The Lexington Legends have announced their 2010 Opening Day roster after the parent club Houston Astros confirmed Minor League player assignments Sunday. The team will be headlined by 2009 first-round pick shortstop Jiovanni Mier, ranked the No. 2 prospect in the Astros’ organization by Baseball America. Fourteen of the new Legends were 2009 draft picks. Pitchers David Duncan, Arcenio Leon and Jose Trinidad, infielder Kody Hinze and infielder-outfielder Andy Simunic each spent part of 2009 with the Legends and catcher Jonathan Fixler was a Legend in 2008. Four Opening Day Legends were ranked by Baseball America as one of the top 30 prospects in the Astros’ organization, and I’ve included their rankings in parentheses when applicable. Each pitcher is listed by throwing arm, and batters’ information is listed bats/throws. (Numbers have not yet been assigned.)
Baseball America‘s Prospect Handbook is the single most important book for coverage of minor league baseball released every year. BA ranks the top 30 prospects from each organization plus the top 100 prospects in the game in its pages every year. Starting last year they also added a No. 31 prospect supplement for each organization to those who order the book directly from them. Every year several scouting reports get cut from the final edition of the book due to talent added to an organization through trades or late judgment calls. BA releases these reports online in its annual 32nd team, and this year two Kentucky-related minor leaguers made the cut. (Enitre 32nd Team)
Adcock hasn’t lived up to his billing as a fifth-round draft pick out of Central Hardin yet as a professional. The Pirates acquired him from the Mariners at the trade deadline in the Jack Wilson deal, but his performance didn’t improve after the trade. Adcock was 8-9 with a 5.29 ERA and 86 strikeouts to go with 61 walks in 126 innings.
BA: “To find success against more advanced hitters, he’ll have to throw more strikes and locate his pitches better in the zone. Adcock needs to make a lot of strides if he’s going to cut it as a starter, and he may project better as a reliever. He likely will begin 2010 in Double-A.”
LHP David Duncan — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
Duncan joined the Legends midseason after struggling to adjust to High A ball, but he quickly showed why the Astros think highly of him after the demotion. In 10 games with Lexington, Duncan was 4-4 with a 4.29 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. On the season he was 4-14 with a 5.73 ERA and 102 strikeouts to go with just 29 walks in 125.2 innings between three levels. (David also shares a birthday with a certain Kentucky baseball blogger).
BA: “Though he doesn’t miss many bats, he does do a good job of keeping the ball on the ground. Some scouts think he profiles better as a reliever than as a starter. He’ll return to Lancaster in 2010.”
BA is also having a day-long chat to celebrate the release of the handbook. You should stop by for some great info. Already the BA staff has revealed 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rod Keyong Kang will rank No. 31 in the Rays’ supplement.
Sorry for the late posting today, but don’t fear there are plenty of BluGrass Baseball storylines to keep you busy before the long weekend. Three top pitching prospects were in action last night for the three minor league teams. Check out those games and more in some afternoon links:
Travis Wood posted another stellar start for Louisville, but the Bats had to rally late to pull off a 4-2 victory against Indianapolis.
Asheville took the series finale with Lexington 6-4 with David Duncan on the mound for the Legends.
With Matt Moore on the mound, Kyeong Kang had two hits and three RBI for Bowling Green in a 7-6, 12-inning loss in the final road game of the season.
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, writing for Baseball America, examines the Reds recent callups from AA to Louisville and from Louisville to Cincinnati. (subscriber only)
I’ll be back later with a preview of the Lexington/Bowling Green series and other news before Labor Day.
With the last full month of the minor league season in the books I thought we’d look at the best performances from August on each of the Bluegrass minor league teams.
1B Brian Pellegrini — Pellegrini batted .262 with six home runs and 17 RBI. Brian walked 19 times for a .394 on-base percentage; he also slugged .495 for the month with an .889 OPS. Pellegrini led the Legends in home runs and RBI for the month.
LHP David Duncan — Duncan was tied for the Legends’ August lead with three wins. David also lost one decision in five starts. Duncan had a 4.85 ERA with 22 strikeouts and four walks in 26 innings.
LHP Brad Dydalewicz — Dydalewicz also had a 3-1 record in August but had a 4.94 ERA. He struck out 23 and walked 15 in 31 innings.
RHP Brian Wabick — Wabick was the best Lexington reliever in August with a 2-1 record and 1.50 ERA in 10 games. Brian struck out 19 and walked four in 24 innings.
David Duncan looks to continue his resurgence in his fourth start for the Legends tonight. Duncan is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three games with Lexington, including a seven-inning, one-run performance in his last start against Lake County. Duncan struck out seven and walked none in that start. In 18 innings with Lexington Duncan has 19 strikeouts and four walks. David began the season with Lancaster where he was 0-9 with an 8.51 ERA.
Monday’s DH Michael Diaz tied his season high with three RBIs in the 6-5 victory over Hagerstown. Diaz also had three RBI on June 13 and July 9 and has 23 RBI on the season. Diaz drove in the winning run Monday when he was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning with the bases loaded.
First baseman Brian Pellegrini hit his 16th home run of the season for Lexington Monday. Pellegrini has 37 home runs in his Legends’ career, the most of any Legend. He is nine home runs from Hunter Pence’s single-season record of 25 home runs set in 2005.
Hagerstown will send its ace Marcos Frias to the mound tonight. Frias is 6-3 with a 3.02 ERA on the season and 78 strikeouts in 86.1 innings over 17 games. Frias held Bowling Green to one run in six innings in his last start.
Bowling Green vs. Lake County
The Hot Rods send Frank De Los Santos to the mound tonight. The lefty is 4-6 with a 3.77 ERA on the season and is holding opponents to a .260 average on the season including .165 average from left-handed batters. De Los Santos allowed five runs in four and one-third innings against Hagerstown in his last start.
Second baseman Robi Estrada turned in his third consecutive multi-hit game in driving in the winning run with a bunt-single in Monday. Over his last three games, Estrada is 7-12. Estrada also had three consecutive multi-hit efforts in a double header on March 23 and in the following game on the 24th.
I’m going to try a new daily post of game notes for each of the minor league teams that will go up on the site around 6 p.m. EST. The purpose of these posts is to let you know what storylines each team faces going into the game and provide a brief look at the opposition.
Lexington Legends vs. Lake County Captains
The Legends are only 3-7 in their last 10 games, and only one batter is batting at least .300 in that span. Second baseman Andrew Simunic is 6-20 with 6 runs scored in that span. The only other hitter batting over .250 in those ten games is right fielder Eric Suttle who is batting .273 after appearing in seven of those games.
David Duncan is finding his stride after being promoted from short-season Tri-City to Lexington. Duncan is 0-1 in his last two starts but has only surrendered three runs in 13 innings of work with 14 strikeouts and just one walk. Duncan pitched seven innings, allowed one run and struck out seven while walking one in a no decision Thursday.
Kyle Greenwalt will look to end a two-game losing streak when he takes the mound for Lexington tonight. Greenwalt has allowed 12 runs over nine and one-third innings in his last two starts. Greenwalt will likely factor in the decision tonight as he has either a win or loss in each of his last 11 starts.
Lake County’s big hitter is right fielder Abner Abreu. Abreu is batting .305 on the season with seven home runs and 30 RBI. Danny Salazar gets the start for the Captains tonight. Salazar is 2-3 with a 4.97 ERA in 13 starts this season. Opponents are batting .295 against Salazar.
If you click over to the “Ky. in the Minors” page you can see an in-depth list of every minor league player with Kentucky ties. As always, if you know of a player who is not on the list you can send me an email at email@example.com. So you have a list of every Kentucky player in the minors, but which of those players have the best chance to become impact major leaguers? My goal in this series of posts is to let you know which minor leaguers from Kentucky are top prospects. I’ll start by examining where these players and the members of the state’s three minor league teams rank on their Baseball America’s organization top 30s and will work toward a master list of Kentucky prospects.
In the first installment of the “BluGrass Baseball Top Prospects” post, here are the top organizational prospects on the state’s three minor league teams according to Baseball America.
Bowling Green Hot Rods
#2 — SS Tim Beckham — Beckham ranked only behind Tampa Bay pitcher David Price on the Baseball America top 30 prospects list for the Rays. Since Price is currently pitching for the Rays his prospect status will soon be exhausted, and Beckham should move up to the number one spot. Beckham, the number one pick in the 2008 draft, is from Griffin, Ga., and has all the tools to become an all-star shortstop. In Baseball America’s mid-season prospect report for Tampa Bay, the publication listed Tim Beckham as the player who took the “biggest leap forward.”
#6 — LHP Matt Moore — According to Baseball America, Moore’s only weakness entering 2008 was his control which he dramatically improved on during his time with rookie Princeton. After posting a 2-2 record with a 1.66 ERA in 2008, BA said that Moore only needed to prove himself against tougher competition. Moore, a 2007 8th round pick, hasn’t disappointed this season in Bowling Green. The lefty is 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA with 116 strikeouts and 45 walks in 81.2 innings.
# 18 — C Jake Jeffries — Jeffries was the Rays third round pick in 2008 out of UC Davis. In his first professional season he batted .315 with two home runs and 41 RBI for short season Hudson Valley. Jeffries has continued to hit for Bowling Green this season. He is currently hitting .270 with six home runs and 43 RBI in 77 games. He has shown and exceptional eye at the plate with 28 walks and 25 strikeouts in 281 at-bats.
#27 — OF Kyeong Kang — Kang was the first South Korean to be selected in the MLB amateur players draft. He moved to the United States with his family in high school and was selected by the Rays in the 15th round of the 2006 draft. Kang was named a mid-season all-star in the New York-Penn League in 2008 and finished the year with a .278 average, six home runs and 43 RBI. Kang was selected to represent the Rays for the World team in the 2009 Futures Game. Through 48 games for Bowling Green, Kang is batting .285 with two home runs and 22 RBI.
Hit the jump for the top prospects on the Lexington Legends and Louisville Bats.
With the MLB All-Star Game scheduled for next week, one of the minor league’s shining events the Futures Game is Sunday. Look for a Kentucky Futures Game preview later today, but for now here are some morning links to hold you over:
UK junior infielder Neiko Johnson has been named a NYCBL All-Star according to UK Athletics. Johnson appears to be performing his way into the shortstop battle for next season. UK Athletics also summarizes the other Cats’ performances in summer leagues.
Futures Game representative Chris Heisey was the hero for Louisville last night with a 3-6, 1 home run, 4 RBI performance in the Bats’ 5-3 12-inning victory at Toledo.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods lost 9-5 to the Charleston RiverDogs.
David Duncan earned the win in his Lexington Legends debut, a 9-5 victory over Savannah.
Former Cat Scott Green picked up his seventh save for High A Lakeland Thursday.