Chapman, Alonso among best IL prospects; Kentucky players make AFL debuts; Zobrist, Rays eliminated

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Aroldis Chapman; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The league championship series are set with a few Kentucky players remaining in the playoffs. Check out some links from around Kentucky baseball while you muster through far too many days without baseball before the second round of the playoffs:

  • Former Lexington Legends infielder Ben Zobrist and the Tampa Bay Rays were eliminated in a 5-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.
  • John Wagner of Baseball America ranks Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman No. 3 and first baseman Yonder Alonso No. 12 on the magazine’s top 20 International League prospects list.
  • In the accompanying online chat, Wagner answers a number of questions about Bats players including Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Juan Francisco, Chris Valaika and Travis Wood. (subscription required)
  • Frazier was 2-4 with a triple, RBI and run scored for Team USA in the team’s 7-2 loss to the Dominican Republic in the Pan Am Qualifying Tournament.
  • PRP alum Zack Cox, the Cardinals’ 2010 first-round pick, was 0-5 with four strikeouts in his Arizona Fall League debut for the Surprise Rafters.
  • Former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke pitched a scoreless inning in his AFL debut for the Peoria Javelinas.
  • Atlanta Braves right-handed pitching prospect Michael Broadway, born in Paducah, surrendered one run in one inning in his AFL debut for the Phoenix Desert Dogs.
  • Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco was 3-4 with a home run, three RBI and run scored for the Peoria Saguaros of the AFL. Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 0-1 in the game for Peoria.
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Gaynor picked as Tigers best MiLB performer; Playoff previews; Calhoun named pitcher of week

Minor League Baseball

Jacob Goebbert; BluGrass Baseball photo

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Lynn Henning of The Detroit News highlights the best 2010 performances from Detroit Tigers minor leaguers and picks former WKU infielder Wade Gaynor as the standout offensive performer. Henning highlighted former UK infielder Ryan Strieby‘s balky wrist as the most ominous injury.
  • MiLB.com previews the Southern League playoffs and spotlights former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill in the series between Mobile and Jacksonville.
  • Jason Stella of the Louisville Bats media relations department previews the team’s playoff series with Durham.
  • Mark Maloney of the Lexington Herald-Leader recaps the Lexington Legends season, highlighting standout performances including outfielder Jacob Goebbert‘s RBI and doubles records.
  • Former Murray St. right-handed pitcher Daniel Calhoun was named Midwest League pitcher of the week after going 3-0 without giving up a run for Quad Cities.

Cowgill, Sappelt, Valaika, Balentien named to all-league teams

Minor League Baseball

Colling Cowgill; Photo: UK Athletics

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Lexington native and former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was named to the All-Southern League postseason team. Current Louisville Bats outfielder Dave Sappelt was also selected to the team for his work for AA Carolina.
  • Bats second baseman Chris Valaika and outfielder Wladimir Balentien were selected to the All-International League postseason team.
  • First baseman Yonder Alonso, catcher Corky Miller and right-handed pitcher Carlos Fisher joined left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman as Bats promoted to Cincinnati with the September expansion of rosters.
  • Jason Stella of the Bats’ media relations department recently sat down for an interview with the newest Cincinnati Red: Yonder Alonso.
  • John Manuel of Baseball America breaks down the best prospects in the Arizona Fall League, including Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere.

Stretch drive breakdown: Louisville Bats

Minor League Baseball

Counting tonight’s game with the Indianapolis Indians, the Louisville Bats have 15 games remaining the regular season. The Bats currently sit a half game in front of Columbus for the International League West Division lead. The Clippers lead the wild card race by two games so Louisville’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 11. Any combination of 11 Bats wins and Buffalo loses will put Louisville in the playoffs.

The Bats have three games left versus Indianapolis before a two game home series against Columbus. Louisville then finishes the season with a five game home-and-home season with Toledo and a five game home-and-home series with Indianapolis. The Bats’ three remaining opponents are a combined two games under .500, so you have to like their chances for reaching the postseason.

The biggest question facing Louisville is what exactly its roster will look like if it does reach the playoffs. The Bats have been helped by recent AA callups, but if the Reds promote Aroldis Chapman, Juan Francisco or Yonder Alonso when MLB rosters expand on Sept. 1 the Bats playoffs chances could be seriously hurt. Cincinnati is playing for a division title, so Louisville’s postseason aspirations will take a back seat to the big league club’s needs.

Kentuckians among MiLB All-Stars

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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,

Anderson starts slow for Bats; Gaynor returns to Kentucky

Minor League Baseball

Josh Anderson; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Some MiLB links and updates to pass along for your Monday morning:

  • Michael Grant of the Courier Journal profiles Somerset native, Lexington Legends hall of famer and Eastern Kentucky University alum Josh Anderson‘s slow start for the Louisville Bats.
  • Michael Compton of the Bowling Green Daily News profiles Western Kentucky University alum Wade Gaynor and his return to Bowling Green with the West Michigan Whitecaps. Gaynor was 3-15 in the three-game set against the Hot Rods.
  • Mark Maloney of the Lexington Herald-Leader recaps the Lexington Legends home opener. Be sure to check out the photo gallery from the game to see the Legends “tuxedo jerseys.”
  • Standings Update: The Bats currently sit in last place of the International League west division at 4-7. The Hot Rods are seventh in the Midwest League eastern division at 3-8, and the Legends are third in the South Atlantic League southern division at 6-5.
  • Outfielder Daniel Dorn leads the Bats with a .343 average, four home runs and seven RBI. Third baseman Jonathan Meyer leads the Legends with a .386 average, first baseman Kody Hinze leads the team with three home runs and outfielder Jacob Goebbert leads Lexington with 12 RBI. Catcher Mark Thomas leads the Hot Rods with a .417 average in six games, two home runs and five RBI.

Heisey, Alonso named to AFL All-Star team

Minor League Baseball

aflTwo members of the 2009 Louisville Bats playoff team have been named to the “Rising Stars” All-Star game in the prestigious Arizona Fall League. Outfielder Chris Heisey and 1B Yonder Alonso will both play for the East team in the game that will air on the MLB Network Saturday. Heisey is batting .373 with three home runs and 11 RBI through his first 15 games with the Peoria Saguaros. Teammate Alonso is batting .265 with two home runs and 13 RBI.

Baseball America recently ranked Heisey the 14th best prospect in the AA Southern League and 20th best prospect in the AAA International League. BA ranked Alonso the fourth best prospect in the high A Florida State League. Heisey batted .278 with nine home runs and 37 RBI in 63 games for Louisville, and .314 with 22 home runs and 77 RBI in 134 total games in 2009. Alonso, who played with the Bats during the 2009 playoffs, batted .292 with nine home runs and 52 RBI in 84 games between rookie league and AA.

Stubbs, Heisey among top IL prospects

Minor League Baseball

Drew Stubbs

Baseball America has released its top 20 prospect rankings for the International League and Louisville Bats outfielders Drew Stubbs and Chris Heisey made the cut. BA ranks Stubbs 14th on the list and Heisey 20th. Stubbs led the International League in stolen bases before an August callup to Cincinnati where he batted .267 with eight home runs and 17 RBI in 42 games. Heisey excelled at AA Carolina, earning a Futures Game selection, before cooling off a little after his promotion to Louisville.

Here’s a look at both players’ International League stats a brief snippet Josh Leventhal’s analysis. Scouting reports are subscriber only on BA’s site so I encourage you to sign up for a membership to read the whole thing:

#14 OF Drew Stubbs

  • .268/.353/.360 57 runs, 46 stolen bases
  • “Stubbs has above-average raw power, speed and arm strength. He became more disruptive on the basepaths by improving his reads and picking his spots to steal.”

#20 OF Chris Heisey

  • .278/.323/.465
  • “Heisey employs a patient approach at the plate, making consistent hard contact with a quick bat. He’s a plus runner and capable basestealer.”

Thursday Links: Minor League Edition

Minor League Baseball

Lew Ford

Look for some non-minor league stories this afternoon, but for now here are the minor league headlines to hold you over.

  • Recent Bat addition and former major leaguer Lew Ford hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning to lead Louisville to a 10-6 victory over Columbus.
  • The Asheville Tourists scored four runs in the eighth inning to defeat Lexington 6-2.
  • Anthony Scelfo’s home run paced the Bowling Green offense in a 7-3 victory over Greenville.
  • Former Louisville Cardinal Trystan Magnuson extended his scoreless innings streak to 10 to start his AA career for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
  • The C-J reports that Rick Sweet was named International League manager of the year and Justin Lehr was named IL Pitcher of the Year.
  • Jason Stella at Examiner.com has a Q&A with Chris Heisey.