Juan Francisco; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr
Highlights from Monday Kentucky MiLB action:
- Right-handed pitcher Matt Maloney surrendered just one unearned run in six innings to lead the Louisville Bats to an 11-2 blowout win over Charlotte. Shortstop Zach Cozart, third baseman Juan Francisco, outfielder Wladimir Balentein and catcher Wilkin Castillo each homered in the game for Louisville.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods scored three runs in the eighth inning to earn a 7-5 come-from-behind win over Peoria. Designated hitter Cody Rogers homered and right fielder Brett Nommensen was 3-4.
- The Lexington Legends were off Monday.
- Former UK infielder and 2010 Padres draftee Chris Bisson was 3-4 for short-season Eugene.
- Former UK outfielder/first baseman and 2010 Twins draftee Lance Ray slugged his first professional home run for low A Beloit.
- Former UofL outfielder and 2010 Rangers draftee Joshua Richmond reached base five times via four walks and a single for short-season Spokane. He scored twice and drove in one run. In four professional games, Richmond is 5-13 (.385) with five RBI and four runs scored.
- Former UofL right-handed pitcher and 2010 White Sox draftee Thomas Royse took a no decision for rookie-level Great Falls after surrendering four runs in six innings. Royse struck out seven and walked none.
- Boyd County native and 2010 Royals NDFA Tyler Gatrell picked up his sixth save of the season for the rookie-level AZL Royals and still hasn’t surrendered an earned run in his professional career over 10 appearances.
Jayson Langfels; EKU photo
An abbreviated roundup of Tuesday Kentucky MiLB action as most leagues did not play yesterday:
- Each of the three Kentucky MiLB teams had the day off.
- Former UofL right-handed pitcher and 2010 Nationals draftee Neil Holland pitched a scoreless inning for short-season Vermont and hasn’t surrendered an earned run in his first seven professional outings over nine and two-third innings. On the season he has struck out 10 batters and walked just one.
- Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich extended his hitting streak to nine games.
- Former EKU third baseman and 2010 Rockies draftee Jayson Langfels slugged his first professional home run for short-season Tri-City.
- In that same game, Boyd County native and 2010 Royals NDFA Tyler Gatrell picked up his fifth save with a scoreless inning for the AZL Royals. Gatrell hasn’t surrendered an earned run in his first eight professional outings and has struck out 15 while walking just three in eight and one-third innings.
- Former UK outfielder Antone DeJesus was 1-2 with a triple and two RBI for AA Springfield.
- Frankfort native and 2010 Royals draftee Cameron Conner was 1-3 with a triple, walk, RBI and run scored for the rookie-level AZL Royals.
Colling Cowgill; Photo: UK Athletics
Highlights from Monday Kentucky MiLB action:
- The Louisville Bats swept a double-header from the Indianapolis Indians with a 6-0 win in game one and a 1-0 win in game two. Starting pitchers Ben Jukich and Chad Reineke each pitched five shutout innings for the two wins.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods scored a single run in the top of the ninth inning to earn a come-from-behind 8-7 win over the Fort Wayne TinCaps. Designated hitter Cody Rogers was 4-5 with two home runs, four RBI and two runs scored for the Hot Rods.
- The Lexington Legends were blown out 10-2 by the Augusta GreenJackets to even their series at one win each. Second baseman Jose Altuve was 2-3 with a run scored.
- Former UofL third baseman Chris Dominguez accounted for little of the GreenJackets’ offense in the game as he was 0-4 with a run scored.
- Former Campbellsville catcher Richie Rowland homered in his third consecutive game and extended his hitting streak to 12 games for rookie-level Missoula.
- Former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill launched his ninth home run of the season and drove in three runs for AA Mobile.
- Former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby was 3-4 with two doubles and a run scored for AAA Toledo and has hits in six straight games.
- Former WKU infielder Wade Gaynor was 3-4 with a triple, home run, four RBI and two runs scored for low A West Michigan.
- Former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer was 2-3 with two runs scored for high A High Desert and has hits in seven straight with multiple hits in five of those games.
- Former Morehead St. shortstop Drew Lee was 3-5 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored for rookie-level Bristol and is batting .328 in 14 professional games.
- Former Morehead St. outfielder J. D. Ashbrook was 3-4 with two runs scored in that same game for Bristol.
- Boyd County native right-handed pitcher Tyler Gatrell picked up his fourth save in six appearances and has not allowed an earned run in six and one-third professional innings.
Ryan Strieby; Photo via Flickr by mwlguide
Highlights from Saturday Kentucky MiLB action:
- The Louisville Bats scored a 2-0 shutout win over the Indianapolis Indians behind a strong pitching performance from right-handed pitcher Jesus Delgado, who surrendered just four hits in five innings. Right-handed reliever Carlos Fisher earned his first save of the season.
- The Lexington Legends secured a series win against the Hickory Crawdads with a 4-1 victory. First baseman Kody Hinze was 3-5 with a run scored.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods salvaged one game of its three-game home series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps with a 6-4 victory. Right fielder Brett Nommensen was 2-5 with a home run.
- Former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was 2-4 with a home run, two RBI and one run scored for AA Mobile.
- Former UK first baseman Ryan Streiby was 2-4 with a home run, one RBI and one run scored and has hits in his last four games for AAA Toledo.
- Former UofL infielder and 2010 draftee Adam Duvall had his best professional game to-date and was 3-5 with a home run, RBI and run scored for short-season Salem-Keizer.
- Former UofL third baseman Chris Dominguez was 3-6 with a double and run scored for low A Augusta.
- Former UofL right-handed pitcher Thomas Royse struggled for the second consecutive start after allowing five runs in two innings for rookie-level Great Falls.
- Former Morehead St. shortstop Drew Lee was 3-4 with a double and two runs scored for rookie-level Bristol.
- Former Campbellsville catcher Richie Rowland hit his first professional home run to extend his hitting streak to ten games for rookie-level Missoula.
- Boyd County native Tyler Gatrell picked up his third save for the rookie-level AZL Royals and hasn’t allowed a run in his first six professional innings.
Marcus Nidiffer, center; Photo: UK Athletics
Check out highlights from Kentucky-related Minor League play Tuesday with links taking you to game box scores:
- Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman blew his first save since moving to the bullpen in the Louisville Bats‘ 7-5 loss to the Durham Bulls. Cincinnati Reds right-handed pitcher Edison Volquez surrendered two runs in six innings and struck out seven in his second rebah start with the Bats.
- First baseman Aaron Bray tallied four hits and scored twice to lead the Lexington Legends to a 6-5 victory over the Hickory Crawdads. Right-handed pitcher Zachary Grimmett earned the win with four scoreless innings out of the Lexington bullpen.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods‘ offense was held in check by the Lansing Lugnuts in a 4-2 loss. Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates took a no decision after surrendering two runs in five innings in his fourth start of the season.
- Former UK catcher Marcus Nidiffer continued to make teams look foolish for not drafting him with a 3-7, double-header performance for the Greeneville Astros. Nidiffer launched his first two professional home runs and drove in four runs on the day. He’s batting .435 in his young career.
- Former UK second baseman Chris Bisson made his professional debut for the short-season Eugene Emeralds with an 0-3 performance. He did walk, steal a base and score.
- Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 draftee Dean Kiekhefer has been promoted to the low A Quad City River Bandits where he made his debut with four scoreless innings of relief Tuesday.
- Former NKU outfielder Jacob Shafer was 3-4 with a run scored Tuesday for the high A High Desert Mavericks and is 6-8 in his last two games with two runs scored.
- Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones moved to 6-2 on the season for the high A Winston-Salem Dash after allowing four runs in six and two-third innings Tuesday.
- In his first start for the AA Akron Aeros former Union College right-handed pitcher Marty Popham took a no decision despite allowing just one run in six innings. He struck out six and walked none.
- Boyd County native Tyler Gatrell recorded his first professional save by striking out two of the three batters he faced for the rookie-level AZL Royals.
Marcus Nidiffer; BluGrass Baseball photo
Most of the 2010 draftees who have already signed professional contracts have a few Minor League games under their belt by now so I thought I’d update you on their early performances. Check out the list below, organized by draft position, with Minor League team listed and Kentucky connection in parentheses:
- RHP Thomas Royse (UofL) — Great Falls Voyagers — 0-0, 1 GS, 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO
- 2B Chris Bisson (UK) — Eugene Emeralds — Has not played
- OF Lance Ray (UK) — Elizabethton Twins — 5-23 (.217), 2 RBI, 2 R
- SS Jonathan Roof (Paducah) — AZL Rangers — Has not played
- RHP Neil Holland (UofL) — Vermont Lake Monsters — 0-0, 2 G, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
- 2B Adam Duvall (UofL) — Salem-Keizer Volcanoes — 2-11 (.182), 3 R
- SS Drew Lee (Morehead St.) — Bristol White Sox — 8-23 (.348), 5 RBI, 3 R
- 1B Andrew Clark (UofL) — Spokane Indians — 11-28 (.393), 2 RBI, 3 R
- 3B Michael Mosby (Hawesville) — Bluefield Orioles — 4-10 (.400), 1 RBI, 3 R
- RHP Patrick Cooper (Danville) — Not assigned to a team
- 3B Jayson Langfels (EKU) — Tri-City Dust Devils — 2-15 (.133), 1 RBI
- 1B Wes Cunningham (Murray St.) — Eugene Emeralds — 1-14 (.071), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
- OF Cameron Conner (Frankfort) — AZL Royals — 3-18 (.167), 1 RBI
- C Jeff Arnold (UofL) — Salem-Keizer Volcanoes — 4-14 (.286), 2 R
- 2B Matt Payton (WKU) — GCL Phillies — 2-19 (.105)
- RHP Matt Little (UK) — Connecticut Tigers — 0-0, 4 G, 1 SV, 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
- LHP Jarrett Casey (NKU) — Bristol White Sox — 0-1, 2 G, 1 SV, 2.2 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO
- 1B Tyler Oliver (Lexington) — 7-18 (.389), 5 RBI, 2 R
- RHP Stephen Shackleford (Louisville) — 0-1, 2 G, 3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
- LHP Dean Kiekhefer (UofL) — 0-1, 1 G, 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
- OF Jeremy Shelby (Lexington) — Bluefield Orioles — 1-8 (.125), 2 R, 1 SB
- LHP Bart Carter (WKU) — Fort Myers Miracle — 3 G, 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
- RHP Matt Ridings (WKU) — Out for season after Tommy John Surgery
- 2B Patrick Brady (Bellarmine) — AZL Mariners — 0-4, 1 R
- LHP Bob Revesz (UofL) — Johnson City Cardinals — 0-0, 1 G, 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
- C Marcus Nidiffer (UK) — Greenville Astros — 7-16 (.438), 2 RBI, 2 R
- 3B Gunner Glad (UK) — Elizabethton Twins — 5-20 (.200), 3 R
- RHP Tyler Gatrell (Boyd Co.) — AZL Royals — 0-0, 2 G, 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
- OF J. D. Ashbrook (Morehead St.) — 2-11 (.182), 1 R
- C Richie Rowland (Campbellsville) — 9-17 (.529), 3 RBI, 3 R
UK Athletics Wallpaper
University of Kentucky junior first baseman and outfielder Lance Ray has signed a professional contract with the Minnesota Twins as the team’s eighth-round pick. Ray was a little-used reserve for UK during the first half of the 2010 season, but after moving into the starting lineup full-time during conference play he quickly became the team’s best hitter. Ray finished the season batting .356 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI but didn’t qualify for the batting title with only 118 at-bats. If Ray had qualified for the title he also would have led the team in on-base percentage (.458) and slugging percentage (.720). Ray made his professional debut Tuesday for the rookie Elizabethton Twins, playing alongside former UK teammate Gunner Glad. Ray was 0-4 with a strikeout in his debut.
Now that the rookie leagues’ seasons are underway several other 2010 Kentucky draftees have received their first professional assignment. We listed several assignments earlier this week, but here are the latest we’ve seen listed by draft order.
* — Glad and Gatrell were non-drafted free agents.
Zack Cox; University of Arkansas photo
The Major League Baseball amateur player’s draft kicks off tonight with the first round in primetime so we’ll spend the day preview Kentucky players that might hear their names called at some point in the 50-round draft. First we’ll look at alumni of Kentucky high schools playing elsewhere in college baseball and players that have spent some time at a Kentucky college who figure to be drafted:
First Round Talent
- The crown jewel of the Kentucky draft class is without a doubt Pleasure Ridge Park alumni Zack Cox, currently a third baseman for the University of Arkansas. Cox is ranked by many as the best college bat in the entire draft and should last no longer than the first 10 picks. Several mock drafts have him going to the Mets at No. 7 overall. Since Cox is a draft-eligible sophomore he is considered a tougher sign than your average top-ten pick and could be pushed back to college if a team isn’t willing to meet his reportedly high contract demands.
- Since former University of Kentucky senior left-handed pitcher James Paxton was drafted in the supplemental first round by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010, Paxton has been busy. First he shocked the baseball world by returning to UK for his senior season, then he became the subject of an NCAA investigation after comments from a Blue Jays official in a Canadian newspaper implicated him of violating the NCAA’s no-agent rule, sued UK for holding him out of competition and finally left school to prepare for this year’s draft in the independent American Association. After all that, Paxton appears likely to end up where he started as a supplemental-round pick. He could slide to the second round after missing so much time and would need to grant his home-country Blue Jays permission to draft him for a second consecutive year.
Other prospects of note:
- Danville native and former Eastern Kentucky University pitcher Patrick Cooper was selected in the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 34th round in 2009, but opted to follow through with his commitment to Bradley University, where he struggled at times as a junior. Cooper was a Cape Cod League All-Star last summer and could improve his draft status to the first 10 rounds after improving down the stretch for Bradley. In his last three starts Cooper, a right-handed pitcher who touched 93 mph with his fastball in the Cape, surrendered just four earned runs in his last three starts.
- Paducah native and Michigan St. junior shortstop Jonathan Roof will look to follow his two brothers, Eric and Shawn, into professional baseball. Roof was an All-Big Ten shortstop for Michigan St. in 2010 and profiles as an excellent defender. Baseball America projects Roof to go somewhere around the 10th round.
- RHP/INF Damon McCormick — St. X — Valparaiso
- C Wes Wilson — Bryan Station — Indiana
- LHP David Vicini — Lexington Catholic — Austin Peay
- LHP Jack Snodgrass — Bowling Green HS — Austin Peay
- RHP Tyler Gatrell — Boyd County — Marshall
- RHP Chad Edwards — Reidland — Middle Tennessee