Hunter Pence; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Lexington Legends Hall of Famer Hunter Pence avoided arbitration with the Houston Astros by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3.5 million. Pence is under club control for three more seasons. Hunter was named a 2009 National League All-Star and slugged a career high 25 home runs last season.
His fellow Legends Hall of Famer and Astros’ teammate Wandy Rodriguez has yet to agree on a 2010 contract with the team. (Read more from MLB.com)
Joey Votto; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Tristan H. Cockcroft ESPN.com has released his preliminary rankings for the 2010 top 200 fantasy players. Clearly this list will change based on offseason movement and injuries before March, but it’s never too early to start preparing your fantasy draft. Here are the players with Kentucky ties on the list:
- 41) 1B Joey Votto — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
- 44) 3B Mark Reynolds — Pikevilly, Ky. — Arizona Diamondbacks
- 58) OF Adam Dunn — Louisville Bats — Washington Nationals
- 90) INF/OF Ben Zobrist — Lexington Legends — Tampa Bay Rays
- 100) OF Hunter Pence — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
- 114) OF Jay Bruce — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
- 136) SP Wandy Rodriguez — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
- 145) SP Brandon Webb — Ashland, Ky., UK — Arizona Diamondbacks
- 146) 2B Dan Uggla — Louisville, Ky. — Florida Marlins
- 177) 2B Felipe Lopez — Louisville Bats — FA
You can see Cockcroft’s full list here.
Corey Hart; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
We broke down the free agents with Kentucky ties earlier this month, but now I thought we’d look at the arbitration eligible players. Players with three to six years of service time, or designated as “super twos,” are eligible for a salary raise through arbitration. Teams then chose whether to offer these players a contract for the coming season, though the salary generally can’t be less than 80 percent of the previous year’s salary. Some players receive huge raises in arbitration leading smaller market teams to trade them. So if you’re looking for trade candidates or non-tender candidates this is a good place to start.
- RHP Joe Blanton — UK — Philadelphia Phillies
- C John Buck — Lexington Legends — Kansas City Royals
- RHP Jared Burton — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
- RHP Todd Coffey — Louisville Bats — Milwaukee Brewers
- OF Corey Hart — Bowling Green, Ky. — Milwaukee Brewers
- OF Hunter Pence — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
- RHP Wandy Rodriguez — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
- 2B Dan Uggla — Louisville, Ky. — Florida Marlins
Here’s the full arbitration list on MLB.com.
Photo by angela n. via Flickr
ESPN has released its list of top 100 fantasy keepers for 2010. Keepers in fantasy baseball are players that a fantasy owner has control of for multiple seasons. The list doesn’t necessarily reflect the best fantasy players, because youth is rewarded since an owner will control the player for multiple years. You can see the full list here, but these are the Kentucky players and their rankings:
- 23 — Mark Reynolds — Arizona Diamondbacks — Pikeville, Ky.
- 40 — Joey Votto — Cincinnati Reds — Louisville Bats
- 56 — Adam Dunn — Washington Nationals — Louisville Bats
- 69 — Hunter Pence — Houston Astros — Lexington Legends
- 80 — Ben Zobrist — Tampa Rays — Lexington Legends
- 83 — Jay Bruce — Cincinnati Reds — Louisville Bats
- 92 — Drew Stubbs — Cincinnati Reds — Louisville Bats
- 99 — Dan Uggla — Florida Marlins — Louisville, Ky.
A BluGrass player was recognized by his major league team and several players with Kentucky ties had major-league impact. Check those stories in today’s links:
- The Tampa Rays named LHP Matt Moore the MVP of the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
- Jeff Wallner of MLB.com profiles former Bat Juan Francisco.
- Lexington Legends Hall of Famer Hunter Pence hit his 24th home run of the season for Houston.
- 2009 Bats Drew Stubbs (8) and Ryan Hannigan (3) both went deep for Cincinnati and Ramon Ramirez pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
- Mark Reynolds Home Run Record Watch: 0-4, 2 K’s
Labor Day was the last day of the minor-league regular season. We already told you about the Lexington/Bowling Green game, but that wasn’t the only BluGrass baseball storyline.
- MinorleagueBaseball.com previews Louisville’s playoff series with Durham.
- The Bats fell 4-2 in their final regular season tune-up before the playoffs start Wednesday.
- The Hot Rods’ Web site highlights Michael Jarman’s pitching effort in the season-ending loss to Lexington.
- The Legends report on their series sweep of Bowling Green.
- Lexington also has a news release on its Web site about former Legend Hunter Pence being nominated for the Roberto Clemente award.
- Linda Younkin of the Frankfort State-Journal profiles UofL Hall of Fame inductee and career hits leader Tommy Barnes and his battle with cancer.
- Jack Etkin of Baseball America profiles former Bat Darnell McDonald.
- The Bats ranked as the ninth best team in the minor-league regular season according to BA.
Lexington Legends outfielder Brian Pellegrini moved one home run from the single-season team record with his 24th home run of the season in a 12-inning Lexington victory. Pellegrini has eight games remaining in the season to break Beau Herod’s and Hunter Pence’s record of 25 home runs in a season. Brian has 31 home runs on the year between Lexington and high A Lancaster. His 31 home runs rank second in all of minor league baseball.