In the second July Awards post we’ll look at the month’s best performances from the Louisville Bats:
Hitter of the month: 1B Yonder Alonso
- Yonder Alonso struggled during the first two months of his AAA career, but he put those struggles behind him in July to the tune of a .366 batting average, nine home runs, 19 RBI and 15 runs scored. Alonso slugged .696 for the month with an OPS of 1.007.
- Honorable Mention: Daniel Dorn, Chris Valaika, Juan Francisco, Zack Cozart, Wladimir Balentien
Pitcher of the month: RHP Matt Maloney
- The Cincinnati Reds have an embarrassment of starting pitching depth at the moment with Matt Maloney representing their best AAA starter at the moment. In July, Maloney was 3-1 with a 1.00 ERA in four starts. Maloney struck out 17 and walked just three in 27 innings pitched.
- Honorable Mention: Aroldis Chapman, Ben Jukich, Enerio Del Rosario, Jared Burton, Joseph Krebs
Seth Bynum; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Highlights from a short schedule Tuesday Kentucky MiLB action as many teams had the day off:
- The Louisville Bats pounded out 22 hits and scored 19 runs in a 19-6 blowout win over Charlotte. Four bats homered, four recorded at least three hits and first baseman Yonder Alonso was 4-6 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.
- Rehabbing Reds center fielder Chris Dickerson, outfielder Wladimir Balentien, designated hitter Daniel Dorn and second baseman Chris Valaika each homered for Louisville. Shortstop Zach Cozart, left fielder Todd Frazier and Balentien each tallied three hits in the game.
- After being shutout in back to back games, the Lexington Legends offense exploded for 13 runs in a 13-6 win over Savannah. Right fielder Jacob Goebbert was 2-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods were off Tuesday.
- Former WKU infielder and 2010 Phillies draftee Matthew Payton was 2-4 with a walk, three runs scored and one RBI for the rookie-level GCL Phillies.
- Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones took the loss for high A Winston-Salem despite surrendering just one run in six innings.
- Louisville native Seth Bynum homered for the second consecutive game for AAA Syracuse.
Richie Rowland; Photo: Campbellsville University
Highlights from Wednesday Kentucky MiLB action:
- The Lexington Legends jumped out to a 6-0 lead and held on for a 7-4 win over the Hickory Crawdads. Outfielder J. D. Martinez was 2-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods fell into an early 7-2 hole and the team’s rally fell just short in a 7-6 loss to the Burlington Bees. First baseman Ryan Wiegand was 2-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.
- Louisville Bats infielder Chris Valaika was 1-3 with a double and one of two International League runs scored in the IL’s 2-1 in over the Pacific Coast League in the AAA All-Star Game.
- Lexington Catholic alum and Twins outfield prospect Ben Revere was 0-2 with a RBI, and former UofL right-handed pitcher and current Blue Jays prospect Trystan Magnuson retired both batters he faced for the East team in the AA Eastern League All-Star game.
- Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer was 2-4 with a home run in his first consecutive game for rookie-level Greeneville.
- Former Campbellsville catcher and 2010 Diamondbacks NDFA Richie Rowland was 2-2 with his fourth home run of his young professional career, three RBI and one run scored for rookie-level Missoula to bring his batting average back above .400 for the season.
- Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich extended his hitting streak to 10 games for short-season Hudson Valley.
- Former UofL right-handed pitcher and 2010 White Sox draftee Thomas Royse took a no decision after surrendering three runs, none of which were earned, in five innings for rookie-level Great Falls.
- Former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke, who was recently traded to the Mariners organization as part of the Cliff Lee deal, has been assigned to AA West Tennessee.
- Louisville native and 2010 Giants draftee Stephen Shakleford picked up his first professional win with a scoreless inning for the rookie-level AZL Giants.
Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
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:
International League (AAA)
- 2B — Chris Valaika — Louisville Bats*
- LHP — Travis Wood — Louisville Bats
Pacific Coast League (AAA)
- OF — Brian Bogusevic — Former Lexington Legend — Round Rock
Texas League (AA)
- RHP — Jordan Lyles — Former Lexington Legend — Corpus Christi
- 1B — Koby Clemens — Former Lexington Legend — Corpus Christi*
Eastern League (AA)
- RHP — Trystan Magnuson — UoL — New Hampshire
- OF — Ben Revere — Lexington Catholic HS — New Britain
Carolina League (High A)
- RHP — Jose Duran — Former Lexington Legend — Frederick
California League (High A)
- OF — Jay Austin — Former Lexington Legend — Lancaster
Florida State League (High A)
- RHP — Joshua Satow — Former Bowling Green Hot Rod — Charlotte
- RHP — Marquis Fleming — Former Bowling Green Hot Rod — Charlotte
- LHP — Neil Schenk — Former Bowling Green Hot Rod — Charlotte
- OF — Isaias Velasquez — Former Bowling Green Hot Rod — Charlotte
- DH — Henry Wrigley — Former Bowling Green Hot Rod — Charlotte
Midwest League (Low A)
- RHP — Alexander Colome — Bowling Green Hot Rods
- RHP — Wilking Rodriguez — Bowling Green Hot Rods
South Atlantic League (Low A)
- LHP — Robbie Ross — Lexington Christian Academy
- RHP — Kirk Clark — Lexington Legends
- 1B — Kody Hinze — Lexington Legends
- 2B — Jose Altuve — Lexington Legends
- OF — J. D. Martinez — Lexington Legends
- 3B — Chris Dominguez — UofL — Augusta
We’ll run down the standouts from May for each of the Kentucky Minor League teams, starting with the Louisville Bats:
Hitter of the month: INF Drew Sutton
- Stats: 25-66 (.379), 2 HR, 15 RBI, 12 R
- Honorable Mention: Wladimir Balentein, Chris Valaika, Daniel Dorn, Luis Terrero, Corky Miller
Pitcher of the month: RHP Sam LeCure
- Stats: 3-1, 2.21 ERA, 5 GS, 29 SO/6 BB, 36.2 IP
- Honorable Mention: Travis Wood, Matt Maloney, Chad Reineke, Enerio Del Rosario
Each month of the minor league season we’ll name a hitter and pitcher of the month for the state’s three minor-league teams and for the group of Kentucky natives in the minors. Check out the Louisville Bats team awards below:
Hitter of the month: INF Chris Valaika
- Stats: .329/.377/.457 — 6 RBI, 8 R
- Valaika was one of the few bright spots for the Bats’ offense during the first month of the 2010 season. The infielder has yet to homer in 2010, but lead the team in batting average, on-base percentage and runs scored in the month.
- Honorable Mention: OF Chris Heisey, OF Daniel Dorn, C Corky Miller
Pitcher of the Month: LHP Aroldis Chapman
- Stats: 1-1, 1.29 ERA, 22 SO/12 BB, 21 IP
- Chapman has been as advertised so far in 2010 and has dominated AAA competition at times while still showing some control problems that have kept him from a big-league callup. The Cuban defector leads Bats starting pitchers in ERA, batting average against and WHIP.
- Honorable Mention: LHP Travis Wood, RHP Sam LeCure, LHP Matt Maloney
Ryan Strieby; Photo via Flickr by mwlguide
The minor league season officially kicked off Thursday night, and there were no shortage of relevant Kentucky highlights to pass along. Check out these recaps of the local teams, plus notes from Kentucky alumni across MiLB:
- Sam LeCure surrendered two runs in five innings to give the Louisville Bats their first win of the season, 5-3 over the Toledo Mud Hens. Chris Heisey, Todd Frazier, Daniel Dorn and Chris Valaika each tallied two hits. The two Kentucky natives, Josh Anderson and Chris Burke, were a combined 0-10 batting in the top two spots in the lineup. (Box Score)
- University of Kentucky alum Ryan Strieby was 1-3 with a home run for the Mud Hens.
- The Lexington Legends dropped their first game 5-2 to Charleston, but 2009 second round pick Tanner Bushue made his Lexington debut with 4.1 scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, one walk and struck out six. 2009 Astros’ first round pick Jiovanni Mier was 1-4 in his debut. (Box Score)
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods season got off to an inauspicious start with a 7-2 loss to Fort Wayne in the team’s Midwest League debut. Leadoff man and center fielder Christopher Murrill was 3-5 in his Bowling Green debut, and Brett Nommensen and Mark Thomas each tallied two hits. (Box Score)
- Eastern Kentucky University alum Christian Friedrich took the loss in his AA debut for the Tulsa Drillers, but allowed just one run in six innings. He surrendered four hits, walked two and struck out five. (Box Score)
- Lexington native Ben Revere was 1-4 with a run scored in his AA debut for the New Britian Rock Cats. (Box Score)
- UK alum Collin Cowgill was 2-4 with a double in his AA debut for the Mobile BayBears. (Box Score)
The Louisville Bats are set to start play today and will feature two Kentucky natives in the lineup as well as several of the best prospects in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Check out the roster below via the Courier-Journal. I’ve included Baseball America prospect rankings for the Reds organization. Remember top prospects Juan Francisco and Mike Leake are starting the season with the Reds but might appear in Louisville at some point if they struggle, and Yonder Alonso is starting the season in AA but should earn a callup to Louisville early this season.
- LHP Travis Wood (BA #7) (SP) — 2nd Round (2005)
- RHP Sam LeCure (SP) — 4th Round (2005)
- LHP Matt Maloney (BA #8) (SP) — Phillies 3rd Round (2005)
- RHP Federico Baez — Cubs NDFA (2002)
- RHP Jon Adkins — Athletics 9th Round (1998)
- RHP Chad Reineke — 2005 Lexington Legend — Astros 13th Round (2004)
- RHP Enerio Del Rosario (BA # 19) — NDFA 2005
- LHP Lee Tabor — 30th Round (2006)
- RHP Justin Lehr (SP) — Athletics 8th Round (1999)
- LHP Pedro Viola (BA # 22) — NDFA (2005)
- RHP Carlos Fisher — 11th Round (2005)
- RHP Jared Burton — Athletics 8th Round (2002)
- LHP Aroldis Chapman (BA #1A*) (SP) — Cuban FA (2009)
- Corky Miller — Amateur FA (1998)
- Wilkin Castillo — NDFA 2002
- Jake Long — 37th Round (2005)
- 2B — Chris Burke — St. X High School — Astros 1st Round (2004)
- 3B — Michael Griffin — 14th Round (2005)
- 3B — Drew Sutton — 2005 Lexington Legend — S/R — Astros 15th Round (2005)
- 2B — Chris Valaika (BA #12) — 3rd Round (2006)
- SS — Zach Cozart (BA #10) — 2nd Round (2007)
- 3B/LF — Todd Frazier (BA #1B) — 1st Supp. Round (2007)
- RF — Josh Anderson — Pulaski Co., EKU, 2004 Lexington Legend — 4th Round (2003)
- LF/1B — Daniel Dorn — 32nd Round (2006)
- LF — Chris Heisey (BA #4) — 17th Round (2006)
- OF — Luis Terrero — D’Backs NDFA (1997)
* — Chapman signed after Baseball America released its Reds top 10 prospects list, but is ranked higher than No. 1 Frazier on the overall top 100 prospects list published by the magazine.
Cincinnati Assistant GM Bob Miller checked in with readers on MLB.com to chat about all things Reds. Among the topics he touched on included several former and current Louisville Bats. I’ve included those questions and answers below. (Read more)
flgator69: Is Winter Ball or an extended Spring Training available for some of our hitters’ improvement?
- Miller: Instructional League starts next week and Winter Ball and the Arizona Fall League in October. Most of our better young players will be in one or more of those leagues getting more at-bats or innings under their belts.
redstockings54: My question is with the number of good outfielders we currently have, are there any plans to trade any of them. And if so, what is the plan?
- Miller: All of these guys are young and most of them still have options to the Minors left, so we like our depth. If something comes along that will better our team or fill another need, we will always consider it.
ChangeUp: Jonny Gomes seems to really enjoy being a Red and is really showing he can come through in clutch situations. Would you say there is a good chance he will be a Red next season?
- Miller: I hope so. He’s had a good year. Hopefully we can come to an agreement that makes both sides happy.
batsfan09: Enerio Del Rosario has had a great season as a relief pitcher in the Minor Leagues. Do you think he could be a part of next year’s bullpen? Could he possibly be a starter next year with Louisville, as he has been in previous years?
- Miller: I think Del Rosario and Logan Ondrusek will both be knocking on the door to pitch in the Majors next year. Both of them had outstanding seasons.
punksroo: Which Minor League prospects are we likely to see this Spring?
- Miller: Travis Wood, Del Rosario, Ondrusek, Yonder Alonso, Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Chris Valaika, Chris Heisey, etc.
lbentz11: I know it’s a bit premature, without writing off Matt Maloney, what are your thoughts on getting at least one left-handed starter for next season?
- Miller: I think both Wood and Maloney will be good Major League pitchers. Give them some time.