The Bowling Green Hot Rods digressed in their second season from a 64-74 record in 2009 to a 61-78 record in 2010. The Hot Rods were slightly worse in the second half of the season than the first, but were consistently below average for the whole year. The season wasn’t without its highlights though as the Hot Rods led the Midwest League with 249 stolen bases, 64 more than the second place team. In the second end of season awards post we’ll look at the best performances at the plate and on the mound from Bowling Green in 2010.
Hitter of the year: 2B Tyler Bortnick
- Infielder Tyler Bortnick spent all but 12 games in Bowling Green this season and finished the year as the only Hot Rod with a batting average above .300. Bortnick batted .303 with eight home runs, 45 RBI, 72 runs scored and 39 stolen bases in 113 games with the Hot Rods. Bortnick’s 39 steals were seventh most in the Midwest League, and he ranked tenth in batting average.
- Honorable mention — Outfielder Brett Nommensen led the team with 10 home runs and 68 RBI…Outfielder Ty Morrison ranked second in the Midwest League with 58 stolen bases…Outfielder Christopher Murrill stole 28 bases and batted .292 in 70 games.
Pitcher of the year: RHP Alexander Colome
- Right-handed starting pitcher Alexander Colome was the only Hot Rods’ pitcher with enough innings to qualify for the league ERA title to post an ERA below 4.00. On the season Colome was 6-6 with a 3.95 ERA in 22 starts for the Hot Rods. Colome struck out 118 batters and walked 45 in 114 innings.
- Honorable Mention — Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates posted a 3.30 ERA in 27 games, including 12 starts…Reliever Scott Shuman led the team with 14 saves…Left-handed pitcher Kyle Lobstein led the team with nine wins and 128 strikeouts.
Christian Friedrich; Photo by Matt McGee via Flickr
Highlights from Thursday Kentucky MiLB action:
- Rehabbing Cincinnati Reds right-handed pitcher Homer Bailey looked ready for a return to the big leagues after leading the Louisville Bats to a 6-0 win over Norfolk. Bailey surrendered just six hits in seven innings and struck out nine while walking none.
- Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates posted his first quality start since July 15 in the Bowling Green Hot Rods 6-4 win over South Bend. Yates surrendered three runs on seven hits in six innings and struck out three batters while walking two.
- The Lexington Legends scored three runs in the ninth inning, but the game was long out of reach by that point in an 8-3 loss to Hagerstown. Right fielder Jacob Goebbert was 2-4 with a double, one RBI and one run scored.
- Former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich earned his third win of the season after surrendering one unearned run on three hits in six innings. Friedrich struck out three and walked one.
- Former EKU infielder and 2010 Rockies draftee Jayson Langfels tallied three hits, slugged two home runs and drove in six runs for short-season Tri-City.
- Former UofL infielder and 2010 Giants draftee Adam Duvall slugged his third home run on the season for short-season Salem-Keizer.
- Former UofL outfielder and 2010 Rangers draftee Josh Richmond slugged his second home run of the season and drove in six runs for short-season Spokane.
- Ballard High School alum Jeremy Sowers got his third start of the season for AAA Columbus and took a no decision despite surrendering just one hit in five innings. Sowers struck out five and walked none.
Logan Darnell; UK Athletics wallpaper
Highlights from Wednesday Kentucky MiLB action:
- The Louisville Bats tallied just four hits in a 2-1 loss to Charlotte. Left-handed pitcher Ben Jukich surrendered just one unearned run in five innings and struck out eight while walking four.
- Just one Lexington Legends pitcher didn’t surrender a run in a 9-5 loss to Rome. Right-handed pitcher Juan Minaya took the loss after surrendering six runs in four and two-third innings.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods tallied eight hits but couldn’t score a run in a 10-0 shutout loss to Quad Cities. Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates suffered through his worse start of the season after surrendering eight runs in four and two-third innings for the Hot Rods.
- Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 Cardinals draftee Dean Kiekhefer recorded two shutout innings for Quad Cities and struck out five Hot Rods.
- Former UofL left-handed pitcher Justin Marks took the loss for low A Cane County despite surrendering just two runs in seven innings. Marks struck out six and walked one.
- Former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer was a single shy of the cycle for high A High Desert. Shaffer finished the game 3-4 with a double, triple, home run, three RBI and one run scored.
- Former UK infielder Andy Green was 3-4 with two doubles and two runs scored for AAA Buffalo.
- Former UK left-handed pitcher and 2010 Twins draftee Logan Darnell made his professional debut by retiring two of the three batters he faced for rookie-level Elizabethton.
- Former UofL outfielder and 2010 Rangers draftee Josh Richmond slugged his first professional home run for short-season Spokane.
- Former WKU infielder Terrence Dayleg was 3-4 with a double and two RBI for low A Greensboro.
- Former EKU infielder Neil Sellers was 2-2 with two walks and three runs scored for AAA Lehigh Valley.
- Lafayette High School alum Chaz Roe fell to 6-11 on the season after surrendering five runs in five innings for AAA Colorado Springs.
- Paducah native Daniel Webb fell to 0-3 for short-season Auburn after surrendering five runs in three innings in his seventh professional start.
Juan Francisco; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr
Highlights from Thursday Kentucky MiLB action:
- Third baseman Juan Francisco blasted his second home run of the game in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Louisville Bats to an 8-7 win over Lehigh Valley. Francisco finished the game 2-4 with two home runs, five RBI and two runs scored. One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker surrendered seven runs in four innings for the Bats.
- Former EKU infielder and Robards native Neil Sellers was 0-3 with one RBI in his return to Kentucky for Lehigh Valley.
- The Lexington Legends held off a late Hickory Crawdads rally to earn a 3-2 win Thursday. Legends outfielder J. D. Martinez was 2-3 with a walk and a run scored in what turned out to be his last game with Lexington. Following the win Martinez was promoted by the Astros to AA Corpus Christi. Martinez led the South Atlantic League in eight offensive categories at the time of his promotion.
- Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates was almost unhittable for seven innings to lead the Bowling Green Hot Rods to a 7-0 blowout win over Burlington. Yates surrendered just two hits in seven innings and struck out while walking just two batters. Left fielder Cody Rogers was 2-3 with a home run, one RBI and two runs scored.
- Former UK catcher Marcus Nidiffer‘s three-game home run streak ended for rookie-level Greeneville, but he went 2-4 with a double and run scored Thursday to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He’s 13-31 (.419) with three home runs, nine runs scored and five RBI during the streak.
- Former UofL left-handed starting pitcher Justin Marks continued his season turnaround for low A Cane County with his third win of the season after pitching six shutout innings Thursday. Marks struck out 10 and walked just two and is now 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA in three July starts but is just 3-10 with a 4.97 ERA on the season.
- Former WKU third baseman Wade Gaynor was 2-3 with three runs scored and a walk for low A West Michigan.
- Former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer was 2-4 with a double and three RBI for high A High Desert and has a six-game hitting streak. Shaffer is batting .364 in July.
- Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock took a no decision after surrendering five runs in four innings for high A Bradenton.
Edison Volquez; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Friday highlights from Kentucky MiLB baseball:
- Cincinnati Reds rehabbing starting pitcher Edison Volquez allowed just one hit in seven innings in his third start for the Louisville Bats, who defeated the Toledo Mud Hens 3-0. Designate hitter Drew Sutton tallied two hits in the game.
- Left-handed pitcher Luis Cruz earned his fourth win of the season for the Lexington Legends who defeated the West Virginia Power 4-1. Second baseman Jose Altuve and left fielder Jacob Goebbert each homered for the Legends.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods mustered just three hits in a 6-0 shutout loss to the Dayton Dragons. Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates took the loss despite allowing just one run in five innings.
- Former UK infielder Michael Bertram launched his tenth home run of the season for AA Erie.
- Former UofL infielder Adam Duvall slugged his second professional home run for short-season Salem-Keizer.
- Former UofL left-handed pitcher Justin Marks took a no decision for low A Cane County after allowing just two runs in five and two-third innings.
- Former UofL second baseman Justin McClanahan was 2-5 with a home run and three RBI for high A Dunedin.
- Former Morehead St. shortstop Drew Lee was 3-4 with a double for rookie-level Bristol.
Standout Bowling Green Hot Rods performances from June:
Hitter of the month: C Mark Thomas
- Stats: 27-77 (.351), 2 HR, 13 RBI, 12 R
- Honorable Mention: Tyler Bortnick, Brett Nommensen, Ty Morrison, Ryan Wiegand
Pitcher of the month: LHP Kyle Lobstein
- Stats: 4-0, 1.19 ERA, 27 SO/10 BB, 30.1 IP
- Honorable Mention: Kirby Yates, Alex Koronis, Shane Dyer, Scott Shuman
Marcus Nidiffer, center; Photo: UK Athletics
Check out highlights from Kentucky-related Minor League play Tuesday with links taking you to game box scores:
- Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman blew his first save since moving to the bullpen in the Louisville Bats‘ 7-5 loss to the Durham Bulls. Cincinnati Reds right-handed pitcher Edison Volquez surrendered two runs in six innings and struck out seven in his second rebah start with the Bats.
- First baseman Aaron Bray tallied four hits and scored twice to lead the Lexington Legends to a 6-5 victory over the Hickory Crawdads. Right-handed pitcher Zachary Grimmett earned the win with four scoreless innings out of the Lexington bullpen.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods‘ offense was held in check by the Lansing Lugnuts in a 4-2 loss. Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates took a no decision after surrendering two runs in five innings in his fourth start of the season.
- Former UK catcher Marcus Nidiffer continued to make teams look foolish for not drafting him with a 3-7, double-header performance for the Greeneville Astros. Nidiffer launched his first two professional home runs and drove in four runs on the day. He’s batting .435 in his young career.
- Former UK second baseman Chris Bisson made his professional debut for the short-season Eugene Emeralds with an 0-3 performance. He did walk, steal a base and score.
- Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 draftee Dean Kiekhefer has been promoted to the low A Quad City River Bandits where he made his debut with four scoreless innings of relief Tuesday.
- Former NKU outfielder Jacob Shafer was 3-4 with a run scored Tuesday for the high A High Desert Mavericks and is 6-8 in his last two games with two runs scored.
- Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones moved to 6-2 on the season for the high A Winston-Salem Dash after allowing four runs in six and two-third innings Tuesday.
- In his first start for the AA Akron Aeros former Union College right-handed pitcher Marty Popham took a no decision despite allowing just one run in six innings. He struck out six and walked none.
- Boyd County native Tyler Gatrell recorded his first professional save by striking out two of the three batters he faced for the rookie-level AZL Royals.
May’s standout performances from the Bowling Green Hot Rods:
Hitter of the month: SS Tyler Bortnick
- Stats: 31-94 (.330), 2 HR, 12 RBI, 18 R, 6 SB
- Honorable Mention: Christopher Murrill, Brett Nommensen, Tyler Morrison
Pitcher of the month: RHP Alexander Colome
- Stats: 4-1, 0.93 ERA, 5 GS, 26 SO, 29 IP
- Honorable Mention: Jason McEachern, Shane Dyer, Kirby Yates, Scott Shuman
We’re back on the April minor league award series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods. The first month of the season wasn’t kind to the Hot Rods, who stumbled out of the gate to the tune of a 5-17 record. Check out Bowling Green’s standout April performances below:
Hitter of the month: C Mark Thomas
- Stats: .298/.365/.426 — 2 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R
- It says a lot about the Hot Rods’ first month that the team’s most productive hitter played in just 14 of 23 games. Thomas led Bowling Green with two home runs, ranked second on the team with seven RBI and if he would have played in enough games to qualify for the percentage categories he would have led the team in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.
- Honorable Mention: OF Christopher Murrill, 1B Ryan Wiegand
Pitcher of the month: RHP Shane Dyer
- Stats: 1-2, 2.17 ERA, 20 SO/3 BB, 29 IP
- If Dyer was upset at being sent back to Bowling Green to start 2010 he’s making his case for a promotion. The 2008 6th-round pick led the team in ERA and innings pitched. He even tallied a complete-game shutout in the month.
- Honorable Mention: RHP Alexander Colome, RHP Wilking Rodriguez, RHP Kirby Yates