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.
- 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
- 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
- 22) — LHP Richard Sullivan — Louisville, Ky. (Ballard)
St. Louis Cardinals
- 27) — LHP Ben Jukich — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 9) — OF Collin Cowgill — University of Kentucky
San Francisco Giants
- 18) — 3B Chris Dominguez — University of Louisville
- 31) — C Craig Tatum — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 24) — RHP B. J. Rosenberg — University of Louisville
- 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
- 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
- 2) — LHP Christian Friedrich — Eastern Kentucky University
- 24) — RHP Chaz Roe — Lexington, Ky. (Lafayette)
Kansas City Royals
- 19) — OF Jordan Parraz — 2007 Lexington Legends
- 11) — 1B Ryan Strieby — University of Kentucky
- 24) — 3B Wade Gaynor — Western Kentucky University
- 28) — RHP Scott Green — University of Kentucky
- 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
Jordan Lyles; Photo: Lexington Legends
Baseball America released its top 10 prospects list for the Houston Astros Friday and several Lexington Legends made the cut. The Astros’ system still ranks toward the bottom of the major league organizations, but the talent improvement from 2008 to 2009 was a nice indication of the improvement of the system overall. Here’s a glimpse at the Legends who made the cut and their statistics. The analysis of the list is subscriber only, so you’ll have to check out BA for the full package.
#3 RHP Jordan Lyles
- 7-11, 3.24 ERA, 167 SO/38 BB
- 145 IP, 26 GS, 134 hits
- BA: “He has the repertoire and control to fit in the middle of a big league rotation, and each of his pitches has enough projection for him to become a potential frontline starter.”
#6 RHP Ross Seaton
- 8-10, 3.29 ERA, 88 SO/39 BB
- 137 IP, 24 GS, 137 hits
- BA: “At Lexington, Seaton stood out more with his size and control than his stuff.”
#8 OF Jay Austin
- .267, 23 SB, 49 runs
- BA: “He has enticing tools, but he has a lot of refining to do if he’s going to be more than an extra outfielder in the major leagues.”
Check out the full list here.
Lots of major league storylines in today’s links. Here’s some morning reading for you before a day full of college football:
- UK alum Joe Blanton finished the season 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA after a loss to the Marlins.
- 2009 Bat Justin Lehr finished his major league season 5-3 with a 5.37 ERA after a loss to the Pirates.
- Jason Grey of ESPN.com calls Pikeville-native Mark Reynolds the biggest 2009 fantasy baseball surprise. Ashland-native Brandon Webb was named the most crushing fantasy injury of the season.
- In the SAL league prospects chat (subscriber only), Baseball America touches of UofL alum B. J. Rosenberg, Legend Ross Seaton and Hot Rod Tim Beckham.
- The Kansas City Star reports the Royals might look to move original Lexington Legend John Buck this offseason.
The Lexington Legends return home Tuesday to start the final homestand of the season. Lexington will face Hickory for four games and Greenville for three before returning to the road for the final seven games of the season. The festivities kick off with “Quarter Hot Dog Night” Tuesday.
Lexington is 11-17 at home in the second half and 27-37 at home for the entire season. Barring a late run, the Legends will likely end up at the bottom of their divison four the third consecutive season. Lexington is 58-68 on the season, but local fans will have one last chance to see the talented teenage trio of Jordan Lyles, Ross Seaton and Brad DyDalewicz this week.
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.
With the Kentucky minor league teams playing afternoon games today we have an abbreviated notes post.
- First I’d like to welcome Rob Gidel to BluGrass Baseball. Rob gave me my first job in baseball and knows as much about the sport as anyone I know. He was the former director of media relations for the Lexington Legends, and was the youngest solo play-by-play man in minor league baseball in 2008. Rob will be posting here from time to time. His first post below first appeared on Kentucky Sports Radio, a UK sports blog that Rob helped found.
- Louisville native and member of the All-Time BluGrass Baseball Team, Dan Uggla hit his 20th home run of the season on Aug. 5. According to the Phil Rogers at the Chicago Tribune, Uggla became just the second 2nd baseman in major league history to hit at least 20 home runs in his first four seasons. The other was 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gordon.
- Bowling Green Hot Rods outfielder Kyeong Kang’s 10-game hitting streak ended Saturday with an 0-2 performance. Kang did reach base via a walk.
- Louisville Bats outfielder Drew Stubbs stole his 44th base of the season Saturday. The 44 steals lead the International League, Reds organization and rank 11th among all minor leaguers.
- Legends’ prospect Ross Seaton had a rare bad start Saturday. Seaton allowed six runs (2nd most on the season) in just four innings (shortest start of the season).
Lexington Legends vs. Asheville Tourists
- The Legends will send top prospect Ross Seaton to the mound for the opener of the homestand tonight against Asheville. Seaton is 8-8 with a 2.67 ERA on the season. The right-handed pitcher has 69 strikeouts in 111.1 innings pitched. Seaton’s 2.67 ERA is fourth best in the South Atlantic League.
- Outfielder Brian Pellegrini leads the Legends offensive attack against Asheville. In five games against the Tourists this season, Pellegrini is 8-20 (.400) with three home runs and six RBI. Kyle Greenwalt, Patrick Urckfitz and Robert Bono have Lexington’s three wins against Asheville.
- Lexington will have to watch out for Asheville shortstop Thomas Field. Field is 6-17 (.353) with three RBI in five games against the Legends this season. Parker Frazier, Dan Houston and Juan Nicasio each have a win for Asheville against the Legends.
- Asheville will send Houston to the mound tonight against the Legends. Houston is 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA against Lexington this season and is 5-8 with a 3.95 ERA for the season. Dan has 92 strikeouts in 109.1 innings and is holding opponents to a .269 batting average.
The Legends and Bats both recorded a win Monday, and the Hot Rods were rained out. Catch up on the minor league action and several college baseball storylines in the Tuesday morning hot links:
- Lexington teenage phenom Ross Seaton dominated again Monday, earning his eighth win with six shutout innings in a 3-1 Lexington victory in game one of a doubleheader against Charleston. The RiverDogs took game two 6-5.
- The Bats rode three-hit performances from outfielder Drew Stubbs and DH Wes Bankston to a 8-4 victory over Charlotte.
- The Hot Rods finale in Savannah was rained out.
- UK Athletics reports UK second baseman Chris Bisson is leading the Cape Cod League in steals and rounds up other summer league action.
- Minorleaguebaseball.com breaks down statistical oddities from July, including Michael Bertram’s cycle and costly error in the same game.
- Pikeville, Ky., native Mark Reynolds launched his 31st and 32nd home runs for the Diamondbacks Monday. His 32 home runs are second most in the NL.
- UK alum and Diamondback pitcher Brandon Webb underwent successful shoulder surgery Monday. The surgery revealed no tears in his labrum.
In the final segment of the BluGrass Baseball Top Prospects series I’ll give you my personal top 10 prospects of both Kentucky schools’ alumni and Kentucky minor leaguers. We’ll do this Letterman style with a countdown from 10 to one of each list.
Top 10 Prospects (Kentucky Alumni)
- #10) RHP Chaz Roe — Colorado Rockies — Roe’s star has dimmed slightly since the Rockies selected him with the 32nd pick in the 2005 draft. Roe had a significant hitch in his delivery coming out of high school that scared many scouts. Following a strong season in 2007 at high A Modesto Roe was ranked the 10th best prospect in the Rockies system by Baseball America. He struggled between Modesto and Tulsa in 2008, but has rebounded in 2009 with a 3-2 record, 3.08 ERA in 11 starts at Tulsa. Opponents are batting only .208 against Roe.
- #9) 3B Chris Dominguez — Oakland Athletics —Dominguez is the first 2009 draft pick to appear on this list and does so because of his plus power. BA said his combination of power, speed and arm strength was as intimidating as any player’s in the draft. Dominguez’s chief weakness is his ability to hit breaking balls and he’ll have to prove that he can adjust to professional pitching. So far, so good for Dominguez with a .293 average, seven home runs and 19 RBI in his first 19 professional games.
- #8) RHP Trystan Magnuson — Toronto Blue Jays — Magnuson bottomed out during Toronto’s experiment in converting him to a starter after he closed at Louisville. Trystan was 0-9 with a 5.40 ERA in 24 starts in 2008, but he has excelled since moving back to the bullpen in 2009. Magnuson is old (24) for the high A Florida State League, but opponents have been no match for him in the pen. With a 4-0 record, 2.98 ERA and .246 opponents batting average Magnuson could be in line for a promotion soon.
- #7) LHP James Paxton — Toronto Blue Jays — Paxton hasn’t pitched in a single professional game; he hasn’t even signed his contract. If we assume he does sign with the Jays before the August deadline Paxton ranks this high on the top prospects list based solely on his high ceiling. He was one of the youngest juniors in the country (21), is left handed, and has thrown as hard as 97 mph. That combination could be lethal if he lives up to his talent in professional ball.
- #6) OF Collin Cowgill — Arizona Diamondbacks — You can’t start a professional career much better than Cowgill did in 2008. He finished the season as the short-season Northwest League leader in home runs with 11. The interesting part of that statistic is he only played in 20 games in the league. At 5’9 Collin will always have to outperform his stature. If he reaches his potential he could be a second or third place hitter with a high on-base percentage and above-average power. Collin has been on the DL for high A Visalia since June 15.
- #5) OF John Shelby — Chicago White Sox — Shelby has struggled in 2009 at AA Birmingham with a .237 average, seven home runs and 38 RBI in 87 games. Despite the struggles Shelby still represents one of the best power/speed combinations in the White Sox’s organization. His 17 stolen bases this season show his speed hasn’t suffered any. If Shelby can adjust to more advanced pitching he could turn into a plus defender in the outfield who could bat near the top of a major league lineup.
- #4) 1B Ryan Strieby — Detroit Tigers — No Kentucky minor leaguer has been more consistent than Strieby. Ryan has improved his batting average, home run and RBI totals in each season of his professional career. While he has moved up the minor leagues Strieby has only improved and 2009 might be his best season yet with a .305 batting average, 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 76 games for AA Erie. Strieby has been an all-star in each of the last three seasons and could become a middle of the lineup power/RBI threat for Detroit.
- #3) LHP Robbie Ross — Texas Rangers — Ross signed too late to make his professional debut in 2008, but the he has lived up to his second-round hype in 2009. Through seven starts for short-season Spokane, Ross is 3-1 with a 2.29 ERA. In 35.1 innings Ross has 48 strikeouts and just 8 walks. Opponents are batting just .231 against Ross. Robbie is still young (20) and will be given every chance to move quickly up the Rangers’ farm system. Ross featured a mid-90s fastball and impressive secondary pitches coming out of Lexington Christian Academy and could develop into a front of the rotation left-handed starting pitcher.
- #2) OF Ben Revere — Minnesota Twins — When you lead the minor leagues with a .379 batting average and flirt with .400 for much of the season, rankings like this one come your way. Revere has cooled a little in 2009 but is still holding his own with a .312 batting average at high A Fort Meyers. The Lexington Catholic product has blazing speed as evidenced by his 33 steals in 89 games this season. Ben almost never strikes out (just 33 in 343 at-bats in 2009) and has all the tools to develop into an all-star lead-off hitter in the future.
- # 1) LHP Christian Friedrich — Colorado Rockies — With bookends Roe and Friedrich, the Rockies are the second organization with two prospects represented on this list. Christian is an EKU alum with the best curveball in the Rockies’ system according to Baseball America. Friedrich also features a low 90s fastball and a slider and changeup. He has been lights out in 2009 with a 5-3 record and 2.11 ERA between low A Asheville and high A Modesto. BA highlighted his sometimes spotty control as Friedrich’s principle weakness, but with 96 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 76.2 innings Friedrich has figured that out.
Hit the jump for the top ten prospects currently playing for Kentucky minor league teams.
Baseball America has released the most telling illustration of some of the current talent found in the Bluegrass State. John Manuel has compiled a list of all the prospects in the minor leagues that he has deemed “untouchable” by their respective organizations. Of the hundreds of minor league baseball players, only 13 were deemed completely untouchable by Manuel. Of those 13 prospects, three are currently playing in Kentucky.
The teenage duo of Ross Seaton and Jordan Lyles was marked as the only untouchable prospects in the Houston Astros system by Manuel. Seaton and Lyles are the aces of the Lexington Legends rotation. Lyles ranks third in the South Atlantic League in strikeouts and Seaton ranks fifth in ERA. The teammates represent the future for the abysmal Houston system that was ranked last among all 30 teams in organizational talent by Baseball America following the 2008 season.
Bowling Green also features an “untouchable” prospect in 2008 number-one overall pick SS Tim Beckham. Beckham is the Rays top prospect and is the likely cornerstone of the Rays’ farm system. Manual argues that trading Beckham who the Rays just paid a $6.15 million bonus would make no sense for the cash-strapped Rays.
Check in later today to find where Seaton, Lyles and Beckham rank on the BluGrass Baseball composite top prospects list.