  • Alonso made a brief appearance with the Bats during the International League playoffs and batted .292 with nine home runs and 52 RBI between three levels this season.
  • BA: “Alonso likely will spend all or most of 2010 in the minors, but his bat could hasten his path.”

#4) Chris Heisey

  • Heisey earned a spot in the prestigious Futures Game during the MLB All-Star game during a season in which he batted .314 with 22 home runs and 77 RBI and .278 with nine home runs and 37 RBI in Louisville.
  • BA: “If the Reds part ways with arbitration-eligible Johnny Gomes, Heisey could compete for a spot in a left-field platoon with Chris Dickerson.”

#5) 3B Juan Francisco

  • Francisco batted .295 with 27 home runs and 93 RBI in 2009 before earning a September callup to September. In Louisville, he batted .359 with five home runs and 19 RBI.
  • BA: “Third base currently belongs to Scott Rolen, so Francisco will spend 2010 in Triple-A, and he may see more time in left field.”

#7) LHP Travis Wood

  • Wood was the Reds’ best minor league pitcher in 2009, going 13-5 with 1.77 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 167.2 innings pitched. In Louisville, Travis was 4-2 with a 3.14 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 48.2 innings pitched.
  • BA: “Wood will go into spring training with a chance to make Cincinnati’s rotation.”

#8) LHP Matt Maloney

  • Maloney was 9-9 with a 3.08 ERA in 23 minor league games in 2009 and went 2-4 with a 4.87 ERA in seven major league starts. Maloney struck out 158 in 190.2 innings.
  • BA: “Maloney will head into spring training as a candidate for the back of the Reds’ rotation. His ceiling isn’t much higher than that…”

Byrd and Kearns rank at bottom of free agent class

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Scott Downs; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

More hot stove rumors with a little college and minor league news sprinkled in some Tuesday links:

  • Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com examines the left-handed reliever trade market and speculates UK alum Scott Downs might be moved by the Blue Jays.
  • Tom Singer of MLB.com ranks Louisville-native Paul Byrd in the bottom group of a week free-agent starting pitching class. We still haven’t heard any official word if Byrd even plans to pitch in 2011.
  • Singer puts Lexington-native Austin Kearns in the same tier of the free-agent outfield class.
  • 2009 Bat Chris Heisey was 0-5, and teammate Yonder Alonso was 0-2 with three walks for Peoria of the Arizona Fall League. 2009 Legend Daniel Meszaros pitched a scoreless inning for the Saguaros.
  • NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan and Mets outfielder Jeff Francoueur will headline the 2010 Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner.

Winter League roundup

Minor League Baseball
Chris Heisey

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

Not many stories to link on a Sunday morning, so here’s a look at some of the Kentucky minor leaguers in Winter League action. Most of these players are 2009 Louisville Bats, but one Legend, two Kentucky college alums and one high school alum are also accounted for.

  • 2009 Bat Chris Heisey was 1-4 with three strikeouts for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League Friday. He’s now batting .308 with five home runs an 14 RBI in the fall season.
  • His teammate Yonder Alonso was 0-3 in the game and is batting .290 with two home runs and 17 RBI.
  • 2009 Bat Wes Bankston is batting .229 in 13 games in the Caribbean League.
  • Bats’ outfielder Daniel Dorn has four home runs in 17 game in the Venezuelan Winter League.
  • Late-season Louisville pickup Lew Ford is batting .276 in the VWL.
  • Bats slugger Juan Francisco has three home runs in 18 games in the Dominican Winter League.
  • Adam Rosales is batting .304 in 29 games in the Caribbean League.
  • Louisville starting pitchers Ben Jukich (2.87) and Sam LeCure (8.59) are both pitching in the DWL.
  • Relievers Logan Ondrusek (2-1, 13.50) and Sean Watson (0-1, 8.44) are struggling in the AFL.
  • 2009 Legends reliever Daniel Meszaros has a 5.59 ERA in 10 games in the AFL.
  • Lafayette alum Chaz Roe allowed two runs in four innings for Scottsdale in the AFL. In four starts, Roe is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA.
  • Phillies farmhand and EKU alum Neil Sellers is batting .371 with three home runs and 18 RBI in 23 games in the Caribbean Winter League.
  • UofL alum, and Sellers’ teammate B. J. Rosenberg is 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA in seven games with two saves.

Kearns bad fit for Reds; Manager promoted; Heisey praised

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Chris Heisey

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

More hot stove rumors, baseball commits and minor league news in some Thursday morning links:

  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Lexington-native Austin Kearns probably only makes sense for the Reds if he would agree to a minor league deal.
  • Bowling Green Hot Rods 2009 manager Matt Quatraro has been promoted to Tampa Bay Rays minor league hitting coordinator.
  • Norm Sanders of the Belleville News-Democrat in Illinois reports UofL commit Jake DePew might consider going pro instead of ending up in Louisville.
  • Speaking of baseball commitments, the national signing period is open for baseball so in the coming days we should be getting official word from the Universities about commitments signing their letters of intent.
  • 2009 Bat Chris Heisey and teammate Yonder Alonso were both 0-3 with a walk for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America tweets from the AFL game that Heisey is one of the “smartest baserunners” he’s seen in the minors.