Jason Kipnis; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Latest links from around Kentucky baseball, including a cycle from one of Kentucky’s best minor league alumni:
- One-time Kentucky outfielder Jason Kipnis, promoted to AAA Columbus for the International League finals, hit for the cycle to lead Columbus to a championship-clinching 13-2 win over Durham.
- Former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke closed out AAA Tacoma’s Pacific Coast League championship clinching 10-6 win over Memphis with a scoreless inning.
- Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones took the loss despite surrendering just two runs in six innings in high A Winston-Salem’s 2-1 loss to Potomac. The Nationals clinched the Carolina League championship with the win.
- Zachary Levine, writing for Baseball America, selected 2010 Lexington Legends outfielder J. D. Martinez the Astros’ best MiLB player. Levine named 2009 Legend Jordan Lyles the organization’s best pitcher and 2009 Legend Patrick Urckfitz “one to watch” in the system. (Subscription required)
- Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere received his first MLB start for the Minnesota Twins Friday but went 0-3 with a walk in the leadoff spot.
- Eric King of WLKY in Louisville reports former University of Louisville baseball player Isaiah Howes has been identified as the shooter that killed former UofL football player Daniel Covington. Police believe the shooting was in self-defense.
Ryan Strieby; Photo via Flickr by mwlguide
The Arizona Fall League, Major League Baseball’s postseason league for some of its top prospects, has released its preliminary rosters for the 2010 season, and several Kentucky alumni were included. I’ve listed those players below with MLB organization and AFL team:
- B. J. Rosenberg (UofL) — Philadelphia Phillies — Mesa Solar Sox
- Josh Lueke (NKU) — Seattle Mariners — Peoria Javelinas
- Jason Kipnis (UK) — Cleveland Indians — Peoria Javelinas
- Henry Mabee (Morehead) — Chicago White Sox — Peoria Saguraros
- Ben Revere (Lexington Catholic) — Minnesota Twins — Peoria Saguraros
- Michael Broadway (Paducah) — Atlanta Braves — Phoenix Desert Dogs
- Ryan Strieby (UK) — Detroit Tigers — Surprise Rafters
Several current and former Louisville Bats, Bowling Green Hot Rods and Lexington Legends will also play in the league:
- Kyle Greenwalt — Lexington Legends — Peoria Javelinas
- Matt Nevarez — Lexington Legends — Peoria Javelinas
- Sergio Perez — Lexington Legends — Peoria Javelinas
- Patrick Urckfitz — Lexington Legends — Peoria Javelinas
- Koby Clemens — Lexington Legends — Peoria Javelinas
- Philippe Valiquette — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguraros
- Devin Mesoraco — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguraros
- Dave Sappelt — Louisville Bats — Peoria Saguraros
- Neil Schenk — Bowling Green Hot Rods — Peoria Saguraros
- Henry Wrigley — Bowling Green Hot Rods — Peoria Saguraros
You can see the full AFL rosters via Baseball America here.
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.
Kentucky minor league teams were 1-2 on a day that was dominated by MLB draft deadline news. Checkout those storylines and more in Wednesday’s hot links:
Lexington Legends vs. Greenville Drive
- The Legends send top prospect Jordan Lyles to the mound tonight to open a four-game series with Greenville and an eight-game homestand. Lyles is 6-9 with a 3.42 ERA on the season. The 19-year-old right-handed pitcher ranks second in the South Atlantic League with 133 strikeouts. Jordan won his last start with six shutout innings against Charleston.
- Shortstop Brandon Wikoff resumed his assault on SAL pitching since his recent callup with a 2-5 performance Tuesday. Wikoff had gone hitless in his previous two games, but is 14-32 (.438) with five runs scored and six RBI in 8 games with Lexington. The 2009 fifth-round pick has at least two hits in six of eight games with the Legends.
- Lexington closer Patrick Urckfitz recorded his first save in over a month Monday. Urckfitz has 11 saves in 13 opportunities in 2009, but hadn’t pitched in a save situation since July 5 and hadn’t recorded a save since July 2. Patrick actually allowed one run in his save opportunity Monday, ending a seven outing scoreless streak. Urckfitz was 1-0 with two saves and a 0.77 ERA in July.
- The Drive will send recently converted starting pitcher Fabian Wilson to the mound against the Legends. Wilson is 7-3 with a 2.13 ERA on the season but has only started five games for Greenville. Fabian’s last two appearances have come out of the Drive starting rotation, but he hasn’t pitched longer than five innings in a game this season. Wilson has 77 strikeouts in 72 innings and opponents are only batting .176 against him.