The Baseball America Prospect Handbook is simply a must-have for any minor-league baseball fan. My handbook, in which Baseball America ranks the top 30 prospects in each organization, came in today, and since I ordered it straight from BA they included a 31st prospect supplement for each team. I’m listing where Kentucy players rank in their organizations below, but I’ll leave all BA’s analysis out as incentive for you to go buy their great product.
- 3) — RHP Jordan Lyles — 2009 Lexington Legends
- 4) — RHP Sammy Gervacio — 2005/2006 Lexington Legends
- 6) — RHP Ross Seaton — 2009 Lexington Legends
- 8 — OF Jay Austin — 2009 Lexington Legends
- 11) — SS Tommy Manzella — 2006 Lexington Legends
- 12) — RHP Daniel Meszaros — 2009 Lexington Legends
- 14) — LHP Fernando Abad — 2008 Lexington Legends
- 15) — RHP Matt Nevarez — 2009 Lexington Legends
- 19) — RHP Arcenio Leon — 2009 Lexington Legends
- 20) — C/OF Koby Clemens — 2006/2007 Lexington Legends
- 21) — OF Brian Bogusevic — 2006 Lexington Legends
- 23) — RHP Evan Englebrook — 2005 Lexington Legends
- 25) — OF Collin DeLome — 2008 Lexington Legends
- 26) — LHP Polin Trinidad — 2007 Lexington Legends
- 27) — RHP Henry Villar — 2009 Lexington Legends
- 28) — RHP Ashton Mowdy — 2009 Lexington Legends
- 29) — LHP Brad Dydalewicz — 2009 Lexington Legends
- 30) — RHP Kyle Greenwalt — 2009 Lexington Legends
- 27) — LHP Justin Marks — University of Louisville
Toronto Blue Jays
- 1) — RHP Zach Stewart — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 7) — RHP Josh Roenicke — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 20) — RHP Daniel Webb — Ashland, Ky. (Blazer)
- 22) — RHP Trystan Magnuson — University of Louisville
- 22) — LHP Richard Sullivan — Louisville, Ky. (Ballard)
St. Louis Cardinals
- 27) — LHP Ben Jukich — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 9) — OF Collin Cowgill — University of Kentucky
San Francisco Giants
- 18) — 3B Chris Dominguez — University of Louisville
- 31) — C Craig Tatum — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 24) — RHP B. J. Rosenberg — University of Louisville
- 7) — LHP Robbie Ross — Lexington, Ky. (LCA)
Tampa Bay Rays
- 4) — LHP Matt Moore — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
- 6) — SS Tim Beckham — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
- 10) — RHP Nick Barnese — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
- 13) — RHP Joe Cruz — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
- 26) — LHP Frank De Los Santos — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
- 29) — C Jake Jefferies — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
- 31) — OF Keyong Kang — 2009 Bowling Green Hot Rods
- 1) — INF/OF Todd Frazier — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 2) — 1B Yonder Alonso — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 4) — OF Chris Heisey — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 5) — 3B Juan Francisco — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 7) — LHP Travis Wood — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 8 — LHP Matt Maloney — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 12) — SS/2B Chris Valakia — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 14) — RHP Logan Ondrusek — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 19) — RHP Enerio Del Rosario — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 22) — LHP Pedro Viola — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 2) — LHP Christian Friedrich — Eastern Kentucky University
- 24) — RHP Chaz Roe — Lexington, Ky. (Lafayette)
Kansas City Royals
- 19) — OF Jordan Parraz — 2007 Lexington Legends
- 11) — 1B Ryan Strieby — University of Kentucky
- 24) — 3B Wade Gaynor — Western Kentucky University
- 28) — RHP Scott Green — University of Kentucky
- 5) — OF Ben Revere — Lexington, Ky. (Lex Cath)
Chicago White Sox
- 25) — OF John Shelby — University of Kentucky
- 26) — RHP Nathan Jones — Northern Kentucky University
As the baseball world disects the flurry of moves made at the non-waiver trade deadline here are some BluGrass Baseball storylines to keep an eye on.
- Jordan Lyles led the Legends to a 11-0 rout of Charleston with six shutout innings.
- A two-hour rain delay didn’t slow down the Bowling Green offense as it hammered the Savannah Sand Gnats 11-2.
- A six-run fourth inning led Toledo to a 8-5 victory over Louisville.
- The Toronto Sun breaks down the former Bats the Blue Jays received in the Scott Rolen trade.
- The Cincinnati Enquirer breaks down the trade from the Reds’ side.
The non-waiver trade deadline came and went today with only one deal involving players with Kentucky ties. In a deal that just sneaked in before the deadline the Cincinnati Reds sent Louisville Bats reliever Zach Stewart and former Bats Josh Roenicke and Edwin Encarnacion to the Blue Jays for third baseman Scott Rolen.
Thursday was a slower night in BluGrass baseball news after Wednesday’s flurry of trade rumors and deals, but don’t worry there are still plenty of stories to get you through a Friday morning:
- EKU alum Christian Friedrich has picked up where he left of after returning from injury. The former Colonel struck out 11 and walked two while giving up one run in six innings for high A Modesto Thursday. Christian’s ERA is a minuscule 1.95 in 15 starts this season.
- Reds prospect Travis Wood had his worse start of the season, surrendering five runs in a 5-1 Louisville loss. Wood’s poor outing dropped him into second place for lowest ERA in the minors at 1.52 between Carolina and Louisville. Teammate Zach Stewart has the third lowest ERA at 1.67 between the same two teams.
- EKU sports breaks down the Josh Anderson trade.
- Lafayette alum Chaz Roe lowered his ERA to 3.30 and picked up his fourth win for AA Tulsa.
- According to the Diamondbacks official Web site UK alum Brandon Webb has had a setback in his rehab and will consult with Dr. Keith Meister to discuss his options.
- Mark Maloney at the Herald-Leader previews the Legends’ upcoming series at Charleston.
- The Legends and Hot Rods return to action tonight in Charleston and Savannah respectively.
- You can follow BluGrass Baseball on twitter and keep track of all the Kentucky-related deadline deals today. Will Scott Downs be traded? Will any other Kentucky prospects go? Find out this afternoon.
In the final segment of the BluGrass Baseball Top Prospects series I’ll give you my personal top 10 prospects of both Kentucky schools’ alumni and Kentucky minor leaguers. We’ll do this Letterman style with a countdown from 10 to one of each list.
Top 10 Prospects (Kentucky Alumni)
- #10) RHP Chaz Roe — Colorado Rockies — Roe’s star has dimmed slightly since the Rockies selected him with the 32nd pick in the 2005 draft. Roe had a significant hitch in his delivery coming out of high school that scared many scouts. Following a strong season in 2007 at high A Modesto Roe was ranked the 10th best prospect in the Rockies system by Baseball America. He struggled between Modesto and Tulsa in 2008, but has rebounded in 2009 with a 3-2 record, 3.08 ERA in 11 starts at Tulsa. Opponents are batting only .208 against Roe.
- #9) 3B Chris Dominguez — Oakland Athletics —Dominguez is the first 2009 draft pick to appear on this list and does so because of his plus power. BA said his combination of power, speed and arm strength was as intimidating as any player’s in the draft. Dominguez’s chief weakness is his ability to hit breaking balls and he’ll have to prove that he can adjust to professional pitching. So far, so good for Dominguez with a .293 average, seven home runs and 19 RBI in his first 19 professional games.
- #8) RHP Trystan Magnuson — Toronto Blue Jays — Magnuson bottomed out during Toronto’s experiment in converting him to a starter after he closed at Louisville. Trystan was 0-9 with a 5.40 ERA in 24 starts in 2008, but he has excelled since moving back to the bullpen in 2009. Magnuson is old (24) for the high A Florida State League, but opponents have been no match for him in the pen. With a 4-0 record, 2.98 ERA and .246 opponents batting average Magnuson could be in line for a promotion soon.
- #7) LHP James Paxton — Toronto Blue Jays — Paxton hasn’t pitched in a single professional game; he hasn’t even signed his contract. If we assume he does sign with the Jays before the August deadline Paxton ranks this high on the top prospects list based solely on his high ceiling. He was one of the youngest juniors in the country (21), is left handed, and has thrown as hard as 97 mph. That combination could be lethal if he lives up to his talent in professional ball.
- #6) OF Collin Cowgill — Arizona Diamondbacks — You can’t start a professional career much better than Cowgill did in 2008. He finished the season as the short-season Northwest League leader in home runs with 11. The interesting part of that statistic is he only played in 20 games in the league. At 5’9 Collin will always have to outperform his stature. If he reaches his potential he could be a second or third place hitter with a high on-base percentage and above-average power. Collin has been on the DL for high A Visalia since June 15.
- #5) OF John Shelby — Chicago White Sox — Shelby has struggled in 2009 at AA Birmingham with a .237 average, seven home runs and 38 RBI in 87 games. Despite the struggles Shelby still represents one of the best power/speed combinations in the White Sox’s organization. His 17 stolen bases this season show his speed hasn’t suffered any. If Shelby can adjust to more advanced pitching he could turn into a plus defender in the outfield who could bat near the top of a major league lineup.
- #4) 1B Ryan Strieby — Detroit Tigers — No Kentucky minor leaguer has been more consistent than Strieby. Ryan has improved his batting average, home run and RBI totals in each season of his professional career. While he has moved up the minor leagues Strieby has only improved and 2009 might be his best season yet with a .305 batting average, 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 76 games for AA Erie. Strieby has been an all-star in each of the last three seasons and could become a middle of the lineup power/RBI threat for Detroit.
- #3) LHP Robbie Ross — Texas Rangers — Ross signed too late to make his professional debut in 2008, but the he has lived up to his second-round hype in 2009. Through seven starts for short-season Spokane, Ross is 3-1 with a 2.29 ERA. In 35.1 innings Ross has 48 strikeouts and just 8 walks. Opponents are batting just .231 against Ross. Robbie is still young (20) and will be given every chance to move quickly up the Rangers’ farm system. Ross featured a mid-90s fastball and impressive secondary pitches coming out of Lexington Christian Academy and could develop into a front of the rotation left-handed starting pitcher.
- #2) OF Ben Revere — Minnesota Twins — When you lead the minor leagues with a .379 batting average and flirt with .400 for much of the season, rankings like this one come your way. Revere has cooled a little in 2009 but is still holding his own with a .312 batting average at high A Fort Meyers. The Lexington Catholic product has blazing speed as evidenced by his 33 steals in 89 games this season. Ben almost never strikes out (just 33 in 343 at-bats in 2009) and has all the tools to develop into an all-star lead-off hitter in the future.
- # 1) LHP Christian Friedrich — Colorado Rockies — With bookends Roe and Friedrich, the Rockies are the second organization with two prospects represented on this list. Christian is an EKU alum with the best curveball in the Rockies’ system according to Baseball America. Friedrich also features a low 90s fastball and a slider and changeup. He has been lights out in 2009 with a 5-3 record and 2.11 ERA between low A Asheville and high A Modesto. BA highlighted his sometimes spotty control as Friedrich’s principle weakness, but with 96 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 76.2 innings Friedrich has figured that out.
Hit the jump for the top ten prospects currently playing for Kentucky minor league teams.
If you click over to the “Ky. in the Minors” page you can see an in-depth list of every minor league player with Kentucky ties. As always, if you know of a player who is not on the list you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. So you have a list of every Kentucky player in the minors, but which of those players have the best chance to become impact major leaguers? My goal in this series of posts is to let you know which minor leaguers from Kentucky are top prospects. I’ll start by examining where these players and the members of the state’s three minor league teams rank on their Baseball America’s organization top 30s and will work toward a master list of Kentucky prospects.
In the first installment of the “BluGrass Baseball Top Prospects” post, here are the top organizational prospects on the state’s three minor league teams according to Baseball America.
Bowling Green Hot Rods
- #2 — SS Tim Beckham — Beckham ranked only behind Tampa Bay pitcher David Price on the Baseball America top 30 prospects list for the Rays. Since Price is currently pitching for the Rays his prospect status will soon be exhausted, and Beckham should move up to the number one spot. Beckham, the number one pick in the 2008 draft, is from Griffin, Ga., and has all the tools to become an all-star shortstop. In Baseball America’s mid-season prospect report for Tampa Bay, the publication listed Tim Beckham as the player who took the “biggest leap forward.”
- #6 — LHP Matt Moore — According to Baseball America, Moore’s only weakness entering 2008 was his control which he dramatically improved on during his time with rookie Princeton. After posting a 2-2 record with a 1.66 ERA in 2008, BA said that Moore only needed to prove himself against tougher competition. Moore, a 2007 8th round pick, hasn’t disappointed this season in Bowling Green. The lefty is 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA with 116 strikeouts and 45 walks in 81.2 innings.
- # 18 — C Jake Jeffries — Jeffries was the Rays third round pick in 2008 out of UC Davis. In his first professional season he batted .315 with two home runs and 41 RBI for short season Hudson Valley. Jeffries has continued to hit for Bowling Green this season. He is currently hitting .270 with six home runs and 43 RBI in 77 games. He has shown and exceptional eye at the plate with 28 walks and 25 strikeouts in 281 at-bats.
- #27 — OF Kyeong Kang — Kang was the first South Korean to be selected in the MLB amateur players draft. He moved to the United States with his family in high school and was selected by the Rays in the 15th round of the 2006 draft. Kang was named a mid-season all-star in the New York-Penn League in 2008 and finished the year with a .278 average, six home runs and 43 RBI. Kang was selected to represent the Rays for the World team in the 2009 Futures Game. Through 48 games for Bowling Green, Kang is batting .285 with two home runs and 22 RBI.
Hit the jump for the top prospects on the Lexington Legends and Louisville Bats.