Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks 2010 Lexington Legends shortstop Jiovanni Mier, outfielder J. D. Martinez, right-handed pitcher Tanner Bushue and second baseman Jimmy Paredes among the top 10 prospects in the Astros’ organization. Likely 2011 Legends Delino DeShields Jr., Mike Foltynewicz and Austin Wates also are included on the list.
Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb feels he is ready to pitch in a game situation, but the Rangers have not decided what his next step will be.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez will start the season with a left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters, who was born in Pikeville, sharing the closer role with right-handed pitcher Craig Kimbrel.
Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun reports Louisville native and former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch has been a key mentor for some of the Blue Jays young pitchers this spring.
Nick Baumgardner of the Bowling Green Daily News reports Western Kentucky University head coach Chris Finwood and 11 player shaved their heads following their Friday win versus Middle Tennessee to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation that supports the fight against childhood cancer.
John Manuel of Baseball America has published the magazine’s top 10 Houston Astros’ prospect list with several current, former and future Legends included in the rankings. The list is headlined by 2009 Legend Jordan Lyles, who is followed by 2010 Legends Jiovanni Mier (No. 5), J. D. Martinez (No. 6), Jimmy Paredes (No. 7) and Tanner Bushue (No. 8). Three players on the list, Delino Deshields Jr. (No. 2), Mike Foltynewicz (No. 4) and Austin Wates (No. 9), could open 2011 in Lexington.
University of Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell recently completed an interview with College Baseball Daily in which he touches on a number of topics including newcomer standouts from fall practice.
The University of Illinois has announced it will play a three-game series at Western Kentucky University on March 11-13 to replace its scheduled appearance in the Metrodome Tournament. The Metrodome suffered a roof collapse on Dec. 12 an officials have announced the facility will not be ready to host previously scheduled college baseball games this spring.
UofL assistant coach Xan Barksdale will speak at the American Baseball Coaches Association Convention this weekend about preparing catchers for success.
Nick Evans of the Louisville Bats media relations department notes the Cincinnati Reds Caravan will stop at Louisville Slugger Field on Jan. 27.
The Louisville Bats lost a game in the International League West Division race, but remained three games up in the wild card despite a 7-5 loss to Indianapolis. First baseman Danny Dorn was 2-4 with a home run.
The Lexington Legends scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 6-6 tie in an 8-6 win over Hagerstown. Second baseman Jimmy Paredes and right fielder Jacob Goebbert both homered for Lexington.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods won consecutive games to start a month for the first time this season after a 5-1 win over Dayton. Third baseman Julio Cedeno was 4-5 with a double, RBI and run scored.
Former Murray St. left-handed pitcher Daniel Calhoun improved to 9-0 on the season with a win for low A Quad Cities after pitching two scoreless innings of relief.
Former Campbellsville infielder Chris Curley was promoted to high A Myrtle Beach, where he went 2-3 with a double and walk in his debut.
The Louisville Bats opened their road trip with a 6-5 win over Toledo. Right fielder Daniel Dorn homered and drove in three runs, and first baseman Yonder Alonso was 2-4 with two double, RBI and run scored.
The Lexington Legends held off a late Delmarva rally to record a 6-4 win over the Shorebirds. Second baseman Jimmy Paredes was 3-5 with a double, run scored, RBI and his 42nd stolen base of the season. Right-handed pitcher Zachary Grimmett improved to 5-2 on the season after surrendering one run in seven innings.
Bowling Green Hot Rods center fielder Ty Morrison singled with two outs in the ninth inning to break up a no-hitter, but was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double to end the game in the Hot Rods’ 2-0 loss to Fort Wayne. Right-handed pitcher Jason McEachern took the loss despite surrendering just two runs in five innings.
Former UofL infielder Chris Dominguez was 3-4 with his 17th home run of the season, four RBI and two runs scored for low A Augusta.
Former UK infielder and 2010 Twins NDFA Gunner Glad was 3-5 with a double, RBI and two runs scored for rookie-level Elizabethton.
Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer slugged his third home run in four games and 11th home run of the season for rookie-level Greeneville.
Former UofL outfielder and 2010 Rangers draftee Josh Richmond slugged his third home run of the season for short-season Spokane.
Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar homered for the second consecutive game and 16th time this season for low A Greensboro.
Former Murray St. left-handed pitcher Daniel Calhoun moved to 7-0 on the season after picking up the win with two and two-thirds innings on one-run relief for low A Quad Cities.
Former Morehead St. shortstop and 2010 White Sox draftee Drew Lee was 3-5 with a double and three RBI for rookie-level Bristol.
One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker took the loss for AA Carolina after surrendering five runs in seven innings.
Trinity High School alum Tyler Kuhn was 3-3 with two runs scored and one RBI for AA Birmingham.
Former UK outfielder and 2010 Braves NDFA Keenan Wiley made his professional debut with a 1-2 performance for rookie-level Danville.
The trade deadline for Kentucky baseball players ended up being a lot of smoke with the biggest names among rumored trade candidates (Corey Hart and Scott Downs) staying put. Neither player figures to clear waivers in August, so unless a deal is worked out with whatever team claims them both could spend the rest of the season with their current teams. Check out some links from around Kentucky baseball about stories that did happen over the weekend:
If Bowling Green native Corey Hart has his way he won’t be staying with the Brewers only through the end of the season. Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports Hart wants a contract extension since Milwaukee decided not to trade him before the deadline.
Chad Bishop of the Bowling Green Daily News reports Warren East High School rising senior pitcher/third baseman Mark Biggs has committed to play collegiate baseball at the University of Louisville.
The Lexington Legends made several important roster moves over the weekend, headlined by the promotion of South Atlantic League all-star infielder Jose Altuve to high A Lancaster. Infielder Barry Butera switched places with Altuve, moving from Lancaster to Lexington, and infielder Jimmy Paredes, acquired by the Astros in the Lance Berkman trade with the Yankees, was added to the Legends’ roster.
John Manuel of Baseball America profiles Paredes in his breakdown of the Berkman trade.
Western Kentucky University has announced a showcase for high school players for September 5 at Nick Denes Field.
In case you are still a little fuzzy about how major league players can still be traded after the July 31 “trade deadline” check out this very useful explanation of the process from the always great MLBTradeRumors.
Josh Cook, writing for the Courier-Journal, recaps the Louisville Bats Saturday win over Louisville nativesMarty Popham and Jeremy Sowers of the Columbus Clippers.