Madison Central is No. 1 in latest KHSBCA poll

High School Baseball

The Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association has released its weekly top 25 poll. Check out the rankings below:

  1. Madison Central
  2. St. Xavier
  3. Eastern
  4. Central Hardin
  5. Lafayette
  6. Lexington Catholic
  7. Paul Laurence Dunbar
  8. Male
  9. Apollo
  10. Pleasure Ridge Park
  11. Covington Catholic
  12. Tates Creek
  13. Hopkinsville
  14. Ballard
  15. Bryan Station
  16. Harrison County
  17. Allen County Scottsville
  18. Woodford County
  19. Lawrence County
  20. Danville
  21. Ryle
  22. Pikeville
  23. Trinity
  24. Henderson County
  25. Warren East
You can see the other schools receiving votes here.
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St. X remains No. 1 in latest KHSBCA top 25

High School Baseball

The Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association has released its latest top 25 ranking last week. Check out the rankings below, noting the ties at No. 4 and No. 9:

  • 1 — St. Xavier
  • 2 — Lexington Catholic
  • 3 — Eastern
  • 4 — Male
  • 4 — Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • 6 — Apollo
  • 7 — Harrison County
  • 8 — Ballard
  • 9 — Central Hardin
  • 9 — Pleasure Ridge Park
  • 11 — Madison Central
  • 12 — West Jessamine
  • 13 — Lafayette
  • 14 — Trinity
  • 15 — Daviess County
  • 16 — Hopkinsville
  • 17 — Henderson County
  • 18 — Clay County
  • 19 — Beechwood
  • 20 — Somerset
  • 21 — Tates Creek
  • 22 — Danville
  • 23 — Covington Catholic
  • 24 — Pikeville
  • 25 — Woodford County
You can see the other schools receiving votes here.

St. Xavier headlines latest KHSBCA top 25 poll

High School Baseball

The Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association has released its first in-season top 25 rankings. Check out the top 25 below (Note the ties for No. 11, 20 and 22):

  • 1) St. Xavier High School
  • 2) Harrison County High School
  • 3) Male High School
  • 4) Apollo High School
  • 5) Lexington Catholic High School
  • 6) Eastern High School
  • 7) Pleasure Ridge Park High School
  • 8 ) Central Hardin High School
  • 9) Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
  • 10) Lawrence County High School
  • 11) Madison Central High School
  • 11) Trinity High School
  • 13) Ballard High School
  • 14) West Jessamine High School
  • 15) Lafayette High School
  • 16) Daviess County High School
  • 17) Clay County High School
  • 18) Henderson County High School
  • 19) Lexington Christian Academy
  • 20) Beechwood High School
  • 20) Tates Creek High School
  • 22) Christian County High School
  • 22) Somerset High School
  • 24) Russell County High School
  • 25) Pikeville High School

You can see the top 25 with the “others receiving votes” here.

Harrison County headlines KHSBCA preseason top 25

High School Baseball

The Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association has released its preseason top 25 rankings. Check out the list below or at the KHSBCA website here. (Note the two-way tie for No. 14 and three-way tie for No. 19)

  • 1) Harrison Count High School
  • 2) St. Xavier High School
  • 3) Lexington Catholic High School
  • 4) Apollo High School
  • 5) Pleasure Ridge Park High School
  • 6) Eastern High School
  • 7) Male High School
  • 8) Trinity High School
  • 9) Central Hardin High School
  • 10) Ballard High School
  • 11) Lexington Christian Academy
  • 12) West Jessamine High School
  • 13) Lafayette High School
  • 14) Christian County High School
  • 14) Henderson County High School
  • 16) Henry County High School
  • 17) Lawrence County High School
  • 18) Lone Oak High School
  • 19) Bryan Station High School
  • 19) Clay County High School
  • 19) Mercer County High School
  • 22) Pikeville High School
  • 23) Oldham County High School
  • 24) Tates Creek High School
  • 25) Warren Central High School

Yahoo! Sports posts unconfirmed UK signing class

College Baseball, High School Baseball

We’ve noted each of the college baseball early signing classes released by Kentucky schools, but the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky have not officially announced their early classes. Despite the lack of a university news release Yahoo! Sports posted a signing list for UK on the Rivals.com message board thread where Kendall Rogers was tracking signing classes from across the country. The list matches previous media reports about commitments but has not been confirmed by UK:

  • RHP Chandler ShepherdLawrence County High School
  • RHP Spencer DrakeEastern High School
  • INF Ryan LoehnertSt Xavier High School
  • RHP Taylor MartinLexington Catholic High School
  • OF Jeff Boehm — Lansing, Ill.
  • LHP Jerad Grundy — Heartland CC
  • OF Austin Cousino — Dublin, Ohio
  • C Greg Fettes — Madison Heights, Mich.
  • INF Max Kuhn — Zionsville, Ind.
  • LHP Sam Mahar — Pleasant Prairie, Wisc.
  • LHP AJ Reed — Terre Haute, Ind.
  • RHP Shane Grimm — Walters State CC

Yahoo! Sports didn’t list Grimm on their Kentucky early signing period class, but the Herald-Leader reported in August the former Paintsville High School star had committed to UK. The headliner of the class is probably Cousino, who was named the tournament MVP at the 2009 IBAF ‘AA’ World Youth Championships for Team USA (16U). Shepherd, Drake and Martin were each named KHSBCA 2nd Team All-State in 2010.

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.

Early NCAA Signing Period Rundown

College Baseball, High School Baseball

The early signing period for college baseball opened this week. Teams won’t likely announce their classes until the end of the period, but here’s a quick rundown of the signings we’ve heard so far:

  • DuPont Manual High School prep Craig Pearcy signed with Morehead State University, St. X pitchers Ian Tompkins and Matt Spalding signed with Western Kentucky University,  St. X pitcher Ryan Loehnert signed with the University of Kentucky and Manual prep Dalton Brown signed with Spalding, Jody Demling of the Courier-Journal reports.
  • Bill Harrison of the Chicago Tribune reports Chicago prep Jeff Boehm of Mount Carmel High School signed with the UK.
  • Warren East High School infielder/pitcher Mark Briggs signed with the University of Louisville, the Bowling Green Daily News reports.
  • Erik Hall of the News Tribune reports Illinois preps Mason Snyder and Joey Ceja both signed with UofL.

Kentucky prep pitchers highlight wood-bat tournament; Revere stays hot in AFL; Gibson excels for Morehead

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Jon Rauch; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links and highlights from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Conor Glassey of Baseball America recaps the action from the World Wood Bat Championship, highlighting performances from Lexington Catholic High School right-handed pitcher Tyler Arthur and St. X right-handed pitcher Matt Spalding.
  • Mark Polishuk of MLBTradeRumors evaluates former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch‘s free agent stock.
  • On Wednesday former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke earned his first save for the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League. Former Lexington Legend right-handed pitcher Kyle Greenwalt pitched four scoreless innings for the win.
  • On Thursday Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 3-6 with three RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base for the Peoria Saguaros of the AFL.
  • Former UofL right-handed pitcher B. J. Rosenberg took the loss after surrendering four runs in one inning for the Mesa Solar Sox of the AFL.
  • Morehead State University sophomore right-handed pitcher Cody Gibson struck out 10 batters in six innings to lead the Gold team to a 2-0 series lead in the Eagles’ fall scrimmage series.

Burke contemplating retirement after release

Minor League Baseball

Chris Burke; Photo by grovesa16 via Flickr

Louisville native and St. Xavier High School alum Chris Burke is contemplating retirement after being released by the Cincinnati Reds, Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal reports. Burke had spent all of 2010 with the Louisville Bats. The 30-year-old outfielder is perhaps most famous for his game-winning home run, above, in the bottom of the 18th inning of game four of the 2005 National League Division Series. The victory clinched the series win for the Houston Astros. Burke told Grant he has been contacted by several Major League teams but would only consider continuing to play if he had a chance for a MLB callup this season. (Read more)

Mr. Ky. Baseball: Where are they now?

High School Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Austin Kearns; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

We did this last summer, but with Monday’s announcement that Western Hills shortstop J. T. Riddle had been named the 2010 Mr. Baseball it’s always fun to look back on previous Mr. Baseballs and see where they are today. Check out the list below with each player’s most recent baseball affiliation:

  • 2010: J. T. Riddle (Western Hills) — Riddle has signed to play college ball at the University of Kentucky in 2011 and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 35th round of the 2010 MLB draft.
  • 2009: Luke Maile (Covington Catholic) — Maile is a rising sophomore at UK and was 7-25 with three home runs and six RBI in limited action as a freshman.
  • 2008: Zack Cox (Pleasure Ridge Park) — Spent 2010 as a sophomore at Arkansas where he was named an All-American by several outlets after batting .429. Cox was the first-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2010 MLB draft.
  • 2007: Ben Revere (Lexington Catholic) — Revere was the Minnesota Twins’ first round pick in 2007 and has done nothing but hit in his Minor League career. Revere is currently batting .307 with 21 stolen bases for the AA New Britain Rock Cats and was named the fifth best prospect in the Twins’ system by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season.
  • 2006: Nathan Adcock (North Hardin) — After three and one-half mediocre season in the Seattle Mariners’ organization Adcock was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009 as part of the Jack Wilson trade. Adcock is having his best season to date in 2010 for the high A Bradenton Marauders where he is 6-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 13 starts.
  • 2005: Chaz Roe (Lafayette) — Roe was the Colorado Rockies’ first-supplemental round pick in the 2005 MLB draft and has worked his way through the Minor Leagues to AAA. Last year was Roe’s best season to date when he went 7-3 with a 3.15 ERA for AA Tulsa, but he has struggled so far in 2010 to the tune of a 5-7 record and 5.86 ERA in hitter-friendly AAA Colorado Springs.
  • 2004: Collin Cowgill (Henry Clay) — Cowgill was a standout in his four seasons at UK and has continued to excel in professional baseball after the Arizona Diamondbacks took him with their fifth-round pick in 2008. Named the ninth best prospect in the D’Backs farm system by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season, Cowgill is batting .280 with five home runs and 43 RBI for AA Mobile this season.
  • 2003: Josh Ellis (Paul Laurence Dunbar) — While older brother A.J. Ellis has carved a niche for himself as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ backup catcher this season, Josh is still working his way through the Diamobacks system after the team selected him in the 11th round of the 2007 draft. Ellis is 1-0 with a  2.86 ERA in 18 relief appearances between AAA Reno and AA Mobile this season.
  • 2002: Brad Corley (Pleasure Ridge Park) — Corley was the Pirates second-round pick as an outfielder in 2005 and was named the tenth best prospect in the team’s system by Baseball America entering the 2008 season. Corely’s career stalled after that honor. and he hasn’t advanced past AA since. He was acquired by Colorado in 2009 and is currently playing for short-season Tri-City as he attempts to become a full-time pitcher.
  • 2001: Jeremy Sowers (Ballard) — Sowers was the Indian’s first-round pick in 2004 out of Vanderbilt University and has appeared in 72 games over parts of four season with the Indians. Sowers is 18-30 as a MLB starting pitcher, and he is currently struggling to the tune of a 1-4 record and 6.49 ERA as a left-handed reliever for AAA Columbus.
  • 2000: Spencer Graeter (Ballard) — Greater batted .307 with 14 home runs and 98 RBI in four seasons for UK from 2001-2004 but never appeared in affiliated ball.
  • 1999: Joe Blanton (Franklin-Simpson) — Blanton has appeared in two World Series and even earned a victory in game four of the Philadelphia Phillies World Series win in 2008. Blanton is just 2-5 with a 6.96 ERA in eight starts for Philadelphia this season, but is 65-59 with a 4.34 ERA in seven MLB seasons with the Oakland Athletics and Phillies.
  • 1998: Austin Kearns (Lafayette) — Kearns won a job as a reserve outfielder with the Cleveland Indians in Spring Training and has worked his way into a starting role. On the season Kearns is batting .288 with seven home runs an 32 RBI. In nine MLB seasons, Kearns has batted .258 with 112 home runs and 454 RBI with the Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and Indians.
  • 1997: Scott Hodges (Henry Clay) — Hodges was the Montreal Expos’ first-round pick in 1997 and spent nine seasons in the Minor Leagues appearing as high as AAA. In 2005 he was diagnosed with lymphoma, ending his career.
  • 1996: Aaron McGlone (Greenup Co.) — McGlone batted .345 with eight home runs and 51 RBI for UK in 2000, but never appeared in affiliated ball.
  • 1995: Brad Wilkerson (Apollo) — Wilkerson spent parts of eights season in the Major Leagues, batting .247 with 122 home runs and 399 RBI for the Expos, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays. He retired in 2008 before briefly making a comeback with the Phillies during Spring Training this season only to announce his retirement for good.
  • 1994: Scott Downs (Pleasure Ridge Park) — Downs was the Chicago Cubs’ third-round pick in 1997 out of UK, and has spent parts of ten season in the big leagues. Over the past four seasons he has carved out a niche as one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball with the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2010 he is 2-5 with a 3.34 ERA in 34 games for the Blue Jays.
  • 1993: Dion Newby (Harrison Co.) — Newby played collegiately at North Alabama but never appeared in affiliated ball.
  • 1992: Shon Walker (Harrison Co.) — Walker was the Pirates first-round pick in 1992 and last appeared in affiliated ball in 1998 at High A Lynchburg.
  • 1991: Trever Miller (Trinity) — Miller’s long Major League career is still going strong as a left-handed reliever in the St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen. Miller is 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 25 games for the Cardinals this season and is 18-16 with a 4.17 ERA over 12 MLB seasons. Miller was the Detroit Tigers’ first-round pick in 1991.
  • 1990: Darren Burton (Pulaski Co.) — Burton was the Royals’ fifth-round pick in 1990 and last appeared in affiliated ball at AA Altoona in 2001. He spent parts of six seasons in AAA.
  • 1989: Tab Brown (St. Xavier) — Brown was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1989 and spent at least two seasons in the Braves’ organization.