Very late highlights from Thursday Kentucky MiLB action:
Catcher Devin Mesoraco launched his second grand slam in as many games to lead the Louisville Bats to a 6-2 win over Syracuse. Third baseman Juan Francisco also homered.
The Lexington Legends scored four runs in the seventh inning to earn a come-from-behind 5-2 win over Greenville. Right-handed pitcher Jose Cisnero took a no decision despite surrendering just two runs in six innings.
Lake County scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Bowling Green Hot Rods to a 5-4 last at-bat loss. Right fielder Brett Nommensen and first baseman Kyle Wiegand each homered for the Hot Rods.
Former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin surrendered two unearned runs in two innings before leaving with an injury, thought the Cubs have since said it was a precautionary move.
Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer slugged his 14th home run of the season for short-season Tri-City.
Pitching for the first time this season former UK right-handed pitcher Scott Green struck out two in a scoreless inning on a rehab assignment for the rookie-level GCL Tigers.
Former UK catcher Sean Coughlin was 3-4 with two RBI for AA Mobile.
Former UofL right-handed pitcher and 2010 Nationals draftee Neil Holland earned his third win of the season with three scoreless innings for short-season Vermont.
Former EKU infielder Neil Sellers slugged his fifth home run of the season for AAA Lehigh Valley.
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.
Baseball America unveiled its top 10 Detroit Tigers prospects today, and while no Kentucky alumni made the cut several were discussed in the accompanying chat. If you had to pick two major league franchises to root for only because of the number of players with Kentucky connections in their system you would have to pick the Diamondbacks in the National League and Tigers in the American League. You can read the whole BA chat with analyst Connor Glassey here (subscription required), but check out these three questions regarding local prospects:
Q: How close did Ryan Strieby come?
BA: Strieby came very close, actually. He would have made the top 10 if not for the Granderson trade, which added two players ahead of him and bumped him out. While he’s not in the upper-echelon of first base prospects, he has big power and is in that second tier for me. It’ll be interesting to see how he does with a healthy wrist in Triple-A, but the Tigers don’t really have a spot for him. Reports on his defense in the outfield were not good.
Q: Did Wade Gaynor make the top 30? Thoughts on him?
BA: Gaynor had a nice college career, becoming the first Western Kentucky player to have a 20-20 season and ranking third in D-I total bases (behind only 2010 prospect Bryce Brentz and the Mariners’ second-overall pick, Dustin Ackley). The Tigers are trying to calm Gaynor’s swing down a bit, as he has a lot of pre-swing hand movement and a big leg kick. He’s a good athlete and a hard worker and did make the back third of the list.
Q: What is the word on physically huge pitcher scott green out of Kentucky? has he dropped of the radar?
BA: Still on the radar, still huge, still in the 30, but got hurt this season.
In the second installment of the 2009 “All BluGrass Baseball Team” we’ll look at alumni of Kentucky schools in the minor leagues.
Catcher — A. J. Ellis — PLD HS — AAA Albuquerque — .314, 48 runs, 39 RBI, .438 On-Base
First Base — Ryan Strieby — UK — AA Erie — .303, 19 HR, 58 RBI
Second Base — Seth Bynum — Louisville, Ky. — AAA Syracuse — .267, 20 HR, 69 RBI
Third Base — Tyler Sellers — EKU — AA Reading — .317, 17 HR, 86 RBI
Shortstop — Chris Burke — St. X — AAA Richmond — .279, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 15 SB
Left Field — Tyler Kuhn — Trinity HS — High A Winston-Salem — .289, 55 R, 46 RBI, 26 SB
Center Field — Ben Revere — Lexington, Ky. — High A Fort Meyers — .311, 2 HR, 48 RBI, 75 Runs, 45 SB
Right Field — Sawyer Carroll — UK — AA San Antonio — .317, 8 HR, 96 RBI
Designated Hitter — Michael Bertram — UK — AA Erie — .282, 18 HR, 77 RBI
Starting Pitcher 1 — Christian Friedrich — EKU — High A Modesto — 6-5, 2.41, 159 SO, 119.2 IP
Starting Pitcher 2 — Robbie Ross — Lexington, Ky. — Short-Season Spokane — 4-4, 2.66, 76 SO, 74.1 IP
Starting Pitcher 3 — Chaz Roe — Lexington, Ky. — AA Tulsa — 7-3, 3.15, 77 SO, 117 IP
Starting Pitcher 4 — Daniel Calhoun — Murray State — Short-Season Batavia — 2-0, 1.86, 42 SO, 48.1 IP
Starting Pitcher 5 — Marty Popham — Union — Short-Season Mahoning Valley — 6-1, 2.76, 83 SO, 75 IP
Closer — B. J. Rosenberg — UofL — AA Reading — 7-3, 1.18, 22 saves, 73 So, 61 IP
Notes: As with the KY minor league team, relief pitcher was the most competitive spot. In addition to Rosenberg, who was selected to represent the U.S. on the World Cup team, Zach Dials, Scott Green, Trystan Magnuson, Nathan Jones and Keith Butler also posted excellent numbers out of the bullpen. Collin Cowgill and Sean Coughlin are probably better prospects at their positions than the representative on this team, but both missed significant time due to an injury.
Legends outfielder Steve Brown was named South Atlantic League player of the week after a week that saw him go 12-28 (.429) with three home runs and 11 RBI. Check out more on Brown’s honor and other BluGrass Baseball storylines in this mornings hot links:
The Legends’ game was suspended due to rain with one out in the fifth inning. Lexington and Asheville will resume that game where it left off at 6:05 p.m. today before playing tonight’s scheduled game which has been shortened to seven innings.
Kevin Barker’s home run gave Louisville a 4-3 victory over Lehigh Valley.
The “Other Beckham” (Jeremy, Tim’s brother) hit his first professional home run in an 8-4 Bowling Green victory over Greenville.
UK second baseman Chris Bisson was 1-6 with two runs scored in the Cotuit Kettleers’ series clinching victory against Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League semi-finals. UK pitcher Matt Little surrendered two runs in the game in 2.2 innings of relief for Yarmouth-Dennis.
UK baseball has announced a “5-Tool Camp” scheduled for Labor Day weekend.
The Associated Press reports that Toronto Blue Jays GM J. P. Riccardi wants MLB to move up the signing deadline for draft picks after the team has failed to sign eight of its first 10 picks, including UK pitcher James Paxton, so far.
Here is a piece I wrote for Examiner.com about the top prospects on the Lexington Legends’ roster.
EKU alum Christian Friedrich continued his domination of California League opponents by striking out eight in 6.2 innings to lower his ERA to 1.32 and earn his third win in the league.
According to Baseball America, the Tigers placed former UK pitcher Scott Green on the 7-day disabled list and the Padres placed former UK pitcher Andrew Albers on the 60-day DL.
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.
Sunday’s Futures Game will be remembered for its four-hour rain delay, and the representatives from Kentucky minor league teams would probably prefer it remain that way. The two Bluegrass representatives combined to go 0-3 with a strikeout and four men left on base. Bowling Green right fielder Kyeong Kang popped out in a pinch hit appearance in the top of the seventh before remaining in the game to play left field in the bottom of the inning, and Louisville outfielder Chris Heisey earned the start in left field for the U. S. team, but was 0-2 with a strikeout in the game.
Here is the complete box score for the Futures Game.
Jim Callis at Baseball America also has a recap of the World team’s 7-5 victory.
The MLB All-Star break will be interesting for both Futures Game outfielder Chris Heisey and Louisville outfielder Drew Stubbs. Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce broke his wrist and will be out for an extended time. John Fay at the Cincinnati Enquirer breaks down the likelihood of the Reds calling up one of the two Louisville prospects to replace Bruce.
The Reds did recall Adam Rosales from Louisville to take Bruce’s roster spot Sunday.
Ross Bagienski recaps the Bats’ 8-4 victory over the Columbus Clippers Sunday.
The Legends and Hot Rods were off Sunday. Lexington opens a four-game series in Delmarva tonight, and Bowling Green starts a four-game set in Lakewood.
With the MLB All-Star Game scheduled for next week, one of the minor league’s shining events the Futures Game is Sunday. Look for a Kentucky Futures Game preview later today, but for now here are some morning links to hold you over:
UK junior infielder Neiko Johnson has been named a NYCBL All-Star according to UK Athletics. Johnson appears to be performing his way into the shortstop battle for next season. UK Athletics also summarizes the other Cats’ performances in summer leagues.
Futures Game representative Chris Heisey was the hero for Louisville last night with a 3-6, 1 home run, 4 RBI performance in the Bats’ 5-3 12-inning victory at Toledo.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods lost 9-5 to the Charleston RiverDogs.
David Duncan earned the win in his Lexington Legends debut, a 9-5 victory over Savannah.
Former Cat Scott Green picked up his seventh save for High A Lakeland Thursday.