In the opinion of this baseball writer there is not a more important annual publication that Baseball America‘s “Prospect Handbook.” The 2011 edition of the Handbook was mailed this week with mine arriving on Thursday. I cannot recommend the book highly enough if you are a baseball fan, especially one interested in identifying the next MLB stars before your friends. You can purchase the book from BA here. I’m going to list some basic Kentucky info from the book below but won’t give away the rankings or scouting reports in order to encourage you to buy a copy of the book yourself.
Four Kentucky school alumni were included in the already released top 10 prospect rankings for their respective organizations: Zack Cox, Jason Kipnis, Christian Friedrich and Ben Revere. PRP alum Cox was ranked the No. 2 prospect in the Cardinals organization, one-time UK outfielder Kipnis was ranked the No. 3 prospect in the Indians’ system, former EKU left-handed pitcher Friedrich was ranked the No. 4 prospect in the Rockies’ organization and Lexington Catholic alum Revere was ranked the No. 5 prospect in the Twins’ system.
Eleven other Kentucky school alumni were included in the 11-30 rankings for their respective organizations: former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke, former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby, former UofL third baseman Chris Dominguez, former UofL right-handed pitcher Thomas Royse, former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill, former LCA left-handed pitcher Robbie Ross, former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones, former UofL right-handed pitcher Trystan Magnuson, former WKU third baseman Wade Gaynor, former UofL outfielder Josh Richmond and former Ballard left-handed pitcher Richard Sullivan.
Three organizations had two Kentucky alumni in the top 30 lists: the White Sox, Rangers and Tigers.
The Cardinals, Indians, Rockies, Twins, Mariners, Giants, Diamondbacks, Athletics and Braves also had Kentucky alumni included in their respective top 30 rankings.
The University of Louisville had four alumni ranked on top 20 lists, the University of Kentucky had three alumni listed and Northern Kentucky University boasted former two players in the handbook.
Two players drafted straight out of Kentucky high schools were ranked on organization top 30s: Revere and Ross.
The Louisville Bats‘ winning streak was snapped at 11 games in a 9-8 loss to Columbus. Center fielder Michael Griffin was 3-4 with two home runs, two RBI and two runs scored, and third baseman Todd Frazier tallied three hits and homered.
Rehabbing Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Garrett Mock combined with three other Hagerstown pitchers on a 2-0 shutout win over the Lexington Legends. Lexington right-handed pitcher Zachary Grimmett took the loss despite surrendering just two runs on six hits in six innings.
South Bend scored three runs in the ninth inning to hand the Bowling Green Hot Rods an 8-7 loss. Center fielder Ty Morrison slugged his sixth home run of the season, and right-handed pitcher Jason McEachern took a no decision after surrendering three runs in seven innings.
Lexington native Robbie Ross suffered a loss for high A Bakersfield after surrendering six runs in four innings.
Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar was 2-4 with a home run and two RBI for low A Greensboro.
Former UofL infielder Justin McClanahan slugged his fifth home run of the season high A Dunedin.
One-time UK outfielder Jason Kipnis slugged his 13th home run of the season for AA Akron.
Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock fell to 8-7 on the season after surrendering four runs in five innings.
Louisville native Richard Sullivan earned his fourth win of the season with three shutout innings of relief for AA Mississippi.
A little late today, but here are highlights from Friday MiLB action:
Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman pick up his sixth win of the season for the Louisville Bats in the team’s 7-3 victory over Lehigh Valley. Chapman struck out all four batters he faced. Gary Matthews Jr. and Juan Francisco each homered for the Bats.
The Lexington Legends couldn’t muster any more offense than a single second inning run in their 3-1 loss to Hickory. Left-handed pitcher Luis Cruz took the loss despite surrendering just three runs in six and two-third innings.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods dropped a 6-3 decision to Burlington. First baseman Ryan Wiegand was 2-3 with a double and two RBI.
Danville native Patrick Cooper earned his second professional win after surrendering just one run in six innings. Cooper struck out seven and walked just three.
Former UK outfielder Sawyer Carroll was 3-5 with a walk, two RBI and two runs scored for AA San Antonio.
Former UofL outfielder Boomer Whiting was 3-5 with a double, two RBI, one run scored and a stolen base for AAA Syracuse.
Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar slugged his tenth home run of the season for low A Greensboro.
Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones surrendered just one unearned run in five innings for high A Winston-Salem but still took a no decision.
Former Campbellsville University outfielder Chris Curley slugger his first home run of the season for low A Rome.
Lafayette High School alum Chaz Roe lost his tenth game of the season for AAA Colorado Springs after surrendering six runs in five innings.
Paducah native Daniel Webb pitched four shutout innings for short-season Auburn but didn’t qualify for the win.
Paducah native and 2010 draftee Jonathan Roof was promoted to low A Hickory where he went 1-4 in his debut.
Hawesville native and 2010 draftee Michael Mosby was reassigned to the rookie-level GCL Orioles where he went 2-4 in his debut.
Louisville native Richard Sullivan earned his third win of the season for AA Mississippi with three and one-third scoreless innings of relief.
Lexington native and 2010 draftee Tyler Oliver slugged his first professional home run for the rookie-level GCL Nationals.
The Louisville Bats defeated Columbus 4-2 in the first game of a two-game series. Right-handed pitcher Chad Reineke earned his sixth win of the season after allowing two runs in five and one-third innings.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods offense exploded for 11 runs in a 11-5 win over Lansing. Designated hitter Cody Rogers was 3-4 with a home run, one RBI and four runs scored.
The West Virginia Power scored one run in the eighth inning to defeat the Lexington Legends 6-5. Legends designated hitter J. D. Martinez was 3-4 with a home run, one RBI and two runs scored.
Lexington native Jeremy Shelby had his best professional game to-date with a 4-5, two home run, five RBI, three runs scored performance for rookie-level Bluefield.
Jeremy’s older brother and former UK outfielder John Shelby was 2-5 with his sixth home run of the season for AA Birmingham.
Former UK outfielder Lance Ray was promoted to low A Beloit.
Former UK catcher Marcus Nidiffer launched his third home run for rookie-level Greenville.
Former UofL first baseman Andrew Clark was 3-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Former EKU third baseman Neil Sellers blasted his third home run of the season for AAA Lehigh Valley.
Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jonesfell to 7-3 for high A Winston-Salem despite surrendering just four runs in six innings.
Lafayette High School alum Chaz Roe picked up his sixth win of the season despite surrendering six runs in five and one-third innings.
Louisville native Richard Sullivan earned his second win of the season with three and one-third scoreless innings of relief for AA Mississippi.
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.
With one Kentucky minor league team rained out Wednesday and another with an off day, the lead BluGrass Baseball story of the day goes to former Louisville Bat Justin Lehr and his dominate performance against the Cubs.
Lehr pitched a complete game shutout to end an eight-game losing streak for the Reds. Wednesday was his second major league start after going 13-3 in AAA this season.
Jordan Lyles allowed three runs in seven innings while striking out six and walking none for the Legends, but Lexington still fell 3-1 to Greenville.