BluGrass Baseball 2011 predictions

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

Predictions, based on pure speculation, for 2011 Kentucky baseball that are sure to go wrong:

  • University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer finally cashes in on the promise that had him ranked among the top prospects to attend college in 2008 with an All-SEC season. Meyer’s performance secures his status as a first-round pick this June.
  • Ashland native and 2006 Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb rebounds after missing  most of two seasons with a shoulder injury to win 15 games for the reigning American League champion Texas Rangers.
  • University of Louisville junior infielder Ryan Wright is named a postseason first-team All-American after leading the Cards to their third consecutive Big East Conference championship.
  • The Lexington Legends unveil the new “Ale-8-One Ballpark.”
  • The National League all-star team features three players born in Kentucky: Corey Hart, Dan Uggla and Jonny Venters.
  • Western Kentucky University wins the Sun Belt Conference and enters the NCAA tournament as a two seed.
  • UofL (Stewart IjamesTony ZychDerek SelfRyan WrightDrew Haynes and Gabriel Shaw) and WKU (Jared Andreoli, Kes Carter, Ivan Hartle, Matt Rice, Rye Davis and Brian Edelen) both have six players drafted in June.
  • Four members of UK’s vaunted junior class are selected in the draft: Meyer, Cory Farris, Chad Wright and Braden Kapteyn. Senior Taylor Black is also selected.
  • Kentucky’s three Ohio Valley Conference schools each see one player drafted: Eastern Kentucky University junior shortstop Richie Rodriguez, Murray State University junior catcher Jacob Rhodes and Morehead State University senior infielder Travis Redmon.
  • Morehead St. infielder Bud Morton wins the 2011 BluGrass Baseball freshman of the year award, Meyer wins pitcher of the year and Wright wins player of the year.
  • PRP alum Zack Cox wins BluGrass Baseball MiLB player of the year and former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin wins MiLB pitcher of the year.
  • Nine Kentucky minor leaguers make their MLB debuts in 2011: Matt Klinker, Josh Lueke, Trystan Magnuson, Collin Cowgill, Christian Friedrich, Jason Kipnis, Nathan Adcock, Chaz Roe and Ryan Strieby.
  • Harrison County High School repeats as KHSAA state baseball champions.
  • Tates Creek High School outfielder and WKU signee Ryan Fucci wins Mr. Kentucky Baseball.
  • After losing much of its recent talent to the majors the Louisville Bats run of playoff appearances ends.
  • Boosted by the Tampa Bay Rays signing six players from the first three rounds of the 2010 draft, the Bowling Green Hot Rods finish 2011 as the state’s best minor league team.
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WKU signs five in early period, including 2010 draftee

College Baseball, High School Baseball

In the latest early signing class breakdown we’ll look at Western Kentucky University. The Hilltoppers signed five players during the early period. Check out some 2010 stats from each player below with a news release quote from WKU coach Chris Finwood.

RHP/INF/OF Matt Spalding — St. Xavier High School

  • 2010 Honors: No. 1 prospect in state according to Perfect Game
  • Finwood: “Matt is a true two-way player.  He can really swing the bat and projects as a very productive hitter in college.  He can play outfield and infield as well.  Matt is also an exceptional talent on the mound and has been clocked as high as 94-95 this fall.  He is an outstanding student as well.”

LHP Ian Tompkins — St. Xavier High School

  • 2010 Honors: All-State in 2010
  • Finwood: “Finding a quality high school lefty was a big priority for us this fall and Ian has been a bit of a late bloomer but by the middle of the summer, everyone was on him.  We got on Ian early and stayed the course and we are excited to add him to our pitching staff.”

OF Ryan Fucci — Tates Creek High School

  • 2010 Honors: All-City in baseball, All-State in basketball
  • Finwood: “Ryan is a tremendous athlete and one of the better basketball players in the state as well as an outstanding baseball player.  Ryan projects as a centerfielder and once he commits himself to playing baseball full time, he will become a pretty good professional prospect as well.”

RHP Jerad Eickhoff — Olney Central CC

  • 2010 Honors: 46th Round pick of Cubs
  • Finwood: “Jerad is a big strong hard throwing righty who is playing for former Hilltopper great Casey Hamilton at Olney.  Jared was drafted by the Chicago Cubs last year in the 46th round.  Jerad is a great student and should vie for a rotation spot right away.”

SS Steve Hodgins — Wabash Valley CC

  • 2010 Honors: JC team finished season ranked No. 5 in country
  • Finwood: “Steve is an energy type player who really can play shortstop and has a quality left-handed bat.  He is the son of a major league scout and has grown up around the game.  Steve handles the bat well, can bunt and run and is very solid on defense.  He was exactly what we were looking for to solidify our middle infield situation for next year.”

You can read the full WKU news release here.

WKU gets commitment from Tates Creek OF; Donze highlights Murray St. scrimmage; Maronde among NCAA best

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Latest highlights and links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Kelly Thesier of MLB.com reports Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere is working on improving his defense in the Arizona Fall League.
  • Mike Fields of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports Takes Creek High School outfielder Ryan Fucci, one of the state’s top high school players, has committed to Western Kentucky University.
  • In its ongoing top 2011 NCAA players series, The College Baseball Blog ranks Lexington Catholic alum Nick Maronde, a left-handed pitcher at the University of Florida, the No. 71 player in the country.
  • Senior left-handed pitcher Jake Donze highlighted Murray State University‘s fall scrimmage by striking out six in six scoreless innings.
  • One-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis was 2-4 with two triples a walk and two runs scored for the Peoria Javelinas of the AFL.

Ky. high school underclassmen named to All-American list

High School Baseball

Perfect Game USA has released its preseason high school underclassmen All-American lists, and several Kentucky preps were included in the honorable mention category. I’ve listed those below with graduation year, but you can see the full team here. (Hat tip to Adam Revelette of Examiner.com.)

High-Honorable Mention:

Mark Biggs — Warren East (2011)
Zach Clooney — St. Xavier (2011)
Chandler Shepherd — Lawrence County (2011)
Matt Spalding — St. Xavier (2011)

Honorable Mention:

Chase Armstrong- Lexington Catholic (2012)
Zach Arnold- Franklin County (2012)
Michael Bollmer- Bryan Station (2012)
Beau Bouthilette- Elizabethtown (2011)
Clay Cinnamon- Mercer County (2011)
Jeremy Cline- Warren Central (2011)
Spencer Drake- Eastern (2012)
Ryan Fucci- Tates Creek (2012)
Kevin Herren- Lafayette (2012)
Matt Honchel- Harrodsburg (2011)
Will Hurt- Lexington Catholic (2012)
Tyler Jackson- Lexington Catholic (2012)
Jackson Laumann- Boone County (2011)
Matt McGowan- University Heights (2011)
Logan McQuerry- George Rogers Clark (2012)
Dalton Mellott- Ohio County (2011)
Cody Moore- Lawrence County (2011)
Logan Shaftner- Lafayette (2011)
Blake Smith- Lafayette (2011)
Andrew Willinger- St. Xavier (2012)

Thursday Links: Stubbs Stars In AAA All-Star Game

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Minor Leagues

Wednesday was a big night for Louisville outfielder Drew Stubbs at the AAA All-Star Game.  He was 2-5 with a home run and two RBI in the game.  Louisville pitcher Justin Lehr earned the start for the International League and pitched a 1-2-3 first inning.

  • Minorleaguebaseball.com provides a recap of the game including quotes from Lehr and Stubbs.
  • Here is the box score of Louisville manager Rick Sweet International League 6-5 victory.
  • The Bowling Green bullpen blew a lead in the ninth inning to deny Chris Andjuar his SAL-leading 10th victory in a 4-3 loss to Lakewood.
  • Delmarva clinched the series victory with a 3-1 win over Lexington Wednesday.
  • UofL Sports passes on some updates of Cardinals in summer league action.
  • EKU Sports reports that former Colonel Tyler Sellers was named to the AA Eastern League All-Star Team.
  • Sellers was 0-2 in the game.
  • Jody Demling at the Courier-Journal passes on information about Tates Creek High School two-sport star Ryan Fucci in his recruiting notebook.  Fucci is being recruited by UK, UofL, Michigan, Butler and Illinois in baseball.
  • David Thomas at the Jackson Sun in Jackson, Tenn., profiles Louisville Bats infielder Drew Sutton.