The Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association has released its preseason top 25 rankings. Check out the list below or at the KHSBCA website here. (Note the two-way tie for No. 14 and three-way tie for No. 19)
Christian Friedrich; Photo by Matt McGee via Flickr
Latest links from around Kentucky MiLB action:
Aaron Fitt of Baseball America has ranked the top 20 prospects on the collegiate Team USA and lists University of Louisville infielder Ryan Wright at No. 10 on the list. (subscription required)
Ken Lipshez of the New Britain Herald reports Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere, thought to be out for the season after being hit in the face by a pitch earlier this month, was in the lineup for AA New Britain Thursday before being scratched due to an equipment issue.
Also apologies to Lexington Catholic fans after a commenter pointed out I’ve incorrectly being labeling Revere as a LCA alum recently. The problem has been corrected.
Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post reports former EKU left-handed pitcher and top Rockies prospect Christian Friedrich has been shut down for the season after his latest arm injury.
Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal writes University of Kentucky outfielder Brian Adams is in the running for playing time at wide receiver for the UK football team, though he is having some trouble transitioning from baseball to football.
Mike Fields of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports Paul Laurence Dunbar senior pitcher Cameron Langfels has committed to play collegiately at Eastern Kentucky University.
Fields also notes Forcht Bank has extended its its title sponsorship of the KHSAA state baseball tournament through 2013.
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.
In the last of the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association 2010 awards we’ll look at the players of the year from each of the 16 regions. You can also see the coach and assistant coach of the year for each region here.
For the second consecutive season a University of Kentucky signee has been named Mr. Kentucky Baseball by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association.Western Hills High School shortstop J. T. Riddle, who was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 35th round of the 2010 MLB draft, was named Mr. Baseball Monday after a season in which he batted .514 with seven home runs, 62 RBI and 20 stolen bases as a senior. Riddle also pitched for Western Hills and went 8-0 with a 1.26 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched on the mound. UK freshman catcher Luke Maile was named 2009 Mr. Baseball. Trinity pitcher Corey Littrell, Henderson County catcher Kyle Gibson, Tates Creek pitcher/infielder Trevor Gott, Bullitt East pitcher/infielder Brandon Alphin and Hopkinsville pitcher/shortstop Justin Hageman were finalists for the award.
State champion Harrison County High School head coach Mac Whitaker was named KHSBCA’s coach of the year. Whitaker led Harrison County to its fourth state championship under his reign and a 36-4 record. Check back later for the entire KHSBCA All-State team.
Two first-inning runs were all Region 10 champion Harrison County High School needed Saturday as the school held on for its fourth Kentucky High School Athletic Association championship with a 2-1 win over Region Six champion Butler High School. Harrison County freshman starting pitcher Jordan Martin earned the championship victory after allowing just one run in a complete-game performance. Martin struck out five and walked just three. Harrison County scored its two first-inning runs with two outs on a RBI single from junior right fielder Shane Fowler that scored junior left fielder Eric Sanders and a RBI single from junior designated hitter Samuel Logan Daily that scored senior shortstop Jared Martin. Sanders was named the state tournament MVP.
Butler senior starting pitcher Kyle McGrath almost equaled Martin’s pitching performance by allowing just two runs in his own complete-game performance. McGrath struck out eight batters and walked none. McGrath, an Eastern Kentucky University signee, ended the state tournament with 26 strikeouts in 15 innings. Butler senior shortstop Zach Lucas was the only player in the game to record multiple hits with a 2-4, one-run scored performance. (Box Score)
Player of the game: SP Jordan Martin — Martin, a freshman, had pitched just 27 innings before the state championship game but certainly didn’t show his inexperience in a complete game performance. Martin surrendered just one run on five hits in seven innings and struck out five while walking three. The performance ended Harrison County’s season on a 24-game winning streak.
We know what two teams will square off for tonight’s Kentucky High School Athletic Association state tournament finals after Friday’s semifinal action. Check out recaps and awards from those two games below:
In the first semifinal of the day Region Six champion Butler High School scored two runs in the top of the sixth innings to take the lead for good in its 3-2 win over Region 15 champion Pikeville High School.Butler took the lead in the sixth on a two-run double from senior outfielder Daniel Pardue, and senior pitcher Kyle McGrath held on with a scoreless seventh inning despite walking two batters to preserve the win. Senior reliever Austin Fuqua was credited with the win after holding Pikeville scoreless in one and one-third inning. Butler senior shortstop Zach Lucas was 2-3 with a run scored. Pikeville sophomore shortstop Gavin Miller was 3-4, and junior starting pitcher Layne Cecil took the loss despite allowing just three runs in a complete-game performance. (Box Score)
In the second semifinal matchup Region 10 champion Harrison County High School jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and held on for an 8-5 victory over Region Seven champion Louisville Male High School. Harrison County junior left fielder Eric Sanders was 3-4 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Junior starting pitcher Samuel Logan Daily earned the win after surrendering five runs, four of which were earned, in a complete-game effort. Daily was also 2-3 with four RBI at the plate. Male senior catcher Ryan Messex was 4-4 with one RBI. Junior left fielder Jimmy Faul, sophomore third baseman Dalton Howell and sophomore designated hitter Tyler Adams each tallied two hits in four at-bats. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: OF Eric Sanders (Harrison Co.)
Stats: 3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
Honorable Mention: Samuel Logan Daily (Harrison Co.), Ryan Messex (Male), Jimmy Faul (Male), Dalton Howell (Male), Tyler Adams (Male), Zach Lucas (Butler), Daniel Pardue (Butler), Gavin Miller (Pikeville)
Pitcher of the day: SP Layne Cecil (Pikeville)
Stats: 0-1, 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
Honorable Mention: Samuel Logan Daily (Harrison Co.), Cameron Clark (Butler), Austin Fuqua (Butler)
Recaps and awards from the final two Kentucky High School Athletic Association state tournament quarter final games:
In Thursday’s first game Region Seven champion Louisville Male High School shutout Region 11 champion Lexington Christian Academy 3-0 behind a complete-game performance from junior starting pitcher Brandon Allen. Allen surrendered just four hits and struck out four while walking none. Male senior first baseman Tanner Hobbs led the way at the plate by going 2-3 with one run scored. Hobbs was the only player in the game to record multiple hits. LCA senior starting pitcher Clay Hall held Male to two runs, one of which was earned, in four innings but took the loss to fall to 9-2 on the season. LCA outfielder Lucas Witt, a University of Kentucky signee and Los Angeles Dodgers draft pick, was 0-3. (Box Score)
In game two Region 10 champion Harrison County High School scored four runs in the second inning and didn’t look back in a 7-1 win over Region Three champion Daviess County High School. Harrison County senior second baseman Darren Matt Dye was 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBI, and senior starting pitcher Christian Chasteen earned the win with a complete-game performance. Chasteen surrendered one run on six hits and struck out five while walking two. Chasteen and junior designated hitter Shane Fowler each tallied two hits in four at-bats. Daviess County junior left fielder Blakely Kieth and senior third baseman Chris Morgan were each 2-3 in the game. (Box Score)
Hitter of the day: 2B Darren Matt Dye (Harrison Co.)
Stats: 2-3, 1 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
Honorable Mention: Tanner Hobbs (Male), Christian Chasteen (Harrison Co.), Shane Fowler (Harrison Co.), Blakely Keith (Daviess Co.), Chris Morgan (Daviess Co.)
Pitcher of the day: SP Brandon Allen (Male)
Stats: 1-0, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO
Honorable Mention: Christian Chasteen (Harrison Co.), Clay Hall (LCA), Andrew Shewmaker (LCA), Kyle Schneider (Daviess Co.)