NKU OF named DII preseason all-Ameircan; Revere, Chapman among top MiLB prospects at their positions

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Northern Kentucky University senior outfielder Jason Crisper has been named a preseason NCAA DII all-American by Baseball America.
  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks Lexington Catholic alumĀ Ben Revere the No. 9 outfield prospect in MiLB.
  • Mayo ranks 2010 Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman the No. 1 left-handed pitching prospect in MiLB. Former Bowling Green Hot Rods left-handed pitcher Matt Moore checked in at No. 7 on the list.
  • May ranks 2009 Lexington Legends right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles the No. 10 right-handed pitching prospect in MiLB.
  • Mark Sheldon of MLB.com answers a few questions about 2010 Louisville Bats in his Reds mailbag, including Travis Wood, Juan Francisco and Chris Valaika.

Chapman, Alonso among best IL prospects; Kentucky players make AFL debuts; Zobrist, Rays eliminated


Aroldis Chapman; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The league championship series are set with a few Kentucky players remaining in the playoffs. Check out some links from around Kentucky baseball while you muster through far too many days without baseball before the second round of the playoffs:

  • Former Lexington Legends infielder Ben Zobrist and the Tampa Bay Rays were eliminated in a 5-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.
  • John Wagner of Baseball America ranks Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman No. 3 and first baseman Yonder Alonso No. 12 on the magazine’s top 20 International League prospects list.
  • In the accompanying online chat, Wagner answers a number of questions about Bats players including Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Juan Francisco, Chris Valaika and Travis Wood. (subscription required)
  • Frazier was 2-4 with a triple, RBI and run scored for Team USA in the team’s 7-2 loss to the Dominican Republic in the Pan Am Qualifying Tournament.
  • PRP alum Zack Cox, the Cardinals’ 2010 first-round pick, was 0-5 with four strikeouts in his Arizona Fall League debut for the Surprise Rafters.
  • Former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke pitched a scoreless inning in his AFL debut for the Peoria Javelinas.
  • Atlanta Braves right-handed pitching prospect Michael Broadway, born in Paducah, surrendered one run in one inning in his AFL debut for the Phoenix Desert Dogs.
  • Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco was 3-4 with a home run, three RBI and run scored for the Peoria Saguaros of the AFL. Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 0-1 in the game for Peoria.

Zobrist, Rauch, Wood excel on first day of playoffs

Major League Baseball

Ben Zobrist; Photo by Keith Allison via Flickr

Kentucky highlights from Wednesday playoff action and the latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch pitched a perfect inning for the Twins in the team’s 6-4 loss to the Yankees. Lexington native Austin Kearns didn’t appear in the game for New York.
  • Former Lexington Legends utility man Ben Zobrist plated the Rays only run in the team’s 5-1 loss to the Rangers with a solo home run. Zobrist finished the game 2-4 with a home run and double.
  • While the story of the Reds/Phillies game is undoubtedly Roy Halladay’s no-hitter, 2010 Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Travis Wood did pitch three and one-third scoreless innings of relief for the Reds. Wood struck out three while surrendering one hit and one walk.
  • Linda Blackford of the Lexington Herald-Leader profiles Baseball Hall of Fame Chairwoman Jane Forbes Clark, who is competing in the World Equestrian Games.

Kentuckians in MLB Playoffs

Major League Baseball

The playoffs are officially underway with the Texas Rangers up 4-0 on Tampa Bay at the time of this posting. The playoffs aren’t without plenty of Kentucky connections as every team except the Giants has a player with Bluegrass State connections. Check out the list of Kentucky natives and former minor league players participating in the playoffs below:

Cincinnati Reds (NL Central)

  • Edison Volquez — Louisville Bats (2010)*
  • Johnny Cueto — Louisville Bats (2007)
  • Aroldis Chapman — Louisville Bats (2010)
  • Logan Ondrusek — Louisville Bats (2008, 09, 10)
  • Bill Bray — Louisville Bats (2007, 08, 09, 10)
  • Homer Bailey — Louisville Bats (2007, 08, 09, 10)
  • Travis Wood — Louisville Bats (2009, 2010)
  • Joey Votto — Louisville Bats (2007)
  • Jay Bruce — Louisville Bats (2007, 08, 09)
  • Drew Stubbs — Louisville Bats (2008, 09)
  • Jonny Gomes — Louisville Bats (2009)
  • Ryan Hanigan — Louisville Bats (2003, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10)
  • Chris Heisey — Louisville Bats (2009)
  • Paul Janish — Louisville Bats (2007, 08)
  • Juan Francisco — Louisville Bats (2009, 10)

Philadelphia Phillies (NL East)

  • Joe Blanton — Franklin-Simpson HS (UK)

Atlanta Braves (NL Wild Card)

  • Jonny Venters — Born in Pikeville, Ky. (HS in Florida)
  • Brooks Conrad — Lexington Legends (2003)

Minnesota Twins (AL Central)

  • Jon Rauch — Oldham Co. High School (Morehead St.)

New York Yankees (AL Wild Card)

  • Austin Kearns — Lafayette High School

Tampa Bay Rays (AL East)

  • Ben Zobrist — Lexington Legends (2005)

Texas Rangers (AL West)

  • Josh Hamilton — Louisville Bats (2007)*

*– Volquez and Hamilton both played for Louisville only during rehab assignments.

End of season awards: Louisville Bats

Minor League Baseball

Wladimir Balentien; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The Louisville Bats were eliminated from the International League playoffs by Durham Sunday, bringing the team’s 2010 season to an end. The Bats used a late-season rally to finish at 79-65 on the season and win the IL West Division. In the third end of season awards post we’ll look at the best 2010 performances from the Cincinnati Reds’ AAA affiliate.

Hitter of the month: OF Wladimir Balentien

  • Bats outfielder Wladimir Balentien was one of the few Louisville batters to spend the whole season with the team. Balentien batted .282 with 25 home runs 78 RBI and 71 runs scored. The outfielder also stole 12 bases in 13 tries, boasted a .337 on-base percentage and .536 slugging percentage.
  • Honorable Mention — Infielder Chris Valaika led the team with a .304 batting average…First baseman Yonder Alonso batted .296 with 12 home runs in 101 games after a May promotion from AA…Outfielder Todd Frazier, shortstop Zach Cozart and third baseman Juan Francisco each slugged at least 17 home runs.

Pitcher of the month: LHP Matt Maloney

  • Left-handed starting pitcher Matt Maloney made 23 starts for Louisville on the season and led the team with 10 wins, a 3.34 ERA and 134 and two-third innings pitched. Maloney struck out 104 batters and walked just 28 on the season.
  • Honorable Mention — Left-handed pitcher Travis Wood boasted a 3.06 ERA in 16 games…Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman won nine games, saved eight and led the team with 125 strikeouts in 39 games between the bullpen and starting rotation…Right-handed pitcher Ben Jukich won seven games and struck out 103 in 115 and one-third innings.

MiLB Roundup: Bats, Hot Rods lose; Nidiffer hits 2 HRs; Gatrell, Broadway, Klinker, Jones, Revesz get wins

Minor League Baseball

Marcus Nidiffer, center; Photo: UK Athletics

Highlights from Saturday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats dropped consecutive games for the first time since the end of June and were shutout first the first time since July 1 with a 1-0 loss to Columbus. Left-handed pitcher Matt Maloney surrendered just one run in six innings of relief of Travis Wood.
  • Great Lakes scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning to break open a tied game and hand the Bowling Green Hot Rods a 10-5 loss. Shortstop Tyler Bortnick was 2-6 with a home run.
  • The Lexington Legends‘ game with the West Virginia Power was rained out.
  • In his second game for short-season Tri-City, former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer was 3-4 with two home runs, five RBI and two runs scored.
  • Former UK outfielder and 2010 Twins draftee Lance Ray was 3-4 with a double for low A Beloit.
  • Former UK catcher Sean Coughlin slugged his fifth home run of the season for AA Mobile.
  • Former UofL left-handed reliever and 2010 Cardinals draftee Bob Revesz earned his third win of the season for rookie-level Johnson City.
  • Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich was 3-4 with two doubles for short-season Hudson Valley.
  • Former WKU infielder Wade Gaynor was 3-6 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored for low A West Michigan.
  • Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones earned his ninth win of the season after surrendering one run on five hits in seven innings for high A Winston-Salem.
  • One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker picked up his 10th win of the season for AA Carolina with seven innings of one-run ball. Klinker struck out seven and walked none.
  • Paducah native Michael Broadway picked up his third win of the season for AAA Gwinnett.
  • Boyd County native and 2010 Royals NDFA Tyler Gatrell picked up his first career win for the rookie-level AZL Royals.

Kentuckians among MiLB All-Stars


Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

With today’s announcement of the AAA All-Star game rosters each of the full-season Minor Leagues has unveiled its All-Star roster. I’ve listed the Kentucky-related players below on each team with links to the full roster:

International League (AAA)

  • 2B — Chris Valaika — Louisville Bats*
  • LHP — Travis Wood — Louisville Bats

Pacific Coast League (AAA)

  • OF — Brian Bogusevic — Former Lexington Legend — Round Rock

Texas League (AA)

  • RHP — Jordan Lyles — Former Lexington Legend — Corpus Christi
  • 1B — Koby Clemens — Former Lexington Legend — Corpus Christi*

Eastern League (AA)

  • RHP — Trystan Magnuson — UoL — New Hampshire
  • OF — Ben Revere — Lexington Catholic HS — New Britain

Carolina League (High A)

  • RHP — Jose Duran — Former Lexington Legend — Frederick

California League (High A)

  • OF — Jay Austin — Former Lexington Legend — Lancaster

Florida State League (High A)

  • RHP — Joshua Satow — Former Bowling Green Hot Rod — Charlotte
  • RHP — Marquis Fleming — Former Bowling Green Hot Rod — Charlotte
  • LHP — Neil Schenk — Former Bowling Green Hot Rod — Charlotte
  • OF — Isaias Velasquez — Former Bowling Green Hot Rod — Charlotte
  • DH — Henry Wrigley — Former Bowling Green Hot Rod — Charlotte

Midwest League (Low A)

  • RHP — Alexander Colome — Bowling Green Hot Rods
  • RHP — Wilking Rodriguez — Bowling Green Hot Rods

South Atlantic League (Low A)

  • LHP — Robbie Ross — Lexington Christian Academy
  • RHP — Kirk Clark — Lexington Legends
  • 1B — Kody Hinze — Lexington Legends
  • 2B — Jose Altuve — Lexington Legends
  • OF — J. D. Martinez — Lexington Legends
  • 3B — Chris Dominguez — UofL — Augusta

Louisville Bats June Awards

Minor League Baseball

Travis Wood; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr

Today marks the turn of the calendar to July so its time to look back at June awards for each of the three Kentucky Minor League teams, other Kentuckians in MiLB and Kentucky major leaguers. We’ll start by looking at the Louisville Bats:

Hitter of the month: SS Zach Cozart

  • Stats: 32-116 (.276), 4 HR, 15 RBI, 12 R
  • Honorable Mention: Todd Frazier, Wilkin Castillo, Juan Francisco

Pitcher of the month: LHP Travis Wood

  • Stats: 2-2, 1.26 ERA, 5 GS, 35.2 IP, 37 SO, 6 BBs
  • Honorable Mention: Chad Reineke, Jesus Delgado, Carlos Fisher, Lee Tabor, Pedro Viola

Chowning signs; Wood to make MLB debut Thursday

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Travis Wood; Photo via Flickr by mwlguide

Latest links from around Kentucky MiLB:

  • Eastern High School (Louisville) alum and former Oklahoma right-handed pitcher Jason Chowning has signed with the Houston Astros as the team’s 28th-round draft pick according to a Astros’ news release.
  • Danville native Patrick Cooper has been assigned to the short-season Connecticut Tigers. He was the Tigers’ 14th-round pick in the 2010 draft.
  • Jim Shonerd of Baseball America examines the best and worst Minor League offenses and reports the Bowling Green Hot Rods have the third most stolen bases of any MiLB team.
  • Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle profiles Lexington Legends first baseman Kody Hinze and his excellent season in Lexington.
  • Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Travis Wood will make his MLB debut Thursday when he is promoted by the Cincinnati Reds to start against the Chicago Cubs.

Louisville Bats May Awards

Minor League Baseball

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