BluGrass Baseball Awards: Louisville Bats

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Kevin Barker

Offensive Player of the Year — 1B Kevin Barker

  • If this award were for the top prospect on the team minor-league veteran Barker would have no shot.  Kevin was playing in his 13th minor league season in 2009 with only 97 major-league games to show for his perseverance. Barker led qualifying Bats with a .285 batting average and 22 home runs.  His 69 RBIs were second-most on the team.  Barker’s .376 on-base percentage, .551 slugging percentage and .927 OPS were also team highs for qualifying players.
  • Outfielder Chris Heisey might be the favorite for Reds’ minor-league player of the year after his Future Game selection, but he played less than half his season in Louisville, penalizing him for this award. He batted .278 with nine home runs and 37 RBI for Louisville to bring his season totals to .314, 22 home runs and 77 RBI for the season.
  • Outfielder Drew Stubbs led the International League with 46 stolen bases, and top prospects Juan Francisco and Todd Frazier contributed in Louisville over the last month.

Pitcher of the Year — LHP Matt Maloney

  • Maloney was 9-9 with a 3.08 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 143 innings for Louisville. Matt also made one late-season tuneup for AA Carolina and has made five starts for Cincinnati. Maloney’s 3.08 ERA was second lowest in the International League and his 125 strikeouts were tied with teammate Sam LeCure for fourth-most in the League.
  • Justin Lehr won an International League-high 13 games before a late-season callup to Cincinnati.  Sam LeCure led the team with 143.1 innings pitched and 125 strikeouts. Travis Wood, favorite for Reds’ pitcher of the year, was 4-2 with a 3.14 ERA in eight games with Louisville.

September Callups–Updated Sep. 9

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

aj ellisTuesday marked the official expansion of MLB rosters from 25 to 40.  While no team actually carries 40 players during the “September Callup” period, many teams bring some young players up from the minor leagues to either reinforce their team for a playoff run or have and extended audition for next season.  We’ll use this post to keep track of any players with Kentucky ties that are called up to the big leagues as minor league seasons end. Major-league players who were activated from the disabled list because of the expanded rosters are also noted. New additions are bolded.

  • C A. J. Ellis — Los Angeles Dodgers — Dunbar Class of 1999
  • RHP Matt Belisle — Colorado Rockies — 2003-2004 Louisville Bats
  • C Ryan Hannigan — Cincinnati Reds — 2007-2009 Louisville Bats
  • OF Corey Hart (DL) — Milwuakee Brewers — Greenwood High
  • LHP Matt Maloney — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • RHP Carlos Fisher — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 3b Chris Johnson — Houston Astros –2007 Lexington Legends
  • SS Tommy Manzella — Houston Astros — 2006 Lexington Legends
  • 3b Edwin Encarnacion (DL) — Toronto Blue Jays — 2005-2007 Louisville Bats
  • RHP Todd Wellemeyer (DL) — St. Louis Cardinals — Bellarmine
  • LHP Pedro Viola — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 2B Brooks Conrad — Atlanta Braves — 2003 Lexington Legend
  • RHP Matt Albers — Baltimore Orioles — 2004 Lexington Legends
  • 1B Kevin Barker — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • RP Ramon Ramirez — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats

Bats Playoff Troops Thinning

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Kevin Barker

The Bats team that will take the field in the International League playoffs will look little like the one that took the field for most of the 2009 season.  Louisville lost two more regulars Monday when the Cincinnati Reds promoted slugger Kevin Barker and relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez to the big leagues.  Barker led the Bats in home runs and RBI.  Ramirez appeared in 31 games for Louisville including 20 starts.

Thursday Links: Cotuit Kettleers Eliminated

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Chris Bisson; Photo: UK Athletics

Chris Bisson; Photo: UK Athletics

Wednesday was a losing night for Bluegrass Baseball teams, and Kentucky connections.  Check out the Cape Cod League finals and other storylines in Thursday morning’s hot links.

  • UK infielder Chris Bisson and the Cotuit Kettleers lost in game two of the Cape Cod League finals, giving the title to the Bourne Braves.  Bisson was 0-3 with a walk in the 5-1 loss.
  • Phillies top prospect Michael Taylor hit for the cycle to lead the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to their first win in seven games against Louisville this season with a 10-9 victory Wednesday.
  • Pirates first round pick Tony Sanchez and the West Virginia Power defeated Lexington 9-2 in the series opener.
  • “Cat Scratches” reports on Braden Kapteyn’s NYCBL MVP, which was first reported here and on the BluGrass Baseball twitter.
  • Baseball America named Louisville outfielder Drew Stubbs best baserunner, best defensive outfielder and best outfield arm in the International League in a survey of IL managers.  (Subscriber only)
  • EKU Alum Christian Friedrich and Lexington Legend Jordan Lyles both received votes in the South Atlantic League best pitcher poll conducted by Baseball America to SAL managers.
  • Will Graves (Former Kernelite) at the Associated Press reports on UK Athletics 15x15x15 plan.
  • Jason Stella profiles Louisville Bat Kevin Barker at

Game Time Notes

Minor League Baseball

Travis Wood

Louisville Bats @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs

  • The Bats will send minor-league ERA leader Travis Wood to the mound tonight against the IronPigs.  Wood has a 1.14 ERA between Carolina and Louisville.  Travis is 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts for Louisville with 13 strikeouts in 18.2 innings pitched.  Wood is finally cashing in on the talent that caused Baseball America to rank him as the third best prospect in the Reds organization in 2006 behind Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce.  Wood has struck out 116 in 137 innings on the season, and opponents are only batting .191 against the lefty.
  • The Bats picked up their 2,000th win since returning to Louisville in 1982 on Sunday.  Louisville was a charter member of the National League in 1876, and the city has had a professional team in all but 20 years since.
  • Bats’ slugger Kevin Barker launched his 22nd home run of the season Monday.  Barker’s 22 home runs are second most in the International League, and his 65 RBI rank fifth in the league.  Barker is batting .321 with three home runs and 10 RBI in eight games in August.
  • The IronPigs will try and earn their first win of the season against Louisville with LHP Brian Mazone on the mound tonight.  Mazone is 1-4 with a 5.16 ERA for Lehigh Valley on the season and is 1-5 with a 6.31 ERA in 20 games this season between the IronPigs and Albany of the AAA Pacific Coast League.  Mazone took the loss in his last start after allowing five runs in four innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Tuesday Links: Brown SAL Player of Week

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Steve Brown

Legends outfielder Steve Brown was named South Atlantic League player of the week after a week that saw him go 12-28 (.429) with three home runs and 11 RBI.  Check out more on Brown’s honor and other BluGrass Baseball storylines in this mornings hot links:

  • has a breakdown of each league’s player of the week including Brown.
  • The Legends’ game was suspended due to rain with one out in the fifth inning.  Lexington and Asheville will resume that game where it left off at 6:05 p.m. today before playing tonight’s scheduled game which has been shortened to seven innings.
  • Kevin Barker’s home run gave Louisville a 4-3 victory over Lehigh Valley.
  • The “Other Beckham” (Jeremy, Tim’s brother) hit his first professional home run in an 8-4 Bowling Green victory over Greenville.
  • UK second baseman Chris Bisson was 1-6 with two runs scored in the Cotuit Kettleers’ series clinching victory against Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League semi-finals.  UK pitcher Matt Little surrendered two runs in the game in 2.2 innings of relief for Yarmouth-Dennis.
  • UK baseball has announced a “5-Tool Camp” scheduled for Labor Day weekend.
  • The Associated Press reports that Toronto Blue Jays GM J. P. Riccardi wants MLB to move up the signing deadline for draft picks after the team has failed to sign eight of its first 10 picks, including UK pitcher James Paxton, so far.
  • Here is a piece I wrote for about the top prospects on the Lexington Legends’ roster.
  • EKU alum Christian Friedrich continued his domination of California League opponents by striking out eight in 6.2 innings to lower his ERA to 1.32 and earn his third win in the league.
  • According to Baseball America, the Tigers placed former UK pitcher Scott Green on the 7-day disabled list and the Padres placed former UK pitcher Andrew Albers on the 60-day DL.

Game Time Notes

Minor League Baseball

Travis WoodLouisville Bats vs. Toledo Mud Hens

  • Reds prospect Travis Wood will make his second start of the season for Louisville tonight.  Wood surrendered one run in six and two-thirds innings of work in his Bats debut on July 25 against Syracuse.  Before being promoted to Louisville Wood was carving up the AA Southern League.  In 19 starts for Carolina, Wood was 9-3 with a 1.21 ERA.  Travis had struck out 103 batters in 119 innings pitched.
  • Outfielder Darnell McDonald extended his current hitting streak to five games with a 2-4 performance Wednesday.  McDonald is 9-22 (.409) with five runs scored during the streak.  Outfielder Drew Stubbs extend his hitting streak to four games with a 2-4 performance Wednesday.
  • Minor league veteran Kevin Barker hit his team-high 19th home run of the season Wednesday for Louisville.  On the season Barker is batting .279 with those 19 home runs and 53 RBI.  Barker’s 19 home runs are second most in the International League and his .544 slugging percentage is the third highest percentage in the league.
  • Toledo will send RHP Rudy Lugo to the mound tonight for the third game of the series.  Lugo is 8-8 with a 4.71 ERA on the season.  Lugo pitches to contact as he only has 56 strikeouts in 99.1 innings of work.  Lugo has won each of his last two starts and has taken a decision in his last nine starts.  Rudy only has two no decisions in 18 starts this season.  Lefties are hitting Lugo at a .308 clip.

The Legends and Hot Rods are both off Thursday.

Game Time Notes

Minor League Baseball

Lexington Legends vs. Hagerstown SunsDavid Duncan

  • David Duncan looks to continue his resurgence in his fourth start for the Legends tonight.  Duncan is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three games with Lexington, including a seven-inning, one-run performance in his last start against Lake County.  Duncan struck out seven and walked none in that start.  In 18 innings with Lexington Duncan has 19 strikeouts and four walks.  David began the season with Lancaster where he was 0-9 with an 8.51 ERA.
  • Monday’s DH Michael Diaz tied his season high with three RBIs in the 6-5 victory over Hagerstown.  Diaz also had three RBI on June 13 and July 9 and has 23 RBI on the season.  Diaz drove in the winning run Monday when he was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning with the bases loaded.
  • First baseman Brian Pellegrini hit his 16th home run of the season for Lexington Monday.  Pellegrini has 37 home runs in his Legends’ career, the most of any Legend.  He is nine home runs from Hunter Pence’s single-season record of 25 home runs set in 2005.
  • Hagerstown will send its ace Marcos Frias to the mound tonight.  Frias is 6-3 with a 3.02 ERA on the season and 78 strikeouts in 86.1 innings over 17 games.  Frias held Bowling Green to one run in six innings in his last start.

Bowling Green vs. Lake County

  • The Hot Rods send Frank De Los Santos to the mound tonight.  The lefty is 4-6 with a 3.77 ERA on the season and is holding opponents to a .260 average on the season including .165 average from left-handed batters.  De Los Santos allowed five runs in four and one-third innings against Hagerstown in his last start.
  • Second baseman Robi Estrada turned in his third consecutive multi-hit game in driving in the winning run with a bunt-single in Monday.  Over his last three games, Estrada is 7-12.  Estrada also had three consecutive multi-hit efforts in a double header on March 23 and in the following game on the 24th.