EKU All-Century Team; Photo by Chris Radcliffe
Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:
- Eastern Kentucky University unveiled its All-Century Baseball team, which includes current minor leaguers Christian Friedrich, Jayson Langfels, Neil Sellers and Josh Anderson.
- Tom Gage of The Detroit News reports Ewing native and 18-year MLB veteran Woodie Fryman died Friday in Lexington. Fryman was 70 years old. Fryman was 141-155 with a 3.77 ERAa in his MLB career.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe lists former UK right-handed pitcher and Ashland native Brandon Webb among the players that need to step up for their teams in 2011.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer runs down some Reds’ questions entering Spring Training, including several that affect 2010 Louisville Bats. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty notes Bats pitchers Sam LeCure and Matt Maloney, who makes his offseason home in Louisville, are being groomed as depth behind the six starting rotation candidates, meaning they will likely begin 2011 with the Bats.
Marcus Nidiffer, center; Photo: UK Athletics
Highlights from Sunday Kentucky MiLB action:
- The Louisville Bats scored four runs in the first inning and held off a late Lehigh Valley rally to earn a 5-4 win over the IronPigs. Shortstop Zach Cozart was 3-4 with a home run, double, two RBI and two runs scored. Starting pitcher Sam LeCure surrendered just two runs in seven innings and struck out 13 while walking none.
- Former EKU infielder Neil Sellers was 1-4 in the game for Lehigh Valley.
- Hickory Crawdads starting pitcher Jacob Brigham held the Lexington Legends to just one run in a complete game performance to lead Hickory to a 6-1 win over Lexington. Legends right-handed pitcher Robert Donovan took the loss despite surrendering just two runs in six innings and striking out six.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods tallied just six hits in a 9-0 shutout loss to Peoria. Designated hitter Gabe Cohen was 3-4 in the game.
- Former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich was forced to leave his start for AA Tulsa without recording an out after being hit under the left elbow with a line drive. Friedrich surrendered two runs on four hits. Check back to BluGrass Baseball for updates of Friedrich’s condition later as he is scheduled to be re-examined today.
- Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 2-6, one home run performance. Nidiffer drove in two runs and scored twice. He is batting .356 with six home runs and 13 RBI in 24 games for rookie-level Greeneville.
- LCA alum Robbie Ross picked up his first win for high A Bakersfield after surrendering four runs, only one of which was earned, in seven innings. Ross struck out eight and walked just one.
- Former UofL first baseman and 2010 Rangers draftee Andrew Clark was 3-4 with a stolen base, walk, RBI and run scored for short-season Spokane.
- Former UofL infielder Chris Dominguez was 2-4 with a home run, two runs scored and two RBI for high A Augusta.
- Former UofL right-handed pitcher Trystan Magnuson picked up his fifth save for AA New Hampshire with three scoreless innings.
- Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar slugged his 11th home run of the season for low A Greensboro.
- Lexington native Jeremy Shelby was 3-6 with a double, RBI and run scored for rookie-level Greensboro.
- Trinity High School alum Tyler Kuhn slugged his third home run of the season for AA Birmingham.
We’ll run down the standouts from May for each of the Kentucky Minor League teams, starting with the Louisville Bats:
Hitter of the month: INF Drew Sutton
- Stats: 25-66 (.379), 2 HR, 15 RBI, 12 R
- Honorable Mention: Wladimir Balentein, Chris Valaika, Daniel Dorn, Luis Terrero, Corky Miller
Pitcher of the month: RHP Sam LeCure
- Stats: 3-1, 2.21 ERA, 5 GS, 29 SO/6 BB, 36.2 IP
- Honorable Mention: Travis Wood, Matt Maloney, Chad Reineke, Enerio Del Rosario
Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
The most recent slate of Minor League players of the week has been released and several players with Kentucky ties have been honored with the best performances in their respective leagues. I’ve listed those players below along with their stats for the week:
- RHP Sam LeCure — Louisville Bats — AAA International League — 2-0, 16 IP, 0 R, 9 H, 3 BB, 13 SO
- OF Ben Revere — Lexington, Ky. — AA Eastern League — 14-26 (.538), 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 2Bs, 5 SB
- RHP Nathan Adcock — Elizabethtown, Ky. — High A Florida State League — 1-0, 2 GS, 12 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 12 SO
- 1B Kody Hinze — Lexington Legends — South Atlantic League — 9-25 (.360), 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 R, 4 2Bs,
Each month of the minor league season we’ll name a hitter and pitcher of the month for the state’s three minor-league teams and for the group of Kentucky natives in the minors. Check out the Louisville Bats team awards below:
Hitter of the month: INF Chris Valaika
- Stats: .329/.377/.457 — 6 RBI, 8 R
- Valaika was one of the few bright spots for the Bats’ offense during the first month of the 2010 season. The infielder has yet to homer in 2010, but lead the team in batting average, on-base percentage and runs scored in the month.
- Honorable Mention: OF Chris Heisey, OF Daniel Dorn, C Corky Miller
Pitcher of the Month: LHP Aroldis Chapman
- Stats: 1-1, 1.29 ERA, 22 SO/12 BB, 21 IP
- Chapman has been as advertised so far in 2010 and has dominated AAA competition at times while still showing some control problems that have kept him from a big-league callup. The Cuban defector leads Bats starting pitchers in ERA, batting average against and WHIP.
- Honorable Mention: LHP Travis Wood, RHP Sam LeCure, LHP Matt Maloney
The Louisville Bats are set to start play today and will feature two Kentucky natives in the lineup as well as several of the best prospects in the Cincinnati Reds organization. Check out the roster below via the Courier-Journal. I’ve included Baseball America prospect rankings for the Reds organization. Remember top prospects Juan Francisco and Mike Leake are starting the season with the Reds but might appear in Louisville at some point if they struggle, and Yonder Alonso is starting the season in AA but should earn a callup to Louisville early this season.
- LHP Travis Wood (BA #7) (SP) — 2nd Round (2005)
- RHP Sam LeCure (SP) — 4th Round (2005)
- LHP Matt Maloney (BA #8) (SP) — Phillies 3rd Round (2005)
- RHP Federico Baez — Cubs NDFA (2002)
- RHP Jon Adkins — Athletics 9th Round (1998)
- RHP Chad Reineke — 2005 Lexington Legend — Astros 13th Round (2004)
- RHP Enerio Del Rosario (BA # 19) — NDFA 2005
- LHP Lee Tabor — 30th Round (2006)
- RHP Justin Lehr (SP) — Athletics 8th Round (1999)
- LHP Pedro Viola (BA # 22) — NDFA (2005)
- RHP Carlos Fisher — 11th Round (2005)
- RHP Jared Burton — Athletics 8th Round (2002)
- LHP Aroldis Chapman (BA #1A*) (SP) — Cuban FA (2009)
- Corky Miller — Amateur FA (1998)
- Wilkin Castillo — NDFA 2002
- Jake Long — 37th Round (2005)
- 2B — Chris Burke — St. X High School — Astros 1st Round (2004)
- 3B — Michael Griffin — 14th Round (2005)
- 3B — Drew Sutton — 2005 Lexington Legend — S/R — Astros 15th Round (2005)
- 2B — Chris Valaika (BA #12) — 3rd Round (2006)
- SS — Zach Cozart (BA #10) — 2nd Round (2007)
- 3B/LF — Todd Frazier (BA #1B) — 1st Supp. Round (2007)
- RF — Josh Anderson — Pulaski Co., EKU, 2004 Lexington Legend — 4th Round (2003)
- LF/1B — Daniel Dorn — 32nd Round (2006)
- LF — Chris Heisey (BA #4) — 17th Round (2006)
- OF — Luis Terrero — D’Backs NDFA (1997)
* — Chapman signed after Baseball America released its Reds top 10 prospects list, but is ranked higher than No. 1 Frazier on the overall top 100 prospects list published by the magazine.
Offensive Player of the Year — 1B Kevin Barker
- If this award were for the top prospect on the team minor-league veteran Barker would have no shot. Kevin was playing in his 13th minor league season in 2009 with only 97 major-league games to show for his perseverance. Barker led qualifying Bats with a .285 batting average and 22 home runs. His 69 RBIs were second-most on the team. Barker’s .376 on-base percentage, .551 slugging percentage and .927 OPS were also team highs for qualifying players.
- Outfielder Chris Heisey might be the favorite for Reds’ minor-league player of the year after his Future Game selection, but he played less than half his season in Louisville, penalizing him for this award. He batted .278 with nine home runs and 37 RBI for Louisville to bring his season totals to .314, 22 home runs and 77 RBI for the season.
- Outfielder Drew Stubbs led the International League with 46 stolen bases, and top prospects Juan Francisco and Todd Frazier contributed in Louisville over the last month.
Pitcher of the Year — LHP Matt Maloney
- Maloney was 9-9 with a 3.08 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 143 innings for Louisville. Matt also made one late-season tuneup for AA Carolina and has made five starts for Cincinnati. Maloney’s 3.08 ERA was second lowest in the International League and his 125 strikeouts were tied with teammate Sam LeCure for fourth-most in the League.
- Justin Lehr won an International League-high 13 games before a late-season callup to Cincinnati. Sam LeCure led the team with 143.1 innings pitched and 125 strikeouts. Travis Wood, favorite for Reds’ pitcher of the year, was 4-2 with a 3.14 ERA in eight games with Louisville.
Louisville starting pitcher Sam Lecure gave up four runs in six innings as Louisville fell 4-3 to Durham in game three of a five-game series. The Bats fell behind 2-1 in the series and must win the final two games of the series to advance. Reds top prospect Yonder Alonso drove in his first AAA run and Juan Francisco added two more hits in the loss, brining his batting average to .357 in the series.