All-Star Links: Hart will start for NL, participate in HR Derby; Kentucky players struggle in Futures Game

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Corey Hart; Photo by Steve Paluch via Flickr

Relevant Kentucky links from All-Star Festivities:

  • Jordan Schelling of reports Bowling Green native and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart will start Tuesday’s game for the National League after elected starter and Braves’ outfielder Jason Hayward was removed from the roster with an injury.
  • Hart will also participate in tonight’s State Farm Home Run Derby.
  • The Associated Press reports the Brewers will knock $1 off the price of tickets in one section of Miller Park for two select games for each home run Hart hits during the Derby.
  • Tyler Kepner of The New York Times lists Hart and former Morehead State University pitcher Jon Rauch among his list of unsung 2010 stars.
  • In Sunday’s MLB Futures Game Lexington native Ben Revere was 0-3 for the U.S. team, which defeated the World 9-1. Former Eastern Kentucky University left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich retired the only batter he faced, and former University of Louisville right-handed pitcher Trystan Magnuson surrendered one run in two-thirds of an innings for the World. Louisville Bats first baseman Yonder Alonso was 1-4 for the World team.
  • Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star profiles Magnuson and writes the Canadian owes much of his success to his uncle, Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Keith Magnuson, and former Blue Jays pitching coach Mel Queen, who was influential in Roy Halladay’s career.
  • Baseball America correspondent Phil Miller awards Revere the Minnesota Twins’ mid-season best player award in the team’s organization report. (subscription required)

Revere, Friedrich, Magnuson, Alonso named to Futures Game

Minor League Baseball

Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Lexington Christian Academy alum and Minnesota Twins farmhand Ben Revere, Eastern Kentucky University alum and Colorado Rockies prospect Christian Friedrich and University of Louisville alum and Toronto Blue Jays Minor Leaguer Trystan Magnuson have been named to the 2010 MLB Futures Game to be played during All-Star weekend. Revere, the Twins’ 2007-first round pick, was ranked the No. 5 prospect in the Twins organization by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season and is batting .307 with 21 stolen bases for AA New Britain. Friedrich, the Rockies 2008 first-round pick, was ranked the No. 2 prospect in the Rockies’ organization by Baseball America and is 0-5 with a 4.58 ERA for AA Tulsa. Revere and Friedrich will play for the U.S. team.

Magnuson, the Blue Jays’ 2007 fifth-round pick, is 1-0 with a 2.09 ERA in 25 relief appearances for AA New Hampshire.  The Canadian right-handed pitcher will play for the World team. Louisville Bats first baseman Yonder Alonso was also named to the World roster. Former Lexington Legend Jordan Lyles, now playing for AA Corpus Christi was also named to the U. S. team. You can see the entire World roster and U.S. roster via Baseball America.

BluGrass Baseball Futures Game Preview

Major League Baseball, Minor Leagues

Kyeong KangChris Heisey

Kentucky’s three minor league teams will be represented in the MLB Futures Game by two player this weekend.  The Futures Game is sponsored by XM Radio and will take place Sunday as part of the first MLB All-Star Week festivities.

The game is a chance to see some of the top prospects in baseball match up in a US vs. World format.  Each major league team must be represented by at least one player.  Prospects from higher levels of the minor leagues are sometimes favored in the roster selection process.

The Bowling Green Hot Rods had one player selected to the World roster.  Outfielder Kyeong Kang was ranked the 27th best prospect in the Tampa Bay organization by Baseball America before the season.  Kang is the first South Korean to go through the amateur player’s draft.  He spent the final two years of high school in Georgia after moving from South Korea.  The Rays took him in the 30th round of the 2006 draft and signed his as a draft-and-follow the next year.

Kang ranks second on the Hot Rods team with a .285 batting average.  He also has two home runs and 22 RBI.  According to Baseball America he is “a raw player with above-average power potential and good speed.”

The second Bluegrass Futures Game representative is Louisville outfielder Chris Heisey.  Heisey was already named a minor league mid-season all-star by Baseball America for his first half performance.  Heisey’s .350 average is the fifth highest batting average in full-season leagues this year.  He has the fourth most hits (113), seventh most runs scored (64), fifth most total bases (189) and the tenth highest slugging percentage (.585) in the minors.

According to BA, Heisey might be the most unheralded U. S. outfielder in the Futures Game this season.  BA ranked his the 22nd best prospect in the Reds’ system before the season and said he had the potential to grow into a valuable role-player at the major league level.  After batting .350 with 16 home runs and 53 RBI between AA Carolina and AAA Louisville, Heisey has shattered those predictions.

You can find individual capsules about every member of the Futures game at Baseball America.