Small college spotlight: Northern Kentucky University

College Baseball

Most of the focus of the site has been on the six Division one schools in the state, but as a recent commenter pointed out, Northern Kentucky University deserves some praise as well. The Norse are 16-6 on the season and 7-1 in their conference with a 3-0 record at home. NKU took three of four games from Bellarmine this weekend.

The Norse are the two-time defending Great Lakes Valley Conference champions, and have the fourth most active Minor League alumni of any school in the state behind UK, UofL and WKU. Senior left-handed pitcher Kevin Jordan recently was named GLVC pitcher of the week. (Read more)

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Downs competing for closer job; NKU, UofL recaps

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Scott Downs; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Some afternoon notes for your Thursday:

  • Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports the Blue Jays might go with a closer-by-committee including University of Kentucky alum Scott Downs.
  • Chad Hensley of The Northerner, Northern Kentucky University’s independent student newspaper, reports on the Norse’s weekly baseball honors.
  • The Courier-Journal reports on the University of Louisville‘s 4-0 start.
  • Debbie Harbsmeier of WHAS reports on UofL’s victory over Morehead State University.
  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer talks to Reds manager Dusty Baker about a number of past and likely future Louisville Bats including: Drew Stubbs, Jay Bruce, Sam LeCure and Aroldis Chapman.

Henderson looks to 2010; Small college honors for Bellarmine, NKU, Campbellsville; WKU postponed

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Gary Henderson; Photo: UK Athletics

Several morning notes to pass along, including a couple of profiles of UK coach Gary Henderson and some small college awards:

  • University of Kentucky head coach Gary Henderson talks about a variety of topics with Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports including the bullpen, James Paxton and Taylor Rogers.
  • Aaron Smith of the Kentucky Kernel profiles Henderson’s transition as a second-year head coach.
  • John Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds, born in Pikeville, will not negotiate a long-term deal with the team after Opening Day.
  • Bellarmine senior shortstop Patrick Brady was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference player of the week.
  • The same story from the Courier Journal reports Northern Kentucky University junior Dave Middendorf was named the GLVC pitcher of the week.
  • Campbellsville has also been ranked No. 3 in the preseason National Christian College Athletic Association.
  • Western Kentucky University‘s game at Belmont, originally scheduled for this afternoon, has been postponed until March 3.

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

NKU picked first; Lee named top returning senior; Paxton hearing set for today

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Minor League Baseball
The James Paxton trial will be the big event of the day, but check out some small college and high school news to tide you over until the court news breaks this afternoon.
  • Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports names Morehead State shortstop Drew Lee one of the country’s top returning seniors and says Lee is “by far the nation’s best player most people probably have never heard about.”
  • Kentucky Kernel sports columnist Kenny Colston gives a thorough recap of the James Paxton legal situation in advance of today’s hearing.
  • Northern Kentucky University was picked to finish first in the Great Lakes Valley Conference East Division. Bellarmine was picked third and Kentucky Wesleyan was picked sixth in the East.
  • Mike Fields of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports longtime Henry Clay baseball coach Herb Hammond has been fired despite an impending high school baseball Hall of Fame induction.
  • Nick Johnson of The Eastern Progress (EKU’s student newspaper) profiles former Colonel and current Red Josh Anderson.

College rankings; Ginter signs; Patterson released

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball
The preseason college baseball rankings are starting to be released and two Kentucky colleges are appearing among the top teams in the country. Check out those rankings, some minor league transactions and some Kentucky small college rules
  • The University of Louisville is ranked 13th in Ping! Baseball‘s preseason top 30.
  • The University of Kentucky ranked 22nd.
  • UofL checks in at No. 19 in College Baseball Newspaper’s preseason rankings. UK is in the “other’s receiving votes” category.
  • Some Kentucky roster moves to pass along via Baseball America‘s minor league transactions:
  • Winchester-native Matt Ginter signed with the Houston Astros.
  • The New York Yankees released Northern Kentucky University alum Paul Patterson.
  • Louisville-native Steven Shackleford was named the pitching captain at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Wednesday Links: Rauch helps Twins win Central

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
John Rauch; D'Backs photo

Jon Rauch; D'Backs photo

The ranks of BluGrass Baseball gained another playoff participant with the AL Central clinching victory Tuesday. Check out that story and more in today’s links:

  • Morehead alum Jon Rauch recorded two outs in the Twins’ epic 12-inning tie-breaking victory over the Tigers.
  • Tony Mullane, who pitched a no-hitter for the Louisville Eclipse of the American Association in 1882, was named to the Cincinnati Reds’ Hall-of-Fame.
  • UofL Sports reports former Cardinal Trystan Magnuson was named the top relief pitcher at the recently completed World Cup.
  • Ben Badler of Baseball America had this to say about NKU alum Nathan Jones in BA’s Carolina League chat: “White Sox reliever Nathan Jones was a last-minute cut, but he has outstanding arm strength. His fastball ranges from 94-98 mph, while some people have seen him sitting at 96-98. So that’s always going to give him a chance, but he’s more of a thrower than a pitcher right now. The command needs work, his breaking ball is a power pitch in the low- to mid-80s but still gets slurvy, and doesn’t have much deception, which is one reason why his strikeout rate isn’t as high as you might expect for a guy who can pump it into the high-90s.”