Draft Preview: University of Louisville

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball

The Cards have more important things than the draft to worry about tonight with a elimination game against Vanderbilt in the NCAA regional, but the next three days could have huge implications for several Cards. Baseball America projects UofL to have six hitters drafted, but the Cards draft prospects are led by their weekend ace. Check out breakdowns of those players and more below:

The sure thing

  • Junior right-handed ace Thomas Royse was untouchable at times during the 2010 season en route to being named Big East Conference pitcher of the year. Baseball America ranks Royse the No. 182 prospect in the draft due to his low-to-mid 90s fastball and good control. Royse is 9-1 with a 2.91 ERA for UofL this season and struck out 94 in 99 innings while walking just 25. BA projects the Lexington native to go between the fourth and sixth rounds.

Other prospects of note:

  • Junior outfielder Josh Richmond missed much of the season with a hand injury, but his five-tool talent could land him a selection in the first 10 rounds. Richmond was projected as high as a third-rounder entering the season, but his injury history will likely hurt his stock on draft day. Richmond will need to prove he’s health in summer ball to whatever team drafts him, though he may return to UofL for another year to improve his stock.
  • Redshirt sophomore outfielder Stewart Ijames missed the 2009 season with a shoulder injury, but rebounded in 2010 to bat .328 with 14 home runs. Ijames profiles only as a left-fielder as a professional and might be a difficult sign due to his two remaining years of collegiate eligibility.
  • No on has ever doubted junior third baseman Phil Wunderlich‘s power, but his lack of a true position hurts his value. The slugger will likely have to move to first as a pro and will hope to be selected in the mid rounds of the draft.
  • Senior first baseman Andrew Clark was selected by the Chicago Cubs as their 31st round pick in 2009 and likely improved his draft stock with his senior campaign despite missing time with a rib cage injury. Clark profiles as a good defender at first but some scouts question if he has enough power for the position.
  • Junior right-handed pitcher Gabriel Shaw was projected to close for UofL entering the season but instead did a little of everything else. He experience success as a starter in limited action, perhaps boosting his stock. Shaw might improve his stock by starting for an entire season as a senior.
  • Junior closer Neil Holland was one of the NCAA’s top relievers in 2010 and will have a chance to replicate that success in professional ball as a mid-to-late round pick. Holland held opposing batters to a .151 average on the season.
  • Senior catcher Jeff Arnold and senior shortstop Adam Duvall will have a chance to stick in professional ball as mid-to-late-round senior signs.

Other Eligible Juniors

  • OF Drew Haynes
  • LHP Bob Revesz
  • INF Mark Grieshaber
  • LHP Dean Kiekhefer
  • C J. J. Ethel
  • OF Nate Holland
  • LHP Brian Feekin

Other Eligible Seniors

  • RHP Tyler Mathis
  • RHP Matt Lea
  • C Justin Haywood

High School Signees

  • Baseball America ranks Bullitt East RHP Brandon Alphin one of six Kentucky high schoolers likely to be drafted.
  • BA ranks RHP Jeff Thompson the No. 20 prospect in Indiana.
  • RHP Dace Kime and LHP Joel Bender are among the top prep talents in Ohio but are both believed to be headed to Louisville after battling minor injuries this season.
  • BA ranked C Jake Depew the No. 20 prospect in Illinois.
  • Baseball America also projects Illinois RHP Chad Green could blossom into an early-round pick if he follows through on his UofL commitment.

BluGrass Baseball Tuesday Review: Week 14

College Baseball

The two non-OVC teams swept the in-state matchups Friday in the season’s last mid-week games. Check out recaps and awards from the games below:

  • No. 11 University of Louisville rode five RBI from senior catcher Jeff Arnold to a 14-3 blowout of Eastern Kentucky University Tuesday. Arnold was 2-5 with two runs scored, and five Cardinals tallied at least two hits in the game. Senior third baseman Phil Wunderlich was 3-5 with a run scored and RBI. Junior center fielder Josh Richmond, who was playing in his fourth game since missing 29 games with a broken hand, launched his first home run of the season. EKU senior first baseman Anthony Ottrando launched his 17th home run of the season. UofL senior right-handed pitcher Tyler Mathis was credited with the win after pitching two perfect innings. (Box Score)
  • Redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Joe Devine earned his first University of Kentucky career victory in a 6-3 win over Murray State University. Devine allowed one run on three hits in five and one-third innings and struck out four while walking one. UK junior second baseman Chris Bisson was 2-5 in the game, and six different Cats scored a run. Murray St. senior catcher Jason Laws and senior outfielder Daniel Hill each homered in the game. UK left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell earned his first save of the season but surrendered two runs in one and two-third innings. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: C Jeff Arnold (UofL)

  • Stats: 2-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 1 2B, 1 3B
  • Honorable Mention: Andrew Clark (UofL), Phil Wunderlich (UofL), Anthony Ottrando (EKU), Chris Bisson (UK), Jason Laws (Murray St.)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Joe Devine (UK)

  • Stats: 1-0, 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Tyler Mathis (UofL), Eric Sanders (EKU), Marc Harmon (Murray St.)

BluGrass Baseball Tuesday Review: Week 13

College Baseball

Kentucky teams were 1-2 on the diamond Tuesday, with Eastern Kentucky University the only team able to secure a win. Murray State University‘s game at Arkansas State was canceled. Check out the recaps below, including one from a classic game between two top 25 teams:

  • No. 9 University of Louisville lost an 11-10 heartbreaker to No. 23 Vanderbilt on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 17th inning. The game tied the record for longest in UofL history and lasted five hours and 33 minutes. Senior catcher Jeff Arnold was 4-8 in the game, and senior first baseman Andrew Clark was 4-7. Senior third baseman Phil Wunderlich tallied three hits and drove in two runs. Freshman right-handed pitcher Andy Flett took the loss in his first collegiate decision after surrendering the decisive home run to Vandy third baseman Jason Espositio. (Box Score)
  • Despite two home runs from junior right fielder Lance Ray, the University of Kentucky couldn’t hold on to a eight-run lead in a 18-17 loss in 10 innings to Indiana. The Cats led 16-8 in the eighth inning, but Indiana scored five runs in the eighth and three in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings. UK actually took a lead with one run in the top of the tenth, but the Hoosiers scored twice in the bottom of the frame to win. Senior catcher Marcus Nidiffer was 5-7 with a home run, and sophomore designated hitter Braden Kapteyn also homered. (Box Score)
  • Eastern Kentucky University rode two home runs and three RBI from senior first baseman Anthony Ottrando to a 7-5 win over Dayton. Sophomore shortstop Richie Rodriguez and senior catcher Joey Stevens each tallied three hits in the game. Sophomore right-handed reliever Matt Harris recorded the win after a scoreless inning of work. Junior right-handed pitcher Ryne Purcell recorded his ninth save of the season despite allowing one run in one inning. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: RF Lance Ray (UK)

  • Stats: 4-5, 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 SB
  • Honorable Mention: Marcus Nidiffer (UK), Anthony Ottrando (EKU), Richie Rodriguez (EKU), Andrew Clark (UofL), Jeff Arnold (UofL)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Matt Harris (EKU)

  • Stats: 1-0, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Anthony Bazzani (EKU), Bob Revesz (UofL), Tyler Mathis (UofL), Braden Kapteyn (UK)

BluGrass Baseball Saturday Review: Week 11

College Baseball
Recaps and awards from a rain-shortened day on the diamond:
  • Senior first baseman Andrew Clark homered twice and drove in eight to lead No. 12 University of Louisville to a 24-6 drubbing of Rutgers. Clark tallied four hits and scored four times to help the Cards secure the series sweep. Senior catcher Jeff Arnold was 3-3 with four RBI and three runs scored. Senior third baseman Phil Wunderlich and redshirt sophomore right fielder Stewart Ijames both homered in the game. Senior right-handed pitcher Tyler Mathis earned the win in relief. (Box Score)
  • The University of Tennessee scored two runs in the eighth innings to break a late tie and secure a 8-6 victory over the University of Kentucky. UK senior first baseman Gunner Glad and junior right fielder Lance Ray both homered in the game. Freshman left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers took the loss after allowing eight runs in seven innings. (Box Score)
  • Western Kentucky University wasted a strong start from senior right-handed pitcher Shane Cameron in a 5-4 loss to Troy in 10 innings. Cameron allowed four runs on eight hits in eight innings and stuck out six while walking none. Sophomore shortstop Logan Robbins paced the offense with a 2-4 performance with one home run, two RBI and a run scored. (Box Score)

Hitter of the day: 1B Andrew Clark (UofL)

  • Stats: 4-4, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R
  • Honorable Mention: Jeff Arnold (UofL), Stewart Ijames (UofL), Gunner Glad (UK), Logan Robbins (WKU)

Pitcher of the day: RHP Shane Cameron (WKU)

  • Stats: ND, 8 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO
  • Honorable Mention: Tyler Mathis (UofL), Bob Revesz (UofL), Matt Little (UK)

UofL Summer League Wrap Up

College Baseball

Tony ZychYesterday we looked at the UK players summer league summary.  Today we head west on I-64 to check out the rival UofL Cardinals summer league results, including a World Championship.

Team USA

  • RHP Tony Zych — Zych was UofL’s summer star, contributing to the Team USA’s World Challenge Championship with an 0-1 record and 2.93 ERA in six games.  Tony struck out 17 batters in 15.1 innings and held opponents to a .224 batting average.  UofL coach Dan McDonnell also served on the Team USA coaching staff.

Coastal Plain League

  • Stewart Ijames — Thomasville HiToms– Ijames was named a mid-season All Star for the National League squad and finished the season tied for league lead in home runs with 12.  Ijames batted .282 in 48 games on the season and drove in 37 runs.
  • Drew Haynes — Florence RedWolves — Haynes batted .235 in 28 games with 12 RBI and 12 runs scored for Florence.  Drew was a perfect 7-7 in stealing bases.