Chris Rusin; Photo: UK Athletics
Check out the first daily summary of Kentucky MiLB action below. Links take you to the player’s MiLB.com page:
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods opened the 2011 season with a 4-0 win over Dayton. Enny Romero surrendered one hit in five scoreless innings while striking out eight batters and walking one to earn the win. Former UofL third baseman Phil Wunderlich was 0-4 in his Hot Rods’ debut.
- The Lexington Legends suffered a 6-1 loss in the team’s season opener versus Charleston. Eastern High School alum Jason Chowning struck out one batter in a scoreless inning in his Legends’ debut.
- The Louisville Bats dropped their Opening Day game 11-6 to Toledo. Catcher Devin Mesoraco was 2-4 with one home run, one RBI and one run scored in the game.
- Former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby was 1-5 with one home run, three RBI and one run scored for AAA Toledo.
- Former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin earned the win after surrendering three runs on four hits in five innings while striking out four batters and walking one for AA Tennessee in his Opening Day start.
- Butler High School alum Seth Bynum was 2-4 with one home run, five RBI, one run scored and one double for AAA Syracuse.
- Former UK infielder Michael Bertram was 2-3 with one double for AA Erie.
- Former UK outfielder Sawyer Carroll was 2-3 for AA San Antonio.
- Former UofL first baseman Andrew Clark was 2-4 with one run scored for low A Hickory.
- Covington native and former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones struck out two batters in two scoreless innings for AA Birmingham.
- Former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade surrendered one hit in two scoreless innings for AAA Durham.
- Louisville native and former Murray St. first baseman Wes Cunningham was 1-2 with one walk, one run scored and one stolen base for low A Fort Wayne.
- PRP alum Zack Cox was 2-4 with one double for high A Palm Beach.
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.
Christian Friedrich; Photo by Matt McGee via Flickr
Highlights from Thursday Kentucky MiLB action:
- Oufielder J. D. Martinez was 5-5 with two home run, six RBI and three runs scored, but the the Lexington Legends still lost 10-9 to the West Virginia Power on a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the tenth inning.
- The Louisville Bats pitching staff was no match for the Toledo Mud Hens in game one of a two-game series as the Bats lost 9-4. Third baseman Juan Francisco was 3-3 with one RBI.
- Former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby, playing left field for Toledo, was 2-5 with two RBI and one run scored in the game.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods dropped a 4-1 decision to the Dayton Dragons. Right-handed pitcher Jason McEachern took the loss but surrendered just four runs in seven innings. Shortstop Robi Estrada has a nine-game hitting streak.
- Former UK outfielder Lance Ray was a home run shy of the cycle in a 4-4, two runs scored, one RBI performance for rookie-level Elizabethton.
- Former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich earned his second consecutive win after allowing one run in seven innings. Friedrich struck out 12 and walked just two for AA Tulsa.
- Former UofL right-handed pitcher Thomas Royse picked up his first professional win after surrendering one run in five innings for rookie-level Great Falls.
- Former WKU infielder Terrence Dayleg was promoted to High A Jupiter, where he went 0-3 in his debut.
- Former EKU third baseman Neil Sellers was 3-3 with a double for AAA Lehigh Valley.
- Former Murray St. first baseman Wes Cunningham was 3-5 with a home run, RBI and run scored for short-season Eugene.
Ryan Strieby; Photo via Flickr by mwlguide
The minor league season officially kicked off Thursday night, and there were no shortage of relevant Kentucky highlights to pass along. Check out these recaps of the local teams, plus notes from Kentucky alumni across MiLB:
- Sam LeCure surrendered two runs in five innings to give the Louisville Bats their first win of the season, 5-3 over the Toledo Mud Hens. Chris Heisey, Todd Frazier, Daniel Dorn and Chris Valaika each tallied two hits. The two Kentucky natives, Josh Anderson and Chris Burke, were a combined 0-10 batting in the top two spots in the lineup. (Box Score)
- University of Kentucky alum Ryan Strieby was 1-3 with a home run for the Mud Hens.
- The Lexington Legends dropped their first game 5-2 to Charleston, but 2009 second round pick Tanner Bushue made his Lexington debut with 4.1 scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, one walk and struck out six. 2009 Astros’ first round pick Jiovanni Mier was 1-4 in his debut. (Box Score)
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods season got off to an inauspicious start with a 7-2 loss to Fort Wayne in the team’s Midwest League debut. Leadoff man and center fielder Christopher Murrill was 3-5 in his Bowling Green debut, and Brett Nommensen and Mark Thomas each tallied two hits. (Box Score)
- Eastern Kentucky University alum Christian Friedrich took the loss in his AA debut for the Tulsa Drillers, but allowed just one run in six innings. He surrendered four hits, walked two and struck out five. (Box Score)
- Lexington native Ben Revere was 1-4 with a run scored in his AA debut for the New Britian Rock Cats. (Box Score)
- UK alum Collin Cowgill was 2-4 with a double in his AA debut for the Mobile BayBears. (Box Score)
UK Athletics Wallpaper
Apologies for missing the usual morning links post today, but I decided to group the several University of Kentucky baseball stories I had together in a late post and hold the few other stories until tomorrow. Some of this is a little old, but they are still worth passing along.
- Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports picks UK to finish fifth in the Southeastern Conference East Division, but places LHP James Paxton on his All-Conference team and writes the Bat Cats should be in the running for a NCAA tournament bid. Rogers selected Alex Meyer on his rising stock list.
- Rogers writes much of UK’s 2010 success may depend on James Paxton’s eligibility. (At this point I have to imagine UK should start preparing like Paxton won’t be eligible.)
- Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford writes of UK alum Joe Blanton: “Not exactly a Ferrari, but Blanton is reliable.”
- Former UK pitcher Adam Revelette talks to some former and current Cats about proposed rule changes for “Cat Scratches.”
- Brent Ingram of UK Athletics has a blog post on “Cat Scratches” about former Cat Ryan Strieby‘s Baseball America honor we reported last week.
Before we get to this morning’s links I’d just like to pass on congratulations to Lexington Legends outfielder Brian Pellegrini for becoming the franchise’s all-time home run leader with 33 long balls. Pellegrini hit 21 home runs in his first season in Lexington in 2008 and has added 12 home runs since returning to Lexington in 2009 after starting the season with High A Lancaster. The “Big Pelli” broke the record on June 15 with his first home run in a two-homer game against Asheville. Tommy Whiteman previously held the record with 28 career home runs. While working the media relations department for the Legends last summer I found Pellegrini to be a refreshing change from the usual minor leaguer. Brian embraced Lexington and didn’t just view it as a minor step on the way to millions.
Now for the links: