Darnell, Richmond sign professional contracts

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Logan Darnell; UK Athletics wallpaper

University of Kentucky junior left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell and University of Louisville outfielder Josh Richmond have signed professional contracts with the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers respectively. Darnell’s signing with the Twins as the team’s sixth round 2010 draft pick was announced on the team website. Richmond’s signing with the Rangers as the team’s twelfth round pick was first reported by Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Darnell has been assigned to the rookie-level Elizabethton Twins, where he will play alongside former UK teammate Gunner Glad. Richmond will begin his career at short-season Spokane.

Darnell moved to the weekend rotation for UK to start the 2010 season after spending his previous two seasons in the Cats’ bullpen. He experience mixed results as a starter and eventually moved back to the pen after about with left shoulder tendonitis. On the season, Darnell was 5-3 with a 5.62 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 73 and two-third innings pitched. Baseball America reports Darnell signed for a $125,000 bonus.

Richmond appeared in just 23 games for UofL in 2010 after missing much of the season with a wrist injury. He batted .262 with one home run and 10 RBI on the season but is considered a possible “five-tool player.” In Baseball America’s 2010 draft preview Jim Callis wrote Richmond could have gone as high as the third round if he had been healthy throughout 2010. Just 18 of the 47 players with Kentucky connections selected in the 2010 draft have not signed a professional contract.

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LCA alum Robbie Ross ranks on Rangers top 10

High School Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Baseball America has released the 30th and final top 10 prospects list in its series today with the Texas Rangers’ ranking, and Lexington Christian Academy alum Robbie Ross checked in at No. 7. Ross was the Rangers’ second round pick in 2008 and was lured away from a commitment to the University of Kentucky by a $1.575 million signing bonus. Ross spent 2009 with the Spokane Indians of the short-season Northwest League. Here’s a sampling of his 2009 stats and a snippet of BA analysis from Aaron Fitt.

#6 — Robbie Ross — Spokane Indians — LCA

  • 4-4, 2.66 ERA, 76 SO/17 BB, 74 IP
  • .240 batting average against, 15 games started
  • BA: “Ross will move on to low Class A in 2010. Texas will develop him as a starter, and some club officials envision him as a mid-rotation starter in the mold of former all-star Danny Jackson.”

Ross, Dominguez top Northwest League prospects

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Chris Dominguez

Baseball America’s prospect rankings for the short-season Northwest League are out, and two former Bluegrass players are on it. Left-handed pitcher Robbie Ross, a LCA alum, ranked seventh on the list and third baseman Chris Dominguez, a UofL alum, ranked thirteenth. Since BA’s analysis is subscriber only I’ll refrain from giving away to many details, but here is a look at what scouts had to say about the pair. (Read more)

Robbie Ross — “Nearly every manager agreed that Ross was the best pitcher they faced this year. He was the only NWL hurler to finish in the top five in ERA (2.66) and strikeouts (76 in 74 innings).” Ross needs to get stronger to last through an entire full season in 2010.

Chris Dominguez — “Though he has a tendency to swing through breaking balls, he hits tape-measure shots when he connects.” Scouts say Dominguez’s large frame may prohibit him from staying at third base as a major leaguer.