Dave Sappelt, Dontrelle Willis wins April Bats’ awards

Minor League Baseball

In the second April Awards post check out the month’s best performances from the Louisville Bats below:

Hitter of the month: OF Dave Sappelt

  • Stats: 29-85 (.341), 4 HR, 11 RBI, 12 R, 2 SBs
  • Honorable Mention: Jeremy Hermida, Devin Mesoraco, Yonder Alonso
Pitcher of the month: LHP Dontrelle Willis
  • Stats: 2-0, 1.13 ERA, 4 GS, 19 SO/7 BB, 24 IP
  • Honorable Mention: Scott Carroll, Chad Reineke, Tom Cochran

Mesoraco headlines top Kentucky MiLB team prospects

Minor League Baseball

Throughout the minor league season BluGrass Baseball maintains a list of the top 10 prospects on the three Kentucky minor league teams and the top 10 prospects among Kentucky alumni. With the 2011 season underway it is time to update the top 10 prospects list for the three minor league teams. Check out the list below, remembering that the top prospect list is always available on the “Top Prospects” page on the left sidebar here.

  1. C Devin Mesoraco — Louisville Bats
  2. 1B Yonder Alonso — Louisville Bats
  3. 2B Delino Deshields Jr. — Lexington Legends
  4. RHP Mike Foltynewicz — Lexington Legends
  5. LHP Enny Romero — Bowling Green Hot Rods
  6. SS Zach Cozart — Louisville Bats
  7. 3B/LF Todd Frazier — Louisville Bats
  8. RHP Tanner Bushue — Lexington Legends
  9. LHP Braulio Lara — Bowling Green Hot Rods
  10. OF Dave Sappelt — Louisville Bats

MiLB roundup: Hot Rods win; Bats, Legends lose; Strieby, Bynum homer; Rusin gets win in Opening Day start

Minor League Baseball
Chris Rusin; Photo by UK Athletics

Chris Rusin; Photo: UK Athletics

Check out the first daily summary of Kentucky MiLB action below. Links take you to the player’s MiLB.com page:

  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods opened the 2011 season with a 4-0 win over Dayton. Enny Romero surrendered one hit in five scoreless innings while striking out eight batters and walking one to earn the win. Former UofL third baseman Phil Wunderlich was 0-4 in his Hot Rods’ debut.
  • The Lexington Legends suffered a 6-1 loss in the team’s season opener versus Charleston. Eastern High School alum Jason Chowning struck out one batter in a scoreless inning in his Legends’ debut.
  • The Louisville Bats dropped their Opening Day game 11-6 to Toledo. Catcher Devin Mesoraco was 2-4 with one home run, one RBI and one run scored in the game.
  • Former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby was 1-5 with one home run, three RBI and one run scored for AAA Toledo.
  • Former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin earned the win after surrendering three runs on four hits in five innings while striking out four batters and walking one for AA Tennessee in his Opening Day start.
  • Butler High School alum Seth Bynum was 2-4 with one home run, five RBI, one run scored and one double for AAA Syracuse.
  • Former UK infielder Michael Bertram was 2-3 with one double for AA Erie.
  • Former UK outfielder Sawyer Carroll was 2-3 for AA San Antonio.
  • Former UofL first baseman Andrew Clark was 2-4 with one run scored for low A Hickory.
  • Covington native and former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones struck out two batters in two scoreless innings for AA Birmingham.
  • Former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade surrendered one hit in two scoreless innings for AAA Durham.
  • Louisville native and former Murray St. first baseman Wes Cunningham was 1-2 with one walk, one run scored and one stolen base for low A Fort Wayne.
  • PRP alum Zack Cox was 2-4 with one double for high A Palm Beach.

Legends turn to Foltynewicz on Opening Day; Mesoraco ready for another season with Bats; Riddle impresses

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Mark Maloney of the Lexington Herald-Leader profiles the 2011 Lexington Legends Opening Day roster.
  • Maloney reports the Legends will turn to 19-year-old right-handed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz for the Opening Day start tonight.
  • Maloney has also posted capsules about each of the Legends on his blog.
  • Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal profiles Louisville Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco, who he writes might be the next MLB catcher to play for the Bats.
  • Brian Rickerd of The State-Journal profiles Western Hills alum and University of Kentucky freshman outfielder and second baseman J. T. Riddle, who has so far exceeded expectations during his first collegiate season.
  • Nick Baumgardner of The Daily News in Bowling Green reports the Western Kentucky University offense came alive for the second consecutive year while playing at Bowling Green Ballpark, this time versus the University of Louisville.

Top Reds’ prospects highlight Bats Opening Day roster

Minor League Baseball

The Louisville Bats have unveiled the team’s Opening Day roster, which is highlighted by five of the Cincinnati Reds’ top 10 prospects according to Baseball America. The Bats will also feature right-handed pitcher Matt Klinker, who spent some time at Madisonville North Hopkins High School before moving to Ohio. Check out the full roster below:


  • RHP — Scott Carroll — Kansas City, Mo. — 3rd Round (2007)
  • LHP — Tom Cochran — Wilmington, Del. — 20th round, Red Sox (2003)
  • RHP — Carlos Fisher — West Covina, Cal. — 11th round (2005)
  • RHP — Jerry Gil — San Pedro de Macoris, DR — FA, D’Backs (1999)
  • LHP — Daniel Ray Herrera — Odessa, Tex. — 45th round (2006)
  • LHP — Jeremy Horst — Cheyenne, Wyo. — 21st round (2007)
  • RHP — David Johnson — Los Angeles, Cal. — 15th round, Brewers (2004)
  • RHP — Matt Klinker — Peru, Ind. (Madisonville, Ky.) — 15th round (2007)
  • LHP — Joseph Krebs — Denton, Tex. — 14th round (2007)
  • RHP — Kyle McCulloch — Houston, Tex. — 1st round, White Sox (2006)
  • RHP — Chad Reineke — Defiance, Ohio — 13th round, Astros (2004)
  • LHP — Dontrelle Willis — Oakland, Cal. — 8th round, Cubs (2000)


  • Devin Mesoraco — Dubois, Penn. — 1st round (2007)
  • Corky Miller — Yucaipa, Cal. — NDFA (1998)


  • 1B — Yonder Alonso –Havana, Cuba — 1st round (2008)
  • SS — Zack Cozart — Memphis, Tenn. — 2nd round (2007)
  • 1B — Daniel Dorn — San Dimas, Cal. — 32nd round (2006)
  • 1B — Michael Griffin — Corpus Christi, Tex. — 14th round (2005)
  • SS — Kris Negron — Willingboro, N. J. — 7th round, Red Sox (2006)
  • 2B — Chris Valaika — Santa Monica, Cal. — 3rd Round (2006)


  • Brian Barton — Los Angeles, Cal. — NDFA (2004)
  • Todd Frazier — Point Pleasant, N. J. — 1st supp. round (2007)
  • Jeremy Hermida — Atlanta, Ga. — 1st round, Marlins (2002)
  • Dave Sappelt — Graham, N. C. — 9th round (2008)

Jacob Rhodes named OVC player of week; Alex Meyer projected as first-round pick; Corey Hart frustrated by injury

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Corey Hart; Photo by Steve Paluch via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Murray State University junior catcher Jacob Rhodes was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the week. Rhodes was also the BluGrass Baseball player of the week.
  • Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA lists the University of Louisville among his 25 teams to watch outside the PG top 25.
  • David Rawnsley of Perfect Game USA has posted his latest mock draft and has the Tampa Bay Rays taking University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer with pick No. 32.
  • Tom Haudicourt and Todd Rosiak of the Journal Sentinel reports Bowling Green native Corey Hart still has no timetable to start a minor league rehab assignment.
  • Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb was unhappy with his control during a live batting practice session on Monday.
  • Josh Jackson of MLB.com lists one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis and Louisville Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco among the prospects to watch in the International League early in the season.
  • Greg Johns of MLB.com reports Highland Heights native and former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke was rattled by base runner Coco Crisp during his MLB debut.
  • Matt Pignataro of 7 Train to Shea has posted a Q&A with Lexington native and Rangers prospect Robbie Ross.
  • Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com has an excellent column about Lexington native Austin Kearns and his decision to return to Cleveland in part because of the treatment his autistic son could receive at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Autism.

Freidrich, three Bats among top 50 prospects; Dominguez’s power, infield arm rated best in Giants’ system

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Aroldis Chapman; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich the No. 50 prospect in MiLB. He ranks 2010 Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman No. 6, catcher Devin Mesoraco No. 45 and first baseman Yonder Alonso No. 49. Former Bowling Green Hot Rods left-handed pitcher Matt Moore checked in at No. 27, and Mayo ranked 2009 Lexington Legends right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles No. 31.
  • Andy Baggarly of Baseball America rates former UofL third baseman Chris Dominguez as having the best power and best infield arm in the San Francisco Giants’ system.
  • Baggarly also answered a couple of Dominguez questions in the online chat accompanying the prospect rankings. Baggarly speculates the Giants might try Dominguez on the mound if he were to fail as a third baseman. (Subscription required)
  • Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb talks to ESPN Dallas about his decision to sign with the Rangers.
  • Aaron Fitt of BA reports the NCAA denied former University of Kentucky third baseman Andy Burns‘ request for a waiver allowing him to play immediately at Arizona. Burns will have to sit out the 2011 season as a transfer.
  • Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports the Cincinnati Reds’ caravan will stop in Bowling Green, Ashland and Lexington this weekend.

Baseball America ranks six Bats among top 10 Reds prospects and six Ky. collegians in top 100 draft prospects

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Aroldis Chapman; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • J. J. Cooper of Baseball America has published the magazine’s top 10 prospects list for the Cincinnati Reds with several 2010 Louisville Bats included on the list. Cooper ranked left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman No. 1, catcher Devin Mesoraco No. 3, first baseman Yonder Alonso No. 4, third baseman Juan Francisco No. 7, shortstop Zack Cozart No. 8 and utility man Todd Frazier No. 9.
  • Cooper touched on a number of other Bats’ prospects in the accompanying online chat. (subscription required)
  • BA has also released its first rankings for the top 100 college 2011 draft prospects with several Kentucky collegians making the cut. The article is behind the website’s paywall so I won’t give away all the rankings but will note University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer led Kentuckians at No. 21. University of Louisville junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych, UofL junior infielder Ryan Wright, Lexington Catholic alum and Florida left-handed pitcher Nick Maronde, former UK third baseman Andy Burns and Western Kentucky University outfielder Kes Carter were included in the top 100.
  • Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports Cleveland Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore may not be ready for Opening Day, which could mean more playing time early for Lexington native Austin Kearns.
  • Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports and Rivals.com breaks down the reasons for optimism and reasons for worry for each of the Southeastern Conference baseball teams, noting UK needs more consistency and big seasons from talented and so-far underachieving pitchers.

Cubs, Nationals up pursuit of Webb; Reynolds could be traded; Ross, Magnuson mentioned in prospect chats

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Brandon Webb; Photo by SD Dirk via Flickr

It may be difficult to think about baseball with snow blanketing most of the Bluegrass State, but the Hot Stove League hasn’t taken time off for the winter weather. With that in mind here’s a rundown of the latest Kentucky baseball news to keep you warm:

  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweets that the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals have stepped up their pursuit of Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb. Crasnick notes several other teams are interested in Webb, but the Cubs and Nationals lead the pack.
  • Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports the Baltimore Orioles remain the most likely landing spot for Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds, who was born in Pikeville, if he is traded.
  • In the Texas Rangers’ top 10 prospects chat, Aaron Fitt of Baseball America notes that Lexington native Robbie Ross has seen his prospect status dip some as many people in the Rangers’ organization think he will end up as a reliever. (subscription required)
  • In the Oakland Athletics’ top 10 prospects chat, Jim Shonerd of BA notes former UofL right-handed pitcher Trystan Magnuson is in the A’s top 30 prospects after recently being traded to the organization and could make his big league debut in 2010. (subscription required)
  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports Louisville Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco was named the Cincinnati Reds’ minor league player of the year and Bats outfielder Dave Sappelt was named the minor league hitter of the year.

Downs offered arbitration; Kipnis, Mesoraco, Revere among top AFL prospects; Bats alumni win MVP awards

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball


Scott Downs; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Baseball news hasn’t stopped for the holiday week, so check out a quick rundown of recent Kentucky baseball stories:


  • Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors reports the Toronto Blue Jays offered arbitration to Louisville native and former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs, a type A free agent. If Downs signs with another team the Blue Jays will receive a compensation draft pick. The Twins did not offer arbitration to former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch, a type B free agent.
  • Bill Mitchel of Baseball America rates one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis and Louisville Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco among the top prospects in the Arizona Fall League.
  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere the No. 8 prospect, Kipnis the No. 17 prospect and Mesoraco the No. 18 prospect in the AFL.
  • Revere recently sat down for a question-and-answer session with Josh Jackson of MLB.com.
  • Nick Evans of the Louisville Bats media relations department notes both 2010 MVPs, Joey Votto and Josh Hamilton, spent time with the Bats.