- UK alum Joe Blanton picked up his 11th win of the season with seven shutout innings for the Phillies.
- Louisville native Dan Uggla hit his 30th home run of the season for Florida.
- Former Bat Edwin Encarnacion hit two home runs for the Blue Jays.
- Mark Reynolds Home Run Record Watch: 1-5, 1 2b, 1 R, 1 RBI
- The Bowling Green Daily News reports on Matthew Moore being named the Hot Rods’ MVP and Anthony Scelfo being named one of seven finalists for the Erik Walker Community Champin Award.
Today I’m unveiling the first of two All BluGrass Baseball teams for the 2009 season. As with most features on the site, we’ll divide BluGrass players into two divisions: one made of rosters of the state’s three minor league teams and the other made of Kentucky natives and college alums. The first team comes from the rosters of the Louisville Bats, Bowling Green Hot Rods and Lexington Legends.
- Catcher: Jake Jeffries, Bowling Green Hot Rods — .261, eight home runs, 50 RBI
- First Base: Brian Pellegrini, Lexington Legends — .291, 27 home runs, 74 RBI
- Second Base: Isaias Velasquez, Bowling Green Hot Rods — .278, two home runs, 40 RBI
- Third Base: Juan Francisco, Louisville Bats — .359, five home runs, 19 RBI
- Shortstop: Tim Beckham, Bowling Green Hot Rods — .275, five home runs, 63 RBI
- Left Field: Daniel Dorn, Louisville Bats — .275, 14 home runs, 47 RBI
- Center Field: Drew Stubbs, Louisville Bats — .268, three home runs, 39 RBI
- Right Field: Kyeong Kang, Bowling Green Hot Rods — .307, five home runs, 42 RBI
- Starting Pitcher 1: Matthew Moore, Bowling Green Hot Rods — 8-5, 3.15, 176 SO
- Starting Pitcher 2: Jordan Lyles, Lexington Legends — 7-11, 3.24, 167 SO
- Starting Pitcher 3: Matt Maloney, Louisville Bats — 9-9, 3.08, 125 SO
- Starting Pitcher 4: Chris Andujar, Bowling Green Hot Rods — 10-4, 2.70, 79 SO
- Starting Pitcher 5: Justin Lehr, Louisville Bats, 13-3, 3.31, 60 SO
- Closer: Henry Villar, Lexington Legends, 3-4, 2.60, 109 SO
Notes: Third base was, by far, the worst position among the three teams. Francisco wins due to his domination of AAA pitching in his brief audition for Louisville. The rotation had plenty of competition with as many as five other starters having an argument for inclusion. If we’d included multiple relievers, Logan Ondrusek, Patrick Urckfitz and Josh Roenicke could have all made the team. Arguably the state’s top position prospect (Chris Heisey) didn’t make the cut because of spending half the season in AA and posting worse numbers than his teammate Dorn in the half season of AAA.
The Hot Rods finished 2009 at the bottom of the South Atlantic League Southern Division, and had more wins than only two teams in the league. The Hot Rods finished second-to-last in batting in the league and finished four from the bottom in team-ERA, but the team wasn’t lacking for prospects. We looked at the Legends’ batter and pitcher of the year Tuesday, so today we’ll look at Bowling Green’s.
Offensive Player of the Year — OF Kyeong Kang
- Kang didn’t lead the team in home runs or RBI, and he just missed qualifying for the league batting race. Kang, the first South Korean to be selected in MLB’s amateur draft, didn’t make his 2009 debut until May 12 so he only appeared in 89 games. So why exactly was he the offensive player of the year? Well, there wasn’t a lot of competition, and Kang made up for lost time with his second-half performance. The outfielder’s season highlight was being selected to the Futures Game, but he also batted .307 with a .390 on-base percentage and team-high .880 OPS. In the second half of 2009, Kang batted .328 with four home runs and 26 RBI with a .940 OPS.
- 2008 MLB first-overall draft pick Tim Beckham was Kang’s chief competition for the award. Beckham held his own during his first full professional season, batting .275 with five home runs and a team-high 63 RBI, but his two-month slump to the tune of .245 batting average in June and July lost him the war.
Pitcher of the Year — LHP Matthew Moore
- Just as in Lexington the pitching award was much more competitive that the offensive one. Matthew Moore led the minor leagues with 176 strikeouts, he ranked second on the team in wins (8) and innings pitched (123). Moore was even better in the second half of the season with a 5-2 record and 2.91 ERA in 13 games.
- Chris Andujar led the team in wins (10) and ERA (2.70). His 2.70 ERA was fourth-best in the South Atlantic League, and if he hadn’t spent 14 games in the bullpen he might have taken the award from Moore.
With the last full month of the minor league season in the books I thought we’d look at the best performances from August on each of the Bluegrass minor league teams.
- 1B Brian Pellegrini — Pellegrini batted .262 with six home runs and 17 RBI. Brian walked 19 times for a .394 on-base percentage; he also slugged .495 for the month with an .889 OPS. Pellegrini led the Legends in home runs and RBI for the month.
- LHP David Duncan — Duncan was tied for the Legends’ August lead with three wins. David also lost one decision in five starts. Duncan had a 4.85 ERA with 22 strikeouts and four walks in 26 innings.
- LHP Brad Dydalewicz — Dydalewicz also had a 3-1 record in August but had a 4.94 ERA. He struck out 23 and walked 15 in 31 innings.
- RHP Brian Wabick — Wabick was the best Lexington reliever in August with a 2-1 record and 1.50 ERA in 10 games. Brian struck out 19 and walked four in 24 innings.
Louisville Bats vs. Indianapolis Indians
- Full-season minor league ERA leader Travis Wood takes the mound tonight in game one of a four-game set with Indianapolis. Wood is 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA for Louisville and is with a 1.44 ERA on the season between AA Carolina and Louisville. Wood has struggled with his conrol in AAA with 14 strikeouts compared to 12 walks, but on the season he has 117 strikeouts and just 49 walks in 143.2 innings.
- Louisville infielder Wes Bankston is currently enjoying a five-game hitting streak and has three hits in each of his last two games. During the streak, Bankston is 10-22 (.455) with two home runs and five RBI.
- Outfielder Drew Stubbs will be among the Bats happy to see the Indians return to town. Stubbs is 10-28 (.357) with two double and four runs scored in nine games against Indianapolis this season. Starting pitcher Ben Jukich is 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two games against the Indians.
- Indianapolis will send Pirates prospect Virgil Vasquez to the mound in the series opener tonight. Vasquez is 7-2 with a 3.88 ERA in 16 starts for Indianapolis this season. Virgil has 64 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 92.2 innings pitched.
I’ll probably have fewer posts than normal over the next couple of days as I recover from having my wisdom teeth removed, but never fear here are some Friday links to hold you over. Look for a recap of UofL summer league action this afternoon.
- The Bats scored five times in the eighth and ninth innings to come back and defeat Lehigh Valley 12-8.
- The West Virginia Power used an eight-run sixth inning and a home run from first-round pick Tony Sanchez to defeat Lexington 12-6.
- Matt Moore struck out nine in five innings to lead Bowling Green to a victory in the series-opener against Hickory.
- Don’t look for team USA member and UofL pitcher Tony Zych to pitch in the Olympics anytime soon. The IOC decided Thursday that baseball would not return to the 2016 games.
- UK Athletics reports about Braden Kapteyn’s NYCBL MVP.
Bowling Green Hot Rods vs. Hickory Crawdads
- Bowling Green ace Matthew Moore will open the series against Hickory tonight on the mound for the Hot Rods. Moore is 7-4 with a 2.68 ERA and 141 strikeouts in 100.2 innings this season. His 141 strikeouts rank third in the South Atlantic League, five behind Lexington’s Jordan Lyles for most in the league. Moore’s 2.68 ERA is fourth lowest in the league.
- Hot Rods catcher Tyler Hauschild has one of the strangest hitting streaks you’ll ever see. Hauschild is currently enjoying a seven-game hitting streak stretched over 25 days. Hauschild joined the Hot Rods on July 14 and began his hitting streak on July 18. Tyler has found playing time hard to come by behind Rays prospect Jake Jeffries, who does most of the catching for Bowling Green. Hauschild has played in 11 games for Bowling Green this season and has at least one hit in nine of them.
- The Hot Rods are 1-3 against Hickory on the season. Starting pitcher Chris Andujar has the only win for the Hot Rods and it came while he was pitching out of the Bowling Green bullpen. No Hot Rod with more than two games played against the Crawdads is batting over .250 against Hickory.
- Hickory will send right-handed pitcher Jacob Brigham to the mound to open the series with Bowling Green tonight. Brigham is 2-6 with a 5.12 ERA in 19 games this season. One of Brigham’s two wins on the year came against Bowling Green when he shutout the Hot Rods through 5.1 innings on April 11, his first start of the season. As a starting pitcher Bigham is 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA in 11 games.
Louisville Bats @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs
- Louisville looks for the series victory against Lehigh Valley with Matt Maloney on the mound tonight. Maloney received a brief callup to Cincinnati earlier this season, but has spent most of the year with the Bats. Matt is 8-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 19 games for Louisville this season. Maloney’s 2.71 ERA ranks fifth best in the International League and his 106 strikeouts are tied for fourth most. Matt has shown exceptional control this season with only 19 walks in 126 innings.
- Bats outfielder Darnell McDonald had only three hits in seven games in August entering Tuesday’s game, but he broke out of that slump in a big way. McDonald finished the game 4-4 with a double. The four hits tie a season high for McDonald achieved previously on July 6 against Indianapolis with a 4-5 performance.
- Outfielder Drew Stubbs stole his 46th base of the season Tuesday. The 46 steals lead the International league and rank 11th in minor league baseball. Stubbs should easily break the 50 steal plateau with just under a month left in the season. Think 50 steals might be a Bats record? Think again, Vince Coleman stole 101 bases in 1984 for the franchise.
- The IronPigs will counter with left-handed pitcher Gustavo Chacin. Chacin was once a top prospect, winning the AA Eastern League Pitcher of the Year award in 2004, but he has failed to make a dent past AAA in his career. This season Chacin is excelling with Lehigh Valley with a 7-3 record and 3.09 ERA in 13 games. Chacin has 48 strikeouts and 29 walks in 84.1 innings this season.