Todd Wellemeyer considering retirement in wake of injury; Cory Wade appears odd-man out in Rays’ bullpen battle

Uncategorized

Todd Wellemeyer; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer is unsure about his future after re-aggravating his hip injury. The Cubs assigned Wellemeyer to minor league camp on Tuesday, but Levine reports Wellemeyer may ask for his release and retire if the hip doesn’t improve.
  • Marc Tompkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade appears to have come up short in his quest to make the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen out of Spring Training.
  • Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports Louisville native and former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch will start the season as the Blue Jays closer but will likely relinquish that role to Frank Francisco when he is healthy.
  • Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb canceled his live batting practice throwing session on Wednesday because he could not get loose and will see the Rangers’ team doctor before deciding the next step in his rehab.
  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks former Bowling Green Hot Rods pitchers Matt Moore and Alex Colome among the top 10 prospects in the Tampa Bay Rays system.
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Aroldis Chapman leads Kentucky prospects on top 100 list

Minor League Baseball

Jordan Lyles; Photo: Lexington Legends

Baseball America has released its annual list of the top 100 prospects in Minor League Baseball.  The top 100 includes several players with Kentucky connections. I’ve listed them below but also check out the links to the full BA list and explanations of the rankings at the bottom of the post.

Baseball America Top 100 Prospects

  • LHP Aroldis Chapman — 2010 Louisville Bats — No. 7
  • LHP Matt Moore — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods — No. 15
  • RHP Jordan Lyles — 2009 Lexington Legends — No. 42
  • 2B Jason Kipnis — Former UK outfielder — No. 54
  • 3B Zack Cox — Pleasure Ridge Park HS — No. 63
  • 1B Yonder Alonso — 2010 Louisville Bats — No. 73

BA links

Freidrich, three Bats among top 50 prospects; Dominguez’s power, infield arm rated best in Giants’ system

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Aroldis Chapman; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich the No. 50 prospect in MiLB. He ranks 2010 Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman No. 6, catcher Devin Mesoraco No. 45 and first baseman Yonder Alonso No. 49. Former Bowling Green Hot Rods left-handed pitcher Matt Moore checked in at No. 27, and Mayo ranked 2009 Lexington Legends right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles No. 31.
  • Andy Baggarly of Baseball America rates former UofL third baseman Chris Dominguez as having the best power and best infield arm in the San Francisco Giants’ system.
  • Baggarly also answered a couple of Dominguez questions in the online chat accompanying the prospect rankings. Baggarly speculates the Giants might try Dominguez on the mound if he were to fail as a third baseman. (Subscription required)
  • Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb talks to ESPN Dallas about his decision to sign with the Rangers.
  • Aaron Fitt of BA reports the NCAA denied former University of Kentucky third baseman Andy Burns‘ request for a waiver allowing him to play immediately at Arizona. Burns will have to sit out the 2011 season as a transfer.
  • Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports the Cincinnati Reds’ caravan will stop in Bowling Green, Ashland and Lexington this weekend.

NKU OF named DII preseason all-Ameircan; Revere, Chapman among top MiLB prospects at their positions

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Northern Kentucky University senior outfielder Jason Crisper has been named a preseason NCAA DII all-American by Baseball America.
  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere the No. 9 outfield prospect in MiLB.
  • Mayo ranks 2010 Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman the No. 1 left-handed pitching prospect in MiLB. Former Bowling Green Hot Rods left-handed pitcher Matt Moore checked in at No. 7 on the list.
  • May ranks 2009 Lexington Legends right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles the No. 10 right-handed pitching prospect in MiLB.
  • Mark Sheldon of MLB.com answers a few questions about 2010 Louisville Bats in his Reds mailbag, including Travis Wood, Juan Francisco and Chris Valaika.

Blanton is Phillies’ forgotten man; Frazier excels for Team USA; Murray St. freshman killed in car accident

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Joe Blanton; UK Athletics Wallpaper

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball as you enjoy a triple-header of playoff baseball:

  • Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton is part of the Phillies “disposable duo” after getting pushed to the side in favor of Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. Brookover notes the Phillies are 47-30 in games started by Blanton since he joined the team.
  • La Velle E. Neal III of the Minnesota Star-Tribune reports the Twins are enjoying unusual depth in their bullpen including former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch.
  • Louisville Bats outfielder Todd Frazier was 1-2 with a double, two walks, one RBI and two runs scored in Team USA’s 8-3 win over the Dominican Republic in the Pan American Qualifying Tournament.
  • Our condolences go out to Murray State University after Breds freshman left-handed pitcher Thomas McGurk was killed in a car accident on Saturday.
  • J. J. Cooper of Baseball America ranked 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods ace Matt Moore the No. 1 prospect in the Florida State League in his top 20 prospects ranking.

UK catcher, Hustlers OF named top summer prospects; Kipnis named MiLB all-star; Rays, Hot Rods extend contract

Minor League Baseball

Jason Kipnis; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Baseball America ranked University of Kentucky junior catcher Michael Williams the No. 4 prospect in the New England Collegiate League. (subscription required)
  • In its top 10 prospects list for the Great Lakes League, BA ranks Lexington native and Lexington Hustlers infielder Justin Riddell the No. 9 propsect in the league. (subscription required)
  • One-time UK infielder Jason Kipnis was named the second baseman on BA’s 2010 Minor League all-star team. Former Bowling Green Hot Rods left-handed pitcher Matt Moore was included on the first-team as a starting pitcher, and Louisville Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco was selected to the second team.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays announced they have extended their player development contract with the Bowling Green Hot Rods through the 2012 season.

Shackleford signs; Cowgill honored; Webb throws again; Paxton, Perry in negotiations with MLB teams

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball


Latest Kentucky-related baseball news:

  • Trinity High School alum and Savannah College of Art and Design junior right-handed pitcher Stephen Shackleford has signed a professional contract with the San Francisco Giants as the teams 35th round pick according to a SCAD news release.
  • Earlier this week we reported Franklin County High School alum and Indiana University Southeast junior outfielder Cameron Conner had signed with the Royals as the team’s 20th round pick. For more information about Conner check out the video above and this story from the IUSE media relations department about Conner being the school’s first ever MLB draft selection.
  • Former University of Kentucky outfielder and Lexington native Collin Cowgill was selected to Baseball America‘s weekly Prospect Hot Sheet. Cowgill checked in at No. 12 on the list while 2009 Lexington Legend Jordan Lyles was ranked No. 2 and 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rod Matt Moore was ranked No. 7. Former University of Louisville third baseman Chris Dominguez was included on the “Not-So Hot Sheet.”
  • Ashland native and former UK pitcher Brandon Webb was satisfied with his most recent bullpen session as he works his way back from offseason shoulder surgery, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.
  • Former UK pitcher James Paxton‘s father spoke with Lyndon Little of the Vancouver Sun and said the family was thrilled Paxton was selected by the Seattle Mariners.
  • Boyle County native and UK signee Blake Perry hasn’t decided whether he will sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks as the team’s sixth-round pick or attend UK, Larry Vaught of the Danville Advocate Messenger reports.

Friedrich heads Kentucky players on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list

Minor League Baseball

Christian Friedrich; Photo by Matt McGee via Flickr

Baseball America has released its top prospects list for all of minor league baseball and several Kentucky players were included in the rankings. Eastern Kentucky University alum Christian Friedrich leads Kentucky prospects on the list at No. 33. I’ve included each BluGrass Baseball player and his ranking below:

  • 22 — Christian Friedrich — EKU — Colorado Rockies
  • 35 — Matt Moore — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods — Tampa Bay Rays
  • 43 — Todd Frazier — 2009 Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
  • 45 — Yonder Alonso — 2009 Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
  • 67 — Tim Beckham — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods — Tampa Bay Rays
  • 91 — Jordan Lyles — 2009 Lexington Legends — Houston Astros

* — Cincinnati Reds offseason signee Aroldis Champman ranked at No. 22 on the list and will likely appear for AAA Louisville at some point in 2010. Houston Astros shortstop prospect Jiovanni Mier ranked No. 73 on the list and might appear in Lexington this season. Tampa Bay Rays right-handed pitching prospect Alex Colome ranked No. 68 and will likely head to Bowling Green in 2010.

Baseball America’s Total List

BluGrass Baseball rankings in BA’s 2010 Prospect Handbook

Minor League Baseball

The Baseball America Prospect Handbook is simply a must-have for any minor-league baseball fan. My handbook, in which Baseball America ranks the top 30 prospects in each organization, came in today, and since I ordered it straight from BA they included a 31st prospect supplement for each team. I’m listing where Kentucy players rank in their organizations below, but I’ll leave all BA’s analysis out as incentive for you to go buy their great product.

Houston Astros

  • 3) — RHP Jordan Lyles — 2009 Lexington Legends
  • 4)  — RHP Sammy Gervacio — 2005/2006 Lexington Legends
  • 6) — RHP Ross Seaton — 2009 Lexington Legends
  • 8 — OF Jay Austin — 2009 Lexington Legends
  • 11) — SS Tommy Manzella — 2006 Lexington Legends
  • 12) — RHP Daniel Meszaros — 2009 Lexington Legends
  • 14) — LHP Fernando Abad — 2008 Lexington Legends
  • 15) — RHP Matt Nevarez — 2009 Lexington Legends
  • 19) — RHP Arcenio Leon — 2009 Lexington Legends
  • 20) — C/OF Koby Clemens — 2006/2007 Lexington Legends
  • 21) — OF Brian Bogusevic — 2006 Lexington Legends
  • 23) — RHP Evan Englebrook — 2005 Lexington Legends
  • 25) — OF Collin DeLome — 2008 Lexington Legends
  • 26) — LHP Polin Trinidad — 2007 Lexington Legends
  • 27) — RHP Henry Villar — 2009 Lexington Legends
  • 28) — RHP Ashton Mowdy — 2009 Lexington Legends
  • 29) — LHP Brad Dydalewicz — 2009 Lexington Legends
  • 30) — RHP Kyle Greenwalt — 2009 Lexington Legends

Oakland Athletics

  • 27) — LHP Justin Marks — University of Louisville

Toronto Blue Jays

  • 1) — RHP Zach Stewart — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 7) — RHP Josh Roenicke — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 20) — RHP Daniel Webb — Ashland, Ky. (Blazer)
  • 22) — RHP Trystan Magnuson — University of Louisville

Atlanta Braves

  • 22) — LHP Richard Sullivan — Louisville, Ky. (Ballard)

St. Louis Cardinals

  • 27) — LHP Ben Jukich — 2009 Louisville Bats

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • 9) — OF Collin Cowgill — University of Kentucky

San Francisco Giants

  • 18) — 3B Chris Dominguez — University of Louisville

Baltimore Orioles

  • 31) — C Craig Tatum — 2009 Louisville Bats

Philadelphia Phillies

  • 24) — RHP B. J. Rosenberg — University of Louisville

Texas Rangers

  • 7) — LHP Robbie Ross — Lexington, Ky. (LCA)

Tampa Bay Rays

  • 4) — LHP Matt Moore — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
  • 6) — SS Tim Beckham — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
  • 10) — RHP Nick Barnese — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
  • 13) — RHP Joe Cruz — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
  • 26) — LHP Frank De Los Santos — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
  • 29) — C Jake Jefferies —  2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
  • 31) — OF Keyong Kang — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods

Cincinnati Reds

  • 1) — INF/OF Todd Frazier — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 2) — 1B Yonder Alonso — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 4) — OF Chris Heisey — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 5) — 3B Juan Francisco — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 7) — LHP Travis Wood — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 8 — LHP Matt Maloney — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 12) — SS/2B Chris Valakia — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 14) — RHP Logan Ondrusek — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 19) — RHP Enerio Del Rosario — 2009 Louisville Bats
  • 22)  — LHP Pedro Viola — 2009 Louisville Bats

Colorado Rockies

  • 2) — LHP Christian Friedrich — Eastern Kentucky University
  • 24) — RHP Chaz Roe — Lexington, Ky. (Lafayette)

Kansas City Royals

  • 19) — OF Jordan Parraz — 2007 Lexington Legends

Detroit Tigers

  • 11) — 1B Ryan Strieby — University of Kentucky
  • 24) — 3B Wade Gaynor — Western Kentucky University
  • 28) — RHP Scott Green — University of Kentucky

Minnesota Twins

  • 5) — OF Ben Revere — Lexington, Ky. (Lex Cath)

Chicago White Sox

  • 25) — OF John Shelby — University of Kentucky
  • 26) — RHP Nathan Jones — Northern Kentucky University

Friedrich, Beckham, Alonso, Francisco rank on MLB.com top 50 prospects list

Minor League Baseball

Tim Beckham; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has released his top 50 prospects list for all of major league baseball, and four players with Bluegrass ties made the cut.  Eastern Kentucky University alum Christian Friedrich (No. 23) leads the Kentucky contingent and is followed by 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods shortstop Tim Beckham (No. 24) and 2009 Louisville Bats Yonder Alonso (No. 30) and Juan Francisco (No. 48).

Freidrich dominated the high A California League in 2009 while only giving up more than two runs in three of 24 starts. Mayo projects him to continue a fast rise through the minors to become an excellent No. 2 or 3 starting pitcher in the majors. Beckham had what some considered a down year in 2009, but Mayo writes he still has impressive raw tools and there is still plenty of time for him to develop into a standout major leaguer. Alonso and Francisco both earned late season promotions to Louisville last season and will likely start 2010 there. Mayo projects Alonso as a middle-of-the-order run producer with power and Francisco as a fearsome middle-of-the-order hitter as soon as he finds a defensive position. (Read more)

The most notable omissions with Kentucky ties are probably 2009 Lexington Legends ace Jordan Lyles and Hot Rods ace Matt Moore. Both pitchers excelled in full-season ball despite their young age and should rocket to the top half of this list with strong 2010 seasons.