Former No. 1 attempts comeback with Phillies; Friedrich, Kipnis among top prospects; At least 6 2010 Cats transfer

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Christian Friedrich; Photo by Matt McGee via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com profiles Louisville native and St. X alum Matt Anderson‘s attempted return to MLB with the Philadelphia Phillies. Anderson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 draft, and is 15-7 with a 5.19 ERA in 257 career games. A shoulder injury derailed his career in 2003.
  • Tracy Ringolsby of Baseball America ranks former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich the No. 4 prospect in the Colorado Rockies system.
  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis the No. 4 second base prospect in MiLB.
  • On Tuesday we linked comments from Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, who said he would not trade former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton before Opening Day. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports the Phillies have decided Blanton’s role as rotation depth is worth more than his trade value.
  • Derek Poore of the Courier-Journal reports Blue Jays farmhand Trystan Magnuson, former major league pitcher Paul Byrd, UofL head coach Dan McDonnell, former Astro Chris Burke and others will speak at the BaseballCon held at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville on Jan. 28-29.
  • Yesterday we listed the newcomers on the newly released University of Kentucky roster, but also of interest were the 2010 players no longer on the roster. BluGrass Baseball has confirmed third baseman Andy Burns transferred to Arizona, outfielder Cory Farris transferred to Cumberland University, right-handed pitcher Joe Devine transferred to Georgetown College, outfielder Navarro Hall transferred to Columbus State University, right-handed pitcher Chase Greene transferred to Eastern Kentucky University and right-handed pitcher Sean Bouthilette transferred to Campbellsville University. Right-handed pitcher Kyle Jackson and left-handed pitcher Jon Carlson are also no longer on the roster.
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Kentucky All-Star Game Facts and Figures

Major League Baseball

Pee Wee Reese baseball card

Bowling Green native and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart introduced himself to casual baseball fans last night with his impressive home run derby first-round, but he’ll look to add to his reputation tonight when he starts the MLB All-Star game for the National League. Tonight marks Hart’s second all-star selection putting him in an exclusive club of Kentuckians with multiple all-star appearances. Check out that state and others below in an All-Star edition of facts and figures:

  • In total, 16 players born in Kentucky have been selected as MLB all-stars.
  • Just 11 have been selected to multiple all-star teams.
  • Hall-of-famer Pee Wee Reese leads all Kentuckians with 10 all-star selections.
  • Ashland native and Arizona Diamondbacks right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb leads active Kentuckians with three selections.
  • Florida Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, born in Louisville, and Colorado Rockies right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook, born in Fort Campbell, are the other active Kentuckian all-stars.
  • Former MLB outfielder David Justice, who was born in Cincinnati but attended high school in Covington and college at Thomas More was selected to three all-star games.
  • Webb (UK), Justice and Paul Derringer (Georgetown College) are the only alumni of Kentucky colleges to be selected as all-stars.

Check out the full list of all-stars born in Kentucky with number of appearances below with active players in italics:

  • Pee Wee Reese — 10
  • Jim Bunning — 9
  • Paul Derringer — 6
  • Travis Fryman — 5
  • Stan Spence — 4
  • Gus Bell — 4
  • Brandon Webb — 3
  • Dan Uggla — 2
  • Mike Greenwell — 2
  • Woodie Fryman — 2
  • Corey Hart — 2
  • Aaron Cook — 1
  • Len Barker — 1
  • Jay Buhner — 1
  • Vern Bickford — 1
  • Paul Byrd — 1

* Stats are via Baseball-Reference.com

No Byrd threequel in Boston; MVP voting

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Paul Byrd; Photo by scart via Flickr

Light day for news as baseball and journalism slows down a little for the Holiday. Don’t worry though, BluGrass Baseball is still chugging away.

  • 2009 Bat outfielder Chris Heisey finished in the voting for Arizona Fall League MVP.
  • Chad Finn of The Boston Globe tries to predict the Red Sox 2010 Opening Day roster and favors Tim Wakefield in the fifth starter spot over “Paul Byrd, the threequel.”
  • Lexington Legends Hall-of-Famer Ben Zobrist finished eighth in the American League MVP voting.
  • Pikeville-native Mark Reynolds finished tied for 20th in the National League MVP voting.
  • Former Louisville Bat Joey Votto also received votes.

New UK stadium; WKU and EKU sign one each

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

 

UK Athletics Wallpaper

Major league hot stove, minor league prospects, college signees and high school commitments all in some Thursday links for your pleasure:

 

  • UK Athletics provides an update on the progress of filling contracts to upgrade its facilities including a new baseball stadium.
  • J. J. Cooper at Baseball America answers a number of Louisville Bats questions during the Reds top prospects chat. (Subscription required)
  • EKU Sports reports the baseball Colonels have signed Fairfield, Ohio, corner infielder Mitchell Durbin as part of the 2011 freshman class.
  • Chad Bishop of the Bowling Green Daily News reports Greenwood outfielder Hunter Thompson has signed his LOI to play college baseball at Western Kentucky.
  • Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com includes Louisville-natives Paul Byrd and Todd Wellemeyer on the list of free agent veteran pitchers the Indians might look at this offseason.

Byrd and Kearns rank at bottom of free agent class

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Scott Downs; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

More hot stove rumors with a little college and minor league news sprinkled in some Tuesday links:

  • Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com examines the left-handed reliever trade market and speculates UK alum Scott Downs might be moved by the Blue Jays.
  • Tom Singer of MLB.com ranks Louisville-native Paul Byrd in the bottom group of a week free-agent starting pitching class. We still haven’t heard any official word if Byrd even plans to pitch in 2011.
  • Singer puts Lexington-native Austin Kearns in the same tier of the free-agent outfield class.
  • 2009 Bat Chris Heisey was 0-5, and teammate Yonder Alonso was 0-2 with three walks for Peoria of the Arizona Fall League. 2009 Legend Daniel Meszaros pitched a scoreless inning for the Saguaros.
  • NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan and Mets outfielder Jeff Francoueur will headline the 2010 Louisville Baseball Leadoff Dinner.

UK picks up five; Aaron honored; Uggla at 2nd

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

Dan Uggla; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

More signing news is leaking traveling the grapevine. I’m told at least one state university should have a full release about all signed players early next week. Check out those stories and others in some Saturday links:

  • Adam Revelette of Examiner.com reports Trevor Gott, Tates Creek; Corey Littrell, Trinity; J. T. Riddle, Western Hills; and Lucas Witt, LCA, each signed with UK to play baseball.
  • He adds those players Kentucky Baseball Club teammates also signed college LOIs. Noah Smallwood, West Jessamine, signed with Morehead. Brock Downey, Murray HS, signed with Murray State and Tanner Smith, North Laurel, signed with WKU.
  • Hank Aaron will receive the 2009 Living Legend award from Louisville Slugger Friday.
  • Louisville-native and Boston Red Sox pitcher Paul Byrd filed for free agency Friday.
  • Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that Florida Marlins second baseman and Louisville-native Dan Uggla doesn’t want to move positions if he’s traded.
  • 2009 Bats closer Logan Ondrusek surrendered four runs in one-third of an inning for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League Friday.

BluGrass Baseball Playoff Reset

Major League Baseball

philliesWhen the 2009 playoffs began four of eight teams had a Kentucky native on the roster, two more had one on the 40-man, but not active. Now with the championship series slated to start tonight we have only one team left with a Kentucky native. Morehead alum Jon Rauch and the Twins were swept by the Yankees, Louisville-native Paul Byrd and the Red Sox were swept by the Angels, while Fort Campbell-native Aaron Cook and the Rockies fell in four games to the Phillies. Louisville-native Todd Wellemeyer didn’t make the Cardinals’ NLDS roster, but he watch his team lose three straight to the Dodgers.

So only one remains. Joe Blanton, the Franklin-Simpson High School and UK alum, earned his first world series ring in 2008, but now he’s the only Kentucky chance to win the 2009 title. Blanton appeared in the Phillies bullpen in the NLDS despite being Philadelphia’s most consistent starting pitcher in the regular season. Manager Charlie Manuel hasn’t named his starting pitchers past game one, but Blanton seems in line to make a start in the NLCS, maybe even in game two. Paul Lawrence Dunbar graduate A.J. Ellis isn’t on the Dodgers’ postseason roster, but did appear with the team in September, so he’s probably in line for a ring if the Dodgers win.

So there you have it. If you’re rooting for Kentucky this postseason, you should probably buy a Phillies shirt.

Monday Links: Two more go home

Major League Baseball
Joe BlantonTwo more Kentucky natives are out of the playoffs. We’ll get into their future later today, but for now heres a look at some postseason wrap-ups and storylines:
  • New York defeated Minnesota 4-1 to finish its sweep of the Twins. Morehead alum Jon Rauch allowed one run without recording an out in Sunday’s finale for the Twins.
  • The Los Angeles Angels completed the sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a come-from-behind 7-6 victory. Louisville-native Paul Byrd didn’t appear in the series for Boston.
  • UK alum Joe Blanton came out of the pen for the Phillies again, allowing one run in two and two-third innings in Philadelphia’s 6-5 victory.
  • Fort Campbell-native Aaron Cook will now pitch game five (if necessary) on regular rest for the Rockies.
  • According to the LA Times, Paul Byrd’s heart is still in Anaheim.

Saturday Links: Rauch, Byrd one game from elimination

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Paul Byrd

Paul Byrd

Two playoff teams featuring Kentucky natives are on the brink of elimination. Check out those stories and more in today’s hot links:

  • Morehead alum Jon Rauch pitched a scoreless inning the Twins’ heart-breaking extra inning loss to the Yankees.
  • The Angels took a 2-0 lead on Boston in the other ALDS, Louisville-native Paul Byrd still hasn’t appeared in the series for the Red Sox.
  • John Henderson of The Denver Post reports that postseason isn’t life or death for Fort Campbell-native Aaron Cook.
  • According to MLB.com, UK alum Joe Blanton doesn’t care if he gets a start in the NLDS as long as the Phillies win.
  • EKU Baseball took part in a clinic for Richmond Little Leaguers.
  • Baseball America’s John Manuel weighed in on UK alum and former SEC player of the year Ryan Strieby in BA’s Eastern League prospects chat: “Strieby definitely had his supporters and came closest. Boesch has plus power too, both are power guys, but Strieby has better feel for hitting and uses the whole field more.”

Thursday Links: Playoff Breakdown

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Aaron Cook; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Aaron Cook; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky impact on day one of the playoffs was minimal, and that small impact wasn’t exactly positive. Bluegrass fans will look to the Rockies tonight to reverse that trend. Check out those stories and more in today’s hot links:
  • Morehead alum Jon Rauch gave up a hit and a walk in one-third of an inning in the Twins’ 7-2 loss to New York
  • Fort Campbell-native Aaron Cook will start game two for Colorado tonight.
  • EKU sports has a news release about Christian Friedrich being named the second-best prospect in the California League.
  • ESPN Boston reports Louisville-native Paul Byrd was selected as the final pitcher on the Red Sox roster.
  • Byrd and other Red Sox share their childhood October baseball memories with the Boston Globe.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods are a finalist for minor-league promotion of the year, you can vote here.