Juan Francisco; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr
Earlier this offseason we brought you the final statistics from the prestigious Arizona Fall League. With the Caribbean Winter Leagues wrapping up their season I thought we’d bring you a rundown of Kentucky performances from those leagues:
- Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reports Louisville Bats third baseman Juan Francisco was named the MVP of the Dominican Winter League for the second consecutive season.
- Francisco batted .322 with eight home runs, 30 RBI, 29 runs scored for Gigantes del Cibao.
- PLD alum Josh Ellis, a right-handed pitcher and Diamondbacks’ farmhand, pitched two scoreless innings for Gigantes.
- One-time Madisonville resident and 2010 Louisville Bat Matt Klinker was 2-2 with an 8.40 ERA in four starts for Yaquis de Obregon of the Mexican Winter League.
- Former UofL third baseman Chris Dominguez batted .357 with seven RBI, six runs scored and a stolen base in 10 games for Leones de Ponce of the Puerto Rican Winter Baseball League.
- Former UK outfielder Antone DeJesus batted .343 with three RBI, six runs scored and a stolen base in 25 games for Indios de Mayaguez of the Puerto Rican Winter League.
Colling Cowgill; Photo: UK Athletics
League playoffs from across Minor League Baseball are set to begin this week. Last week we looked at the Kentucky alumni participating in rookie league playoffs, so I thought I’d do the same for the other minor leagues:
Pacific Coast League (AAA)
- Tacoma Rainers — Josh Lueke
International League (AAA)
- Louisville Bats — Matt Klinker
- Columbus Clippers — Jeremy Sowers (DL)
Texas League (AA)
- Springfield Cardinals — Antone DeJesus
Eastern League (AA)
- New Hampshire Fisher Cats — Trystan Magnuson
- Harrisburg Senators — Zach Dials
Southern League (AA)
- Tennessee Smokies — Chris Rusin (DL)
- Jacksonville Suns — Graham Taylor (DL)
- Mobile BayBears — Collin Cowgill, Sean Coughlin, Josh Ellis
California League (High A)
- Stockton Ports — Justin Marks
- High Desert Mavericks — Jake Shaffer
- Ranch Cucamonga Quakes — Jon Townsend
Florida State League (High A)
- Dunedin Blue Jays — Justin McClanahan
- Bradenton Marauders — Jordan Newton, Nathan Adcock
Carolina League (High A)
- Winston-Salem Dash — Logan Johnson, Nathan Jones, Greg Paiml
- Kinston Indians — Marty Popham
Midwest League (Low A)
- Great Lakes Loons — J. B. Paxson
- Quad City River Bandits — Dean Kiekhefer, Daniel Calhoun
- Clinton Lumber Kings — Tyler Blandford (DL)
- West Michigan Whitecaps — Wade Gaynor, Patrick Cooper
South Atlantic League (Low A)
- Hickory Crawdads — Jonathan Roof
Northwest League (Short-Season)
- Spokane Indians — Andrew Clark, Josh Richmond
Pioneer League (Rookie)
- Great Falls Voyagers — Thomas Royse
Chris Rusin; Photo: UK Athletics
Highlights from Thursday Kentucky MiLB action:
- The Louisville Bats slugged four home runs en route to an 11-7 win over Charlotte. First baseman Yonder Alonso, designated hitter Juan Francisco, outfielder Chris Dickerson and outfielder Wladimir Balentein each homered for the Bats.
- Lexington Legends closer Kirk Clark set the new Legends career and single-season saves record with his 22nd save in a 3-2 win over Rome. Right-handed pitcher Jose Cisnero earned the win after surrendering two runs in six innings.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods couldn’t over come and early 5-1 deficit after two innings in a 8-7 loss to Quad Cities. First baseman Ryan Wiegand and right fielder Gabe Cohen each homered for the Hot Rods.
- Former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin earned his fourth win of the season for high A Daytona after surrendering three runs in six innings. Rusin struck out six and walked none.
- Former UK right-handed pitcher Zach Dials was promoted to AA Harrisburg where he surrendered one run in two-thirds of an inning in his debut.
- Former UofL right-handed pitcher and 2010 Nationals draftee Neil Holland earned his second win of the season with three scoreless innings for short-season Vermont.
- Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich was 3-5 with two doubles and a run scored for short-season Hudson Valley.
- Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar was 2-4 with a double, three RBI and a run scored for low A Greensboro.
- Former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer homered for the second consecutive game and drove in three runs for high A High Desert.
- Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere scored three times, tallied two hits and stole a base for AA New Britain.
- London native Jon Townsend slugged his fifth home run of the season, drove in two runs and scored twice for high A Rancho Cucamonga.
- Lexington native Josh Ellis picked up his second win of the season after two scoreless innings of relief for AA Mobile.
Colling Cowgill; Photo: UK Athletics
In the next June awards post we’ll look at the best performances from former Kentucky high school and collegians around Minor League Baseball:
Hitter of the month: OF Collin Cowgill (UK) — AA Mobile BayBears
- Stats: 35-112 (.313), 4 HR, 20 RBI, 20 R
- Honorable Mention: Jon Townsend, Richie Rowland, Jake Shaffer, Wade Gaynor, Sawyer Carroll, Michael Bertram
Pitcher of the month: LHP Chris Rusin (UK) — High A Daytona
- Stats: 1-0, 2.54 ERA, 5 GS, 22 SO/4 BB, 28.1 IP
- Honorable Mention: Josh Ellis, Robbie Ross, Chaz Roe, Mike Perconte, Josh Lueke
Austin Kearns; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
We did this last summer, but with Monday’s announcement that Western Hills shortstop J. T. Riddle had been named the 2010 Mr. Baseball it’s always fun to look back on previous Mr. Baseballs and see where they are today. Check out the list below with each player’s most recent baseball affiliation:
- 2010: J. T. Riddle (Western Hills) — Riddle has signed to play college ball at the University of Kentucky in 2011 and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 35th round of the 2010 MLB draft.
- 2009: Luke Maile (Covington Catholic) — Maile is a rising sophomore at UK and was 7-25 with three home runs and six RBI in limited action as a freshman.
- 2008: Zack Cox (Pleasure Ridge Park) — Spent 2010 as a sophomore at Arkansas where he was named an All-American by several outlets after batting .429. Cox was the first-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2010 MLB draft.
- 2007: Ben Revere (Lexington Catholic) — Revere was the Minnesota Twins’ first round pick in 2007 and has done nothing but hit in his Minor League career. Revere is currently batting .307 with 21 stolen bases for the AA New Britain Rock Cats and was named the fifth best prospect in the Twins’ system by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season.
- 2006: Nathan Adcock (North Hardin) — After three and one-half mediocre season in the Seattle Mariners’ organization Adcock was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009 as part of the Jack Wilson trade. Adcock is having his best season to date in 2010 for the high A Bradenton Marauders where he is 6-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 13 starts.
- 2005: Chaz Roe (Lafayette) — Roe was the Colorado Rockies’ first-supplemental round pick in the 2005 MLB draft and has worked his way through the Minor Leagues to AAA. Last year was Roe’s best season to date when he went 7-3 with a 3.15 ERA for AA Tulsa, but he has struggled so far in 2010 to the tune of a 5-7 record and 5.86 ERA in hitter-friendly AAA Colorado Springs.
- 2004: Collin Cowgill (Henry Clay) — Cowgill was a standout in his four seasons at UK and has continued to excel in professional baseball after the Arizona Diamondbacks took him with their fifth-round pick in 2008. Named the ninth best prospect in the D’Backs farm system by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season, Cowgill is batting .280 with five home runs and 43 RBI for AA Mobile this season.
- 2003: Josh Ellis (Paul Laurence Dunbar) — While older brother A.J. Ellis has carved a niche for himself as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ backup catcher this season, Josh is still working his way through the Diamobacks system after the team selected him in the 11th round of the 2007 draft. Ellis is 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA in 18 relief appearances between AAA Reno and AA Mobile this season.
- 2002: Brad Corley (Pleasure Ridge Park) — Corley was the Pirates second-round pick as an outfielder in 2005 and was named the tenth best prospect in the team’s system by Baseball America entering the 2008 season. Corely’s career stalled after that honor. and he hasn’t advanced past AA since. He was acquired by Colorado in 2009 and is currently playing for short-season Tri-City as he attempts to become a full-time pitcher.
- 2001: Jeremy Sowers (Ballard) — Sowers was the Indian’s first-round pick in 2004 out of Vanderbilt University and has appeared in 72 games over parts of four season with the Indians. Sowers is 18-30 as a MLB starting pitcher, and he is currently struggling to the tune of a 1-4 record and 6.49 ERA as a left-handed reliever for AAA Columbus.
- 2000: Spencer Graeter (Ballard) — Greater batted .307 with 14 home runs and 98 RBI in four seasons for UK from 2001-2004 but never appeared in affiliated ball.
- 1999: Joe Blanton (Franklin-Simpson) — Blanton has appeared in two World Series and even earned a victory in game four of the Philadelphia Phillies World Series win in 2008. Blanton is just 2-5 with a 6.96 ERA in eight starts for Philadelphia this season, but is 65-59 with a 4.34 ERA in seven MLB seasons with the Oakland Athletics and Phillies.
- 1998: Austin Kearns (Lafayette) — Kearns won a job as a reserve outfielder with the Cleveland Indians in Spring Training and has worked his way into a starting role. On the season Kearns is batting .288 with seven home runs an 32 RBI. In nine MLB seasons, Kearns has batted .258 with 112 home runs and 454 RBI with the Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and Indians.
- 1997: Scott Hodges (Henry Clay) — Hodges was the Montreal Expos’ first-round pick in 1997 and spent nine seasons in the Minor Leagues appearing as high as AAA. In 2005 he was diagnosed with lymphoma, ending his career.
- 1996: Aaron McGlone (Greenup Co.) — McGlone batted .345 with eight home runs and 51 RBI for UK in 2000, but never appeared in affiliated ball.
- 1995: Brad Wilkerson (Apollo) — Wilkerson spent parts of eights season in the Major Leagues, batting .247 with 122 home runs and 399 RBI for the Expos, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays. He retired in 2008 before briefly making a comeback with the Phillies during Spring Training this season only to announce his retirement for good.
- 1994: Scott Downs (Pleasure Ridge Park) — Downs was the Chicago Cubs’ third-round pick in 1997 out of UK, and has spent parts of ten season in the big leagues. Over the past four seasons he has carved out a niche as one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2010 he is 2-5 with a 3.34 ERA in 34 games for the Blue Jays.
- 1993: Dion Newby (Harrison Co.) — Newby played collegiately at North Alabama but never appeared in affiliated ball.
- 1992: Shon Walker (Harrison Co.) — Walker was the Pirates first-round pick in 1992 and last appeared in affiliated ball in 1998 at High A Lynchburg.
- 1991: Trever Miller (Trinity) — Miller’s long Major League career is still going strong as a left-handed reliever in the St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen. Miller is 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 25 games for the Cardinals this season and is 18-16 with a 4.17 ERA over 12 MLB seasons. Miller was the Detroit Tigers’ first-round pick in 1991.
- 1990: Darren Burton (Pulaski Co.) — Burton was the Royals’ fifth-round pick in 1990 and last appeared in affiliated ball at AA Altoona in 2001. He spent parts of six seasons in AAA.
- 1989: Tab Brown (St. Xavier) — Brown was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1989 and spent at least two seasons in the Braves’ organization.
Scott Downs; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
While browsing the Ky. High School Record Book I stumbled across the list of Kentucky Mr. Baseballs. Did you know that seven Mr. Baseball’s have appeared in the major leagues in the last two seasons? With that in mind I thought I’d update you on the status of the Mr. Kentucky Baseballs, their 2009 team or most recent baseball status is listed.
- 1989 — Tab Brown — St. Xavier — Drafted 1989 Atlanta Braves
- 1990 — Darren Burton — Pulaski Co. — Retired 2001 AAA Altoona (Pirates)
- 1991 — Trever Miller — Trinity — St. Louis Cardinals
- 1992 — Shon Walker — Harrison Co. — Retired 1998 High A Lynchburg (Pirates)
- 1993 — Dion Newby — Harrison Co. — Played at North Alabama
- 1994 — Scott Downs — PRP — Toronto Blue Jays
- 1995 — Brad Wilkerson — Apollo — Retired 2008 (Rangers)
- 1996 — Aaron McGlone — Greenup Co. — Last season at UK 2000
- 1997 — Scott Hodges — Henry Clay — Retired 2005 AAA Edmonton
- 1998 — Austin Kearns — Lafayette — Washington Nationals
- 1999 — Joe Blanton — Franklin-Simpson — Philadelphia Phillies
- 2000 — Spencer Graeter — Ballard — Graduated from UK 2004
- 2001 — Jeremy Sowers — Ballard — Cleveland Indians
- 2002 — Brad Corley — PRP — AA Tulsa (Rockies)
- 2003 — Josh Ellis — PLD — Los Angeles Dodgers
- 2004 — Collin Cowgill — Henry Clay — High A Visalia (D’Backs)
- 2005 — Chaz Roe — Lafayette — AA Tulsa (Rockies)
- 2006 — Nathan Adcock — North Hardin — High A Lynchburg (Pirates)
- 2007 — Ben Revere — Lexington Catholic — High A Fort Meyers (Twins)
- 2008 — Zack Cox — PRP — University of Arkansas
- 2009 — Luke Maile — Covington Catholic — UK