Rauch questionable for ALDS; UK, UofL recruiting classes ranked in top 30; Cats announce another draftee joining team

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Jon Rauch; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links and notes from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Collegiate Baseball has released its 2011 recruiting class rankings for college baseball and included the University of Kentucky at No. 16 on the list and the University of Louisville at No. 29. In the news release UK also announced an additional 2010 draftee joining the team in 2011: right-handed pitcher Jonathan Paquet of Canada, who the Phillies selected in the 22nd round.
  • Diligent BluGrass Baseball readers may be confused by UK listing of just five draftees, including Paquet, as part of the 2011 recruiting class in the release. That’s not a typo as I have confirmed Angels 19th round pick Jonathan Bobea of New York has decided not to attend UK.
  • La Velle E. Neal of the Star Tribune reports former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch may miss the ALDS with a sore left knee.
  • The Denver Post reports Rockies right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook, born in Fort Campbell, is uncertain to return to Colorado in 2011 but a change in mechanics before his season-ending injury may have helped his chances in being brought back.
  • Adam Sparks of The Daily News Journal reports Western Kentucky University lost out on Georgia prep catcher Michael Adkins, who committed to Middle Tennessee over the Hilltoppers.

Black, Ijames, Davis, Rice among Kentucky draftees who turned down professional contracts

College Baseball, High School Baseball

Matt Rice bats for WKU: BluGrass Baseball photo

While Louisville native Zack Cox and Danville native Blake Perry signed professional contracts before Monday’s midnight draft signing deadline, 16 other Kentucky draftees did not and will head to college in the coming weeks. UK shortstop Taylor Black, UofL outfielder Stewart Ijames, WKU  right-handed pitcher Rye Davis, NKU left-handed pitcher David Middendorf and WKU catcher Matt Rice were the Kentucky collegians who elected to return to school rather than sign deals with their professional clubs. Lexington native Casey Lucchese, the Cubs’ 39th round pick, will return to the College of Charleston for his senior season in 2011.

Ohio high school right-handed pitcher Dace Kime, the Pirates’ eight-round pick, was the highest drafted Kentucky player to choose college and will attend the University of Louisville this fall. UofL signee Chad Green, an Illinois right-handed pitcher and Blue Jays 37th round pick, also will play for the Cards in 2011. (Update 8/23: This item has been updated to correct previous error about UofL signee Joel Bender, who did sign with Reds)

Mr. Kentucky Baseball and Western Hills High School infielder/right-handed pitcher J. T. Riddle, the Red Sox’ 35th round pick; Lexington Christian Academy outfielder Lucas Witt, the Dodgers’ 38th round pick; and Trinity High School left-handed pitcher Corey Littrell, the Nationals’ 42nd round pick, will each play for the University of Kentucky in 2011 rather than sign pro deals. UK out-of-state commitments Jonathan Bobea, a New York right-handed pitcher and Angles’ 19th round pick, and Matt Reida, an Indiana infielder and White Sox 47th round pick, will also suit up for the Cats in 2011.

Hopkinsville High School right-handed pitcher Justin Hageman, the first Kentucky high schooler selected in the 2010 draft as the Royals 32nd round pick, will follow through on his commitment to Western Kentucky University. Former Boone County High School outfielder Ronald Cotton, the White Sox’ 45th round pick, will play for the University of Cincinnati next season. In all 31 of 48 players with Kentucky ties selected in the 2010 draft have signed professional contracts as well as six non-drafted free agents. Former UK left-handed pitcher James Paxton, the Mariners’ fourth-round pick, has yet to sign a pro deal but wasn’t restricted by the Monday deadline as he pitched in independent ball in 2010.

Danville native Blake Perry signs with Diamondbacks

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball

UK Athletics Wallpaper

Danville native and University of Kentucky signee Blake Perry has signed a professional contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Aaron Fitt of Baseball America reports via Twitter. Perry, the Diamondbacks’ sixth-round pick, signed for a $500,000 signing bonus, Fitt reports. The Danville native and former Boyle County High School pitcher spent his senior season at the Pendleton Academy in Florida.

Perry marks the second UK commitment to sign a professional contract after being drafted this year. Former LCA and Wabash Valley Junior College first baseman Tyler Oliver previously signed with the Washington Nationals as the team’s 35th round pick. UK signees J. T. Riddle, Corey Littrell, Matt Reida and Lucas Witt were also selected in the 2010 draft. The Cats also picked up a late commitment following the draft from New York prep pitcher Jonathan Bobea, the 19th-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels.

UK gets commitment from Angels 19th round pick

College Baseball

UK Athletics Wallpaper

The University of Kentucky has received a late verbal commitment from the class of 2010 from New York right-handed pitcher Jonathan Bobea, who was the Los Angeles Angels’ 19th round pick in the 2010 draft. Bobea, who graduated from Francis Lewis High School in Flushing, N. Y., told Zach Braziller of The New York Post he would turn down the Angels’ offer to attend UK this fall. “I’m happy,” Bobea told The Post. “I get to go to college and play baseball at a high level.”

UK recruiting coordinator Brad Bohanon offered Bobea a scholarship after watching him pitch CABA World Series with Team New York Baseball, Braziller reports. Bobea joins six other Kentucky signees from the class of 2010 as selections in the 2010 draft. As of Monday, just one of the seven signees, former LCA first baseman Tyler Oliver, had signed a professional contract. (Read more)