BluGrass Baseball 2011 predictions

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Predictions, based on pure speculation, for 2011 Kentucky baseball that are sure to go wrong:

  • University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer finally cashes in on the promise that had him ranked among the top prospects to attend college in 2008 with an All-SEC season. Meyer’s performance secures his status as a first-round pick this June.
  • Ashland native and 2006 Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb rebounds after missing  most of two seasons with a shoulder injury to win 15 games for the reigning American League champion Texas Rangers.
  • University of Louisville junior infielder Ryan Wright is named a postseason first-team All-American after leading the Cards to their third consecutive Big East Conference championship.
  • The Lexington Legends unveil the new “Ale-8-One Ballpark.”
  • The National League all-star team features three players born in Kentucky: Corey Hart, Dan Uggla and Jonny Venters.
  • Western Kentucky University wins the Sun Belt Conference and enters the NCAA tournament as a two seed.
  • UofL (Stewart IjamesTony ZychDerek SelfRyan WrightDrew Haynes and Gabriel Shaw) and WKU (Jared Andreoli, Kes Carter, Ivan Hartle, Matt Rice, Rye Davis and Brian Edelen) both have six players drafted in June.
  • Four members of UK’s vaunted junior class are selected in the draft: Meyer, Cory Farris, Chad Wright and Braden Kapteyn. Senior Taylor Black is also selected.
  • Kentucky’s three Ohio Valley Conference schools each see one player drafted: Eastern Kentucky University junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez, Murray State University junior catcher Jacob Rhodes and Morehead State University senior infielder Travis Redmon.
  • Morehead St. infielder Bud Morton wins the 2011 BluGrass Baseball freshman of the year award, Meyer wins pitcher of the year and Wright wins player of the year.
  • PRP alum Zack Cox wins BluGrass Baseball MiLB player of the year and former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin wins MiLB pitcher of the year.
  • Nine Kentucky minor leaguers make their MLB debuts in 2011: Matt Klinker, Josh Lueke, Trystan Magnuson, Collin Cowgill, Christian Friedrich, Jason Kipnis, Nathan Adcock, Chaz Roe and Ryan Strieby.
  • Harrison County High School repeats as KHSAA state baseball champions.
  • Tates Creek High School outfielder and WKU signee Ryan Fucci wins Mr. Kentucky Baseball.
  • After losing much of its recent talent to the majors the Louisville Bats run of playoff appearances ends.
  • Boosted by the Tampa Bay Rays signing six players from the first three rounds of the 2010 draft, the Bowling Green Hot Rods finish 2011 as the state’s best minor league team.
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Adcock, Shaffer, Nidiffer win BluGrass Baseball MiLB awards

Minor League Baseball

Nathan Adcock; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr

The 2010 MiLB season is over for all but a handful of Kentucky minor leaguers still active in the playoffs, so it is time for the BluGrass Baseball 2010 MiLB awards.

Hitter of the year: OF Jake Shaffer (High A High Desert)

  • Former NKU outfielder and Walton native Jake Shaffer excelled during his first full professional season in 2009 but brought his game to a new level in 2010. Shaffer led all Kentucky minor leaguers in batting average (.336), on-base percentage (.388) and slugging percentage (.511). The left-handed batter spent all but three games of 2010 at High Desert and slugged nine home runs, drove in 78 runs and scored 58 times.
  • Honorable Mention: Former UK outfielder, turned second baseman, Jason Kipnis finished second to Shaffer in batting average (.307), on-base percentage (.386) and slugging percentage (.492) and led Kentucky minor leaguers with 96 runs scored…Former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill slugged 16 home runs, drove in 83 runs and scored 89 times…Former UofL infielder Chris Dominguez led the state with 21 home runs and 101 RBI.

Pitcher of the year: RHP Nathan Adcock (High A Bradenton)

  • Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock has struggled since being drafted out of North Hardin High School in 2006, but came into his own this season. Adcock finished the season 11-7 with a 3.38 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 141 and one-third innings. The right-handed pitcher ranked among the top five Kentucky MiLB pitchers in ERA, strikeouts, batting average against, wins and innings pitched.
  • Honorable Mention: LCA alum Robbie Ross was 12-11 with a 3.58 ERA and 111 strikeouts…Former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin was 6-4 with a 3.11 ERA in an injury-shortened season…One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker was 11-10 with a 3.79 ERA between AA Carolina and the Louisville Bats.

Rookie of the year: C/1B Marcus Nidiffer (Short-season Tri-City)

  • Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros non-drafted free agent Marcus Nidiffer spent his debut season proving he deserved to be selected in the 2010 draft. In 69 games between rookie Greeneville and short-season Tri-City, Nidiffer batted .286 with 14 home runs, 36 RBI and 40 runs scored. Nidiffer’s 14 home runs ranked fifth among all Kentucky MiLB players, including full-season ones.
  • Honorable Mention: Former UofL infielder Phil Wunderlich led Kentucky rookies with a .330 batting average…Former UK left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell was 2-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 11 games for rookie-level Elizabethton…Boyd County native Tyler Gatrell saved 13 games for the GCL Royals

Kentucky MiLB Pitching Leaderboard

Minor League Baseball

In the second leaderboard post we’ll look at the top statistical pitching performers from around Kentucky MiLB action. Remember comparisons across leagues are difficult, so this leaderboard should be considered a starting point for examining the best performances from Kentucky minor leaguers this season.

ERA

  • Chris Rusin (AA Tennessee) – 3.11
  • Nathan Adcock (High A Bradenton) – 3.38
  • Robbie Ross (High A Bakersfield) – 3.58
  • Matt Klinker (AAA Louisville) – 3.79
  • Marty Popham (High A Kinston) – 4.05

Strikeouts

  • Matt Klinker (AAA Louisville) – 138
  • Justin Marks (High A Stockton) – 136
  • Chaz Roe (AAA Colorado Springs) – 115
  • Marty Popham (High A Kinston) – 113
  • Nathan Adcock (High A Bradenton) – 113

BA Against

  • Chris Rusin (AA Tennessee) – .240
  • Nathan Adcock (High A Bradenton) – .243
  • Matt Klinker (AAA Louisville) – .255
  • Justin Marks (High A Stockton) – .258
  • Robbie Ross (High A Kinston) – .267

Wins

  • Robbie Ross (High A Bakersfield) – 12
  • Nathan Jones (High A Winston-Salem) – 11
  • Nathan Adcock (High A Bradenton) – 11
  • Matt Klinker (AAA Louisville) – 11
  • Daniel Calhoun (Low A Quad Cities) – 10

Saves

  • Josh Lueke (AAA Tacoma) – 17
  • Tyler Gatrell (R GCL Royals) – 13 *
  • Steven Blevins (AA New Britain) – 10
  • Mike Perconte (High A Daytona) – 7
  • Three pitchers tied at 5

Innings Pitched

  • Matt Klinker (AAA Louisville) – 163.2
  • Chaz Roe (AAA Colorado Springs) – 158
  • Nathan Jones (High A Winston-Salem) – 152.1
  • Robbie Ross (AA Frisco) – 146
  • Nathan Adcock (High A Bradenton) – 141.1

MiLB Playoff Roundup: Bats within 1 game of 2nd round after game 2 win; Jones, Paiml help Winston-Salem to 2nd round

Minor League Baseball

Playoff highlights from Friday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats tallied just three hits but still earned a 2-1 win over Durham in the International League playoffs. One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker earned the win after surrendering one run in five and one-third innings.
  • Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones took a no decision after surrendering one run on two hits in three and two-third innings in high A Winston-Salem’s series clinching 10-5 win over Kinston in the Carolina League playoffs. Dash shortstop Greg Paiml, born in Louisville, was 3-6 with a double and three RBI.
  • Former Murray St. left-handed pitcher Daniel Calhoun surrendered three runs in one inning in low A Quad Cities elimination loss to Kane County in the Midwest League playoffs.
  • Former WKU infielder Wade Gaynor was 2-3 with a walk and RBI in low A West Michigan’s elimination loss to Lake County in the Midwest League playoffs.

Kentucky in MiLB Playoffs

Minor League Baseball

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

MiLB Roundup: Bats clinch playoff spot despite loss; Legends win; Hot Rods lose; Adcock wins; Gaynor homers

Minor League Baseball

Nathan Adcock; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr

Highlights from Saturday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats clinched a spot in the International League playoffs despite a 4-1 loss to Indianapolis. One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker took the loss after surrendering four runs in five and one-third innings.
  • Two Lexington Legends pitcher combined on a seven-hit shutout in a 6-0 win over Rome. Righthanded pitcher Jose Cisnero improved to 8-6 on the season after surrendering four hits in six innings.
  • Great Lakes scored six runs in the first innings and held on to send the Bowling Green Hot Rods to a 7-5 loss. Right-handed pitcher Alex Koronis held the Loons to just one run in four and one-third innings out of the Bowling Green bullpen.
  • Former WKU right-handed pitcher J. B. Paxon recorded a hold with one and one-third scoreless innings for Great Lakes.
  • Former UK left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell took the loss in the decisive game of the Appalachian League finals after surrendering four runs in six and two-third innings for rookie-level Elizabethton.
  • Former UK infielder Michael Bertram was 3-4 with a double, triple, RBI and two runs scored for AAA Toledo.
  • Former UofL outfielder and 2010 Rangers draftee Josh Richmond was 3-4 with a walk, double and RBI for short-season Spokane.
  • Former WKU infielder Wade Gaynor slugged his tenth home run of the season for low A West Michigan.
  • Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock improved to 11-7 on the season after surrendering two runs in five and two-third innings for high A Bradenton.
  • Covington native Neil Wilson slugged his sixth home run of the season for AAA New Orleans.

MiLB Roundup: Bats, Legends, Hot Rods lose; Cowgill, Coughlin homer for Mobile; Ramos, Kuhn each tally 3 hits

Minor League Baseball

Colling Cowgill; Photo: UK Athletics

Highlights from Friday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats couldn’t finish a four-game sweep of Syracuse after suffering an 8-1 loss in the series finale. Rehabbing Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Aaron Harang took the loss after surrendering six runs in six innings.
  • The Lexington Legends couldn’t secure a series victory against Greenville after a 4-3 loss Friday. Right fielder Renzo Tello was 3-4 with a home run, double, RBI and run scored.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods dropped the rubber game of its three-game series with Lake County with a 5-3 loss Friday. Right-handed pitcher Wilking Rodriguez took a no decision after surrendering three hits in four shutout innings.
  • Former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill slugged his 14th home run of the season for AA Mobile.
  • Former UK catcher Sean Coughlin also homered in the game for Mobile.
  • Former UK first baseman and 2010 Twins draftee Lance Ray was 3-5 with a double, RBI and run scored for low A Beloit.
  • Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones surrendered five runs in four and two-third innings for high A Winston-Salem but escaped with a no decision.
  • Former Union College infielder Kevin Ramos was 3-4 with a RBI for high A Rancho Cucamonga.
  • One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker earned a win for AA Carolina after surrendering four runs in six innings.
  • Trinity High School alum Tyler Kuhn was 3-4 with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored for AA Birmingham.

MiLB Roundup: Bats, Hot Rods lose; Nidiffer hits 2 HRs; Gatrell, Broadway, Klinker, Jones, Revesz get wins

Minor League Baseball

Marcus Nidiffer, center; Photo: UK Athletics

Highlights from Saturday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats dropped consecutive games for the first time since the end of June and were shutout first the first time since July 1 with a 1-0 loss to Columbus. Left-handed pitcher Matt Maloney surrendered just one run in six innings of relief of Travis Wood.
  • Great Lakes scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning to break open a tied game and hand the Bowling Green Hot Rods a 10-5 loss. Shortstop Tyler Bortnick was 2-6 with a home run.
  • The Lexington Legends‘ game with the West Virginia Power was rained out.
  • In his second game for short-season Tri-City, former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer was 3-4 with two home runs, five RBI and two runs scored.
  • Former UK outfielder and 2010 Twins draftee Lance Ray was 3-4 with a double for low A Beloit.
  • Former UK catcher Sean Coughlin slugged his fifth home run of the season for AA Mobile.
  • Former UofL left-handed reliever and 2010 Cardinals draftee Bob Revesz earned his third win of the season for rookie-level Johnson City.
  • Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich was 3-4 with two doubles for short-season Hudson Valley.
  • Former WKU infielder Wade Gaynor was 3-6 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored for low A West Michigan.
  • Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones earned his ninth win of the season after surrendering one run on five hits in seven innings for high A Winston-Salem.
  • One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker picked up his 10th win of the season for AA Carolina with seven innings of one-run ball. Klinker struck out seven and walked none.
  • Paducah native Michael Broadway picked up his third win of the season for AAA Gwinnett.
  • Boyd County native and 2010 Royals NDFA Tyler Gatrell picked up his first career win for the rookie-level AZL Royals.

MiLB Roundup: Bats, Legends win; Hot Rods almost no-hit; Dominguez slugs 17th HR; Nidiffer, Cregar also go deep

Minor League Baseball

Chris Dominguez; UofL Photo

Highlights from Monday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats opened their road trip with a 6-5 win over Toledo. Right fielder Daniel Dorn homered and drove in three runs, and first baseman Yonder Alonso was 2-4 with two double, RBI and run scored.
  • The Lexington Legends held off a late Delmarva rally to record a 6-4 win over the Shorebirds. Second baseman Jimmy Paredes was 3-5 with a double, run scored, RBI and his 42nd stolen base of the season. Right-handed pitcher Zachary Grimmett improved to 5-2 on the season after surrendering one run in seven innings.
  • Bowling Green Hot Rods center fielder Ty Morrison singled with two outs in the ninth inning to break up a no-hitter, but was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double to end the game in the Hot Rods’ 2-0 loss to Fort Wayne. Right-handed pitcher Jason McEachern took the loss despite surrendering just two runs in five innings.
  • Former UofL infielder Chris Dominguez was 3-4 with his 17th home run of the season, four RBI and two runs scored for low A Augusta.
  • Former UK infielder and 2010 Twins NDFA Gunner Glad was 3-5 with a double, RBI and two runs scored for rookie-level Elizabethton.
  • Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer slugged his third home run in four games and 11th home run of the season for rookie-level Greeneville.
  • Former UofL outfielder and 2010 Rangers draftee Josh Richmond slugged his third home run of the season for short-season Spokane.
  • Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar homered for the second consecutive game and 16th time this season for low A Greensboro.
  • Former Murray St. left-handed pitcher Daniel Calhoun moved to 7-0 on the season after picking up the win with two and two-thirds innings on one-run relief for low A Quad Cities.
  • Former Morehead St. shortstop and 2010 White Sox draftee Drew Lee was 3-5 with a double and three RBI for rookie-level Bristol.
  • One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker took the loss for AA Carolina after surrendering five runs in seven innings.
  • Trinity High School alum Tyler Kuhn was 3-3 with two runs scored and one RBI for AA Birmingham.
  • Former UK outfielder and 2010 Braves NDFA Keenan Wiley made his professional debut with a 1-2 performance for rookie-level Danville.

MiLB Roundup: Bats win behind Klinker; Legends win; Shelby, Nidiffer, Townsend homer; Revesz wins

Minor League Baseball

John Shelby; Photo: UK Athletics

Highlights from Tuesday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker picked up his fourth win of the season for the Louisville Bats in the team’s 8-4 victory over Charlotte. Center fielder Michael Griffin was 2-2 with two home runs, three RBI and two runs scored.
  • Lexington Legends right-handed pitcher Tanner Bushue scattered three hits in seven shutout innings to lead the Legends to a 3-1 win over Rome. Bushue struck out five and walked just one in the game to earn his fifth win of the season.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods were off Tuesday.
  • Former UK outfielder John Shelby slugged his seventh home run of the season for AA Birmingham and was 2-3 with one RBI and two runs scored.
  • London native Jon Townsend slugged his fourth home run of the season, drove in four runs, tallied two hits and scored twice for high A Rancho Cucamonga.
  • Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer slugged his seventh home run in just 26 professional games for rookie-level Greeneville.
  • Former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was 3-4 with a double, triple, one RBI and two runs scored for AA Mobile.
  • Former UK infielder Michael Bertram was 3-4 with a double, three RBI and one run scored for AA Erie.
  • Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 Cardinals draftee Bob Revesz pick up his first professional win with a scoreless inning and one-third for rookie-level Johnson City.
  • Former UofL outfielder Boomer Whiting scored three times for AAA Syracuse and was 2-4 with a stolen base.
  • Former WKU infielder and 2010 Phillies draftee Matt Payton scored three times and was 2-4 with two walks and a stolen base for the rookie-level GCL Phillies.
  • Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock took the loss for high A Bradenton despite allowing just three runs in six innings. He struck out six and walked just one.