Bruce struggles in Reds’ loss; Venters excels in Braves’ win; Kipnis among Eastern League top prospects

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Jay Bruce; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky highlights from Friday playoff action and the latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Former Louisville Bats outfielder Jay Bruce homered but also allowed two runs to score when he lost a ball in the lights during the seventh inning in the Cincinnati Reds’ 7-4 loss to the Phillies. Left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman, who spent most of 2010 with the Bats, took the loss.
  • Atlanta Braves left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters, born in Pikeville, surrendered two hits in a scoreless inning in the team’s 5-4 win over the Giants.
  • John Tomase of the Boston Herald reports the Red Sox were one of 21 teams scouting Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb during an Instructional League appearance Thursday.
  • John Manuel of Baseball America ranked one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis No. 9 on the magazine’s Eastern League top 20 prospects list.
  • In the accompanying online chat Manuel also answered several questions about Kipnis. (subscription required)

Revere, Nidiffer, Lee named postseason all-stars

Minor League Baseball

Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Leagues around minor league baseball are revealing their postseason all-star teams, and three Kentucky alumni were selected to two teams announced Thursday. Lexington Catholic alum and Minnesota Twins outfield prospect Ben Revere was named to the AA Eastern League all-star team. Former University of Kentucky catcher Marcus Nidiffer and former Morehead State University shortstop Drew Lee were named to the rookie-level Appalachian League all-star team.

Revere batted .297 with one home run and 22 RBI in 86 games for AA New Britain. The Lexington native was hit in the face by a pitch on Aug. 3 and will likely miss the remainder of the season. Nidiffer, playing mostly first base, batted .303 with 11 home runs and 24 RBI for rookie-level Greeneville before being promoted to the short-season Northwest League. Lee, playing second base, is batting .286 with five home runs, 36 RBI and 31 runs scored in 55 games for rookie-level Bristol. (Eastern Leage team) (Appalachian League team)

UofL loses signee to draft; Surgery looks likely for ailing Kelley; Revere, Carroll boast AA’s best tools

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Shawn Kelley; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball including a professional contract for a Bluegrass university signee:

  • Jim Callis of Baseball America reports Illinois prep catcher Jake DePew, a University of Louisville commitment, has signed a professional contract with the Tampa Bay Rays as the team’s ninth round pick.
  • Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer told Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News he was not surprised by the Giants designating him for assignment.
  • Doug Miller of reports surgery is likely the only option to treat Ballard High School alum and Seattle Mariners right-handed pitcher Shawn Kelley‘s injured pitching elbow.
  • In Baseball America’s survey of best AA tools Eastern League managers and scouts voted Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere the fastest baserunner in the league, and Texas League managers and scouts voted former UK outfielder Sawyer Carroll as the best outfield arm in the league. (Subscription required)
  • Louisville Bats right-handed pitcher Jared Burton sat down for a question-and-answer session with Jason Stella of the Bats’ media relations department.

MiLB Roundup: Legends win; Hot Rods lose; NDFAs Nidiffer, Rowland continue to slug; Ky. All-Star performances

Minor League Baseball

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.

Kentuckians among MiLB All-Stars


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

LeCure, Revere, Adcock, Hinze named MiLB players of week

Minor League Baseball

Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The most recent slate of Minor League players of the week has been released and several players with Kentucky ties have been honored with the best performances in their respective leagues. I’ve listed those players below along with their stats for the week:

  • RHP Sam LeCure — Louisville Bats — AAA International League — 2-0, 16 IP, 0 R, 9 H, 3 BB, 13 SO
  • OF Ben Revere — Lexington, Ky. — AA Eastern League — 14-26 (.538), 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 2Bs, 5 SB
  • RHP Nathan Adcock — Elizabethtown, Ky. — High A Florida State League — 1-0, 2 GS, 12 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 12 SO
  • 1B Kody Hinze — Lexington Legends — South Atlantic League — 9-25 (.360), 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 R, 4 2Bs,

Saturday Links: Rauch, Byrd one game from elimination

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Paul Byrd

Paul Byrd

Two playoff teams featuring Kentucky natives are on the brink of elimination. Check out those stories and more in today’s hot links:

  • Morehead alum Jon Rauch pitched a scoreless inning the Twins’ heart-breaking extra inning loss to the Yankees.
  • The Angels took a 2-0 lead on Boston in the other ALDS, Louisville-native Paul Byrd still hasn’t appeared in the series for the Red Sox.
  • John Henderson of The Denver Post reports that postseason isn’t life or death for Fort Campbell-native Aaron Cook.
  • According to, UK alum Joe Blanton doesn’t care if he gets a start in the NLDS as long as the Phillies win.
  • EKU Baseball took part in a clinic for Richmond Little Leaguers.
  • Baseball America’s John Manuel weighed in on UK alum and former SEC player of the year Ryan Strieby in BA’s Eastern League prospects chat: “Strieby definitely had his supporters and came closest. Boesch has plus power too, both are power guys, but Strieby has better feel for hitting and uses the whole field more.”

Saturday Links: Louisville’s Magic Number = 1

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Chris Heisey

Reds prospect Chris Heisey was 3-4 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI in leading Louisville to a near division clinching victory.  Check out how far the Bats are from sealing their playoff ticket and other storylines in Saturday’s hot links: