The Bowling Green Hot Rods digressed in their second season from a 64-74 record in 2009 to a 61-78 record in 2010. The Hot Rods were slightly worse in the second half of the season than the first, but were consistently below average for the whole year. The season wasn’t without its highlights though as the Hot Rods led the Midwest League with 249 stolen bases, 64 more than the second place team. In the second end of season awards post we’ll look at the best performances at the plate and on the mound from Bowling Green in 2010.
Hitter of the year: 2B Tyler Bortnick
Infielder Tyler Bortnick spent all but 12 games in Bowling Green this season and finished the year as the only Hot Rod with a batting average above .300. Bortnick batted .303 with eight home runs, 45 RBI, 72 runs scored and 39 stolen bases in 113 games with the Hot Rods. Bortnick’s 39 steals were seventh most in the Midwest League, and he ranked tenth in batting average.
Honorable mention — Outfielder Brett Nommensen led the team with 10 home runs and 68 RBI…Outfielder Ty Morrison ranked second in the Midwest League with 58 stolen bases…Outfielder Christopher Murrill stole 28 bases and batted .292 in 70 games.
Pitcher of the year: RHP Alexander Colome
Right-handed starting pitcher Alexander Colome was the only Hot Rods’ pitcher with enough innings to qualify for the league ERA title to post an ERA below 4.00. On the season Colome was 6-6 with a 3.95 ERA in 22 starts for the Hot Rods. Colome struck out 118 batters and walked 45 in 114 innings.
Honorable Mention — Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates posted a 3.30 ERA in 27 games, including 12 starts…Reliever Scott Shuman led the team with 14 saves…Left-handed pitcher Kyle Lobstein led the team with nine wins and 128 strikeouts.
The Louisville Bats opened their seven-game homestand with a 5-1 win over Indianapolis. Right fielder Wladimir Balentien was 3-4 with two home runs, four RBI and two runs scored.
The Lexington Legends blew a 4-0, eighth inning lead in an eventual 5-4 loss to Augusta. Right-handed pitcher Jose Cisnero took a no decision despite facing the minimum 21 batters through seven shutout innings. Cisnero surrendered one hit and struck out four.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods failed to secure a series split against South Bend with a 3-2 loss Tuesday. Center fielder Ty Morrison was 2-4 with two RBI.
Former EKU third baseman and 2010 Rockies draftee Jayson Langfels slugged his fourth home run of the season for short-season Tri-City.
Former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer was 3-5 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored for high A High Desert.
Former Murray St. first baseman and 2010 Padres draftee Wes Cunningham slugged his fourth home run of the season for short-season Eugene.
Former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Henry Mabee earned his third win of the season with two shutout innings for AA Birmingham.
London native Jon Townsend slugged his sixth home run of the season for high A Rancho Cucamonga.
The Louisville Bats opened their road trip with a 6-5 win over Toledo. Right fielder Daniel Dorn homered and drove in three runs, and first baseman Yonder Alonso was 2-4 with two double, RBI and run scored.
The Lexington Legends held off a late Delmarva rally to record a 6-4 win over the Shorebirds. Second baseman Jimmy Paredes was 3-5 with a double, run scored, RBI and his 42nd stolen base of the season. Right-handed pitcher Zachary Grimmett improved to 5-2 on the season after surrendering one run in seven innings.
Bowling Green Hot Rods center fielder Ty Morrison singled with two outs in the ninth inning to break up a no-hitter, but was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double to end the game in the Hot Rods’ 2-0 loss to Fort Wayne. Right-handed pitcher Jason McEachern took the loss despite surrendering just two runs in five innings.
Former UofL infielder Chris Dominguez was 3-4 with his 17th home run of the season, four RBI and two runs scored for low A Augusta.
Former UK infielder and 2010 Twins NDFA Gunner Glad was 3-5 with a double, RBI and two runs scored for rookie-level Elizabethton.
Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer slugged his third home run in four games and 11th home run of the season for rookie-level Greeneville.
Former UofL outfielder and 2010 Rangers draftee Josh Richmond slugged his third home run of the season for short-season Spokane.
Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar homered for the second consecutive game and 16th time this season for low A Greensboro.
Former Murray St. left-handed pitcher Daniel Calhoun moved to 7-0 on the season after picking up the win with two and two-thirds innings on one-run relief for low A Quad Cities.
Former Morehead St. shortstop and 2010 White Sox draftee Drew Lee was 3-5 with a double and three RBI for rookie-level Bristol.
One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker took the loss for AA Carolina after surrendering five runs in seven innings.
Trinity High School alum Tyler Kuhn was 3-3 with two runs scored and one RBI for AA Birmingham.
Former UK outfielder and 2010 Braves NDFA Keenan Wiley made his professional debut with a 1-2 performance for rookie-level Danville.
The Louisville Bats‘ winning streak was snapped at 11 games in a 9-8 loss to Columbus. Center fielder Michael Griffin was 3-4 with two home runs, two RBI and two runs scored, and third baseman Todd Frazier tallied three hits and homered.
Rehabbing Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Garrett Mock combined with three other Hagerstown pitchers on a 2-0 shutout win over the Lexington Legends. Lexington right-handed pitcher Zachary Grimmett took the loss despite surrendering just two runs on six hits in six innings.
South Bend scored three runs in the ninth inning to hand the Bowling Green Hot Rods an 8-7 loss. Center fielder Ty Morrison slugged his sixth home run of the season, and right-handed pitcher Jason McEachern took a no decision after surrendering three runs in seven innings.
Lexington native Robbie Ross suffered a loss for high A Bakersfield after surrendering six runs in four innings.
Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar was 2-4 with a home run and two RBI for low A Greensboro.
Former UofL infielder Justin McClanahan slugged his fifth home run of the season high A Dunedin.
One-time UK outfielder Jason Kipnis slugged his 13th home run of the season for AA Akron.
Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock fell to 8-7 on the season after surrendering four runs in five innings.
Louisville native Richard Sullivan earned his fourth win of the season with three shutout innings of relief for AA Mississippi.
Louisville Slugger Field; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Tuesday was media day for each of the state’s three minor-league teams. I wasn’t able to attend because of class and the UK/UofL college game, but check out these profiles and recaps of the proceedings from the state’s media:
Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal reports the Louisville Bats will have eight of the Reds’ top ten prospects in Baseball America‘s rankings in addition to Kentucky natives Chris Burke and Josh Anderson.
The C-J also reports Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman may make his home debut for the Bats on April 16.
Mark Maloney of the Herald-LeaderreportsLexington Legends manager Rodney Linares is happy to be back with the team.
Michael Compton of the Bowling Green Daily News talks to Hot Rods manager Brady Williams and outfielder Ty Morrison about the importance of interacting with the local fans.
USA Today lists Louisville Slugger Field as one of ten distinctive minor-league venues to visit.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods have released their 2010 Opening Day roster for its first season in the Midwest League. The Hot Rods will feature four players, right-handed pitchers Shane Dyer, Jairo De La Rosa and Deivis Mavares and infielder Robi Estrada, who spent part of 2009 with the team. Five 2010 Hot Rods were ranked by Baseball America on the Tampa Bay Rays’ top 30 prospects list, and I’ve included those rankings next to the players’ name below.