MiLB roundup: Bats, Hot Rods win; Jeff Arnold vs. Legends; Rusin post quality start; Cowgil, Shaffer streaking

Minor League Baseball

Jeff Arnold; UofL Sports wallpaper

Highlights from Saturday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats tallied 14 hits in a 10-1 win over Norfolk. Shortstop Zack Cozart was 5-5 with four doubles, one home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Cincinnati Reds right-handed pitcher Homer Bailey surrendered one run on five hits in six and one-third innings in a rehab appearance.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods tallied eight hits in a 2-0 win over Great Lakes. Left-handed pitcher Enny Romero took a no decision after surrendering four hits in five shutout innings while striking out seven batters and walking four. Right-handed pitcher Omar Bencomo earned the win with three shutout innings of relief.
  • Louisville native and former UofL catcher Jeff Arnold slugged a home run, drove in two runs and scored twice to lead Augusta to a 5-1 win over the Lexington Legends. First baseman Tyler Burnett was 2-3 with one run scored.
  • Lexington native and former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill extended hits hitting streak to nine games for AAA Reno with a 2-5 performance. Cowgill had a triple, one RBI and two runs scored and has multiple hits in seven of his last eight games.
  • Walton native and former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a 2-4 performance for AA Jackson.
  • Former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin took a no decision after surrendering three runs on eight hits in six innings while striking out four batters and walking none.
  • Former UofL infielder Chris Dominguez was 3-4 with one run scored for High A San Jose.
  • Former UofL outfielder Josh Richmond was 2-4 with one home run, one RBI and two runs scored for low A Hickory.
  • Lexington native and former UK infielder Michael Bertram was 2-3 with one double, one RBI and one run scored for AA Erie.
  • Former UK outfielder Sawyer Carroll was 2-3 with one walk and two runs scored for AA San Antonio.
  • One-time UofL left-handed pitcher Zach Jackson, who transferred to Texas A&M, took a no decision after surrendering four runs on six hits in six and one-third innings while striking out four batters and walking one.

Mesoraco headlines top Kentucky MiLB team prospects

Minor League Baseball

Throughout the minor league season BluGrass Baseball maintains a list of the top 10 prospects on the three Kentucky minor league teams and the top 10 prospects among Kentucky alumni. With the 2011 season underway it is time to update the top 10 prospects list for the three minor league teams. Check out the list below, remembering that the top prospect list is always available on the “Top Prospects” page on the left sidebar here.

  1. C Devin Mesoraco — Louisville Bats
  2. 1B Yonder Alonso — Louisville Bats
  3. 2B Delino Deshields Jr. — Lexington Legends
  4. RHP Mike Foltynewicz — Lexington Legends
  5. LHP Enny Romero — Bowling Green Hot Rods
  6. SS Zach Cozart — Louisville Bats
  7. 3B/LF Todd Frazier — Louisville Bats
  8. RHP Tanner Bushue — Lexington Legends
  9. LHP Braulio Lara — Bowling Green Hot Rods
  10. OF Dave Sappelt — Louisville Bats

Top Reds’ prospects highlight Bats Opening Day roster

Minor League Baseball

The Louisville Bats have unveiled the team’s Opening Day roster, which is highlighted by five of the Cincinnati Reds’ top 10 prospects according to Baseball America. The Bats will also feature right-handed pitcher Matt Klinker, who spent some time at Madisonville North Hopkins High School before moving to Ohio. Check out the full roster below:


  • RHP — Scott Carroll — Kansas City, Mo. — 3rd Round (2007)
  • LHP — Tom Cochran — Wilmington, Del. — 20th round, Red Sox (2003)
  • RHP — Carlos Fisher — West Covina, Cal. — 11th round (2005)
  • RHP — Jerry Gil — San Pedro de Macoris, DR — FA, D’Backs (1999)
  • LHP — Daniel Ray Herrera — Odessa, Tex. — 45th round (2006)
  • LHP — Jeremy Horst — Cheyenne, Wyo. — 21st round (2007)
  • RHP — David Johnson — Los Angeles, Cal. — 15th round, Brewers (2004)
  • RHP — Matt Klinker — Peru, Ind. (Madisonville, Ky.) — 15th round (2007)
  • LHP — Joseph Krebs — Denton, Tex. — 14th round (2007)
  • RHP — Kyle McCulloch — Houston, Tex. — 1st round, White Sox (2006)
  • RHP — Chad Reineke — Defiance, Ohio — 13th round, Astros (2004)
  • LHP — Dontrelle Willis — Oakland, Cal. — 8th round, Cubs (2000)


  • Devin Mesoraco — Dubois, Penn. — 1st round (2007)
  • Corky Miller — Yucaipa, Cal. — NDFA (1998)


  • 1B — Yonder Alonso –Havana, Cuba — 1st round (2008)
  • SS — Zack Cozart — Memphis, Tenn. — 2nd round (2007)
  • 1B — Daniel Dorn — San Dimas, Cal. — 32nd round (2006)
  • 1B — Michael Griffin — Corpus Christi, Tex. — 14th round (2005)
  • SS — Kris Negron — Willingboro, N. J. — 7th round, Red Sox (2006)
  • 2B — Chris Valaika — Santa Monica, Cal. — 3rd Round (2006)


  • Brian Barton — Los Angeles, Cal. — NDFA (2004)
  • Todd Frazier — Point Pleasant, N. J. — 1st supp. round (2007)
  • Jeremy Hermida — Atlanta, Ga. — 1st round, Marlins (2002)
  • Dave Sappelt — Graham, N. C. — 9th round (2008)

Robbins named Sun Belt POW; Riddle named SEC FOW; A’s option Magnuson to AAA; Reds option seven to Louisville

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Logan Robbins bats vs. UK in 2010; BluGrass Baseball photo

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Western Kentucky University junior shortstop Logan Robbins was named Sun Belt Conference player of the week.
  • University of Kentucky freshman right fielder J. T. Riddle, who was the BluGrass Baseball freshman of the week, has been named the Southeastern Conference freshman of the week.
  • The Oakland Athletics have optioned former UofL right-handed pitcher Trystan Magnuson to AAA Sacramento.
  • The Louisville Bats‘ 2011 roster is starting to take shape after the Cincinnati Reds optioned left-handed pitcher Daniel Ray Herrera, shortstop Kris Negron, infielder Zack Cozart, first baseman Yonder Alonso, right-handed pitcher Carlos Fisher, right-handed pitcher Jordan Smith and utility man Todd Frazier to Louisville.
  • Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports the Rangers pushed back Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb‘s batting practice session to Wednesday or Thursday due to rain. Grant notes Webb will begin his rehab by alternating starts between AAA Round Rock and AA Frisco depending on which team is home.
  • John Wagner, writing for Baseball America, reports now that former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby is healthy his path to the Tigers’ MLB roster is still blocked by Miguel Cabrera. (subscription required)
  • Dick Kaegel of reports Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock is among eight candidates still in the running for the final five spots in the Kansas City Royals’ bullpen.

Baseball America ranks six Bats among top 10 Reds prospects and six Ky. collegians in top 100 draft prospects

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Aroldis Chapman; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • J. J. Cooper of Baseball America has published the magazine’s top 10 prospects list for the Cincinnati Reds with several 2010 Louisville Bats included on the list. Cooper ranked left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman No. 1, catcher Devin Mesoraco No. 3, first baseman Yonder Alonso No. 4, third baseman Juan Francisco No. 7, shortstop Zack Cozart No. 8 and utility man Todd Frazier No. 9.
  • Cooper touched on a number of other Bats’ prospects in the accompanying online chat. (subscription required)
  • BA has also released its first rankings for the top 100 college 2011 draft prospects with several Kentucky collegians making the cut. The article is behind the website’s paywall so I won’t give away all the rankings but will note University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer led Kentuckians at No. 21. University of Louisville junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych, UofL junior infielder Ryan Wright, Lexington Catholic alum and Florida left-handed pitcher Nick Maronde, former UK third baseman Andy Burns and Western Kentucky University outfielder Kes Carter were included in the top 100.
  • Jordan Bastian of reports Cleveland Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore may not be ready for Opening Day, which could mean more playing time early for Lexington native Austin Kearns.
  • Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports and breaks down the reasons for optimism and reasons for worry for each of the Southeastern Conference baseball teams, noting UK needs more consistency and big seasons from talented and so-far underachieving pitchers.

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.

MiLB Roundup: Bats, Hot Rods win; Legends lose; Bertram, Curley homer; Roe gets win; Revere tallies 3 hits

Minor League Baseball

Highlights from Wednesday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats held Toledo scoreless through eight innings and held on for an 8-3 win. Shortstop Zack Cozart and outfielder Michael Griffin each slugged a home run in the game, and left-handed pitcher Ben Jukich earned the win with seven shutout innings.
  • Neither team scored for the first six innings, but a late offensive onslaught sent the Bowling Green Hot Rods to a 5-3 win over Dayton. Catcher Mark Thomas was 2-4 with two RBI.
  • Hagerstown scored six times in the first two innings and sent the Lexington Legends to a 9-1 loss. The Legends mustered on four hits in the game.
  • Former UK infielder Michael Bertram homered for the second consecutive game and drove in three runs for AAA Toledo.
  • Former Campbellsville outfielder Chris Curley slugged his third home run of the season for low A Rome.
  • Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 3-4 with a triple and two runs scored for AA New Britain.
  • Lafayette alum Chaz Roe improved to 8-13 on the season after surrendering three runs in six and two-third innings for AAA Colorado Springs.
  • Frankfort native Cameron Conner was promoted to rookie-level Idaho Falls where he went 1-3 with a double in his debut.
  • Louisville native Seth Bynum was 3-3 with a walk for AAA Syracuse.

MiLB Roundup: Bats, Legends, Hot Rods win; Cregar, Nidiffer both homer; Marks picks up win

Minor League Baseball

Marcus Nidiffer, center; Photo: UK Athletics

Highlights from Friday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • Despite a six-run Norfolk seventh inning the Louisville Bats held off the late rally for an 8-7 win Friday. Shortstop Zack Cozart and second baseman Chris Valaika each homered for the Bats.
  • Left fielder Jacob Goebbert continued his hot hitting to lead the Lexington Legends to a 9-6 win over Delmarva. Goebbert was 3-4 with a home run, two RBI and four runs scored.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods held off a late South Bend rally to for a 7-6 win. Third baseman Julio Cedeno was 2-3 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.
  • Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer slugged his ninth home run of the season for rookie-level Greeneville.
  • Former UK infielder Michael Bertram was promoted to AAA Toledo.
  • Former UofL left-handed pitcher Justin Marks earned his first win since being promoted to high A Stockton after surrendering three runs in five innings.
  • Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich was 3-5 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored.
  • Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar slugged his 14th home run of the season for low A Greensboro.
  • Former Murray St. right-handed pitcher Mike Perconte picked up his seventh save of the season for high A Daytona.
  • Former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Henry Mabee earned his second win of the season despite surrendering three runs in one and two-third innings for AA Birmingham.
  • Lafayette High School alum Chaz Roe took a no decision for AAA Colorado Springs despite surrendering just one run in seven innings. Roe Struck out seven and walked one.

Revere to miss rest of season with face injury; Ellis recalled to L. A.; Kearns happy with Yankees; Bats surging

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball including a season-ending injury for one of the state’s top prospects:

  • La Velle E. Neal of the Minnesota Star Tribune reports Lexington Catholic alum and top Twins outfield prospect Ben Revere will miss the rest of the season with two orbital fractures near his right eye resulting from a hit-by-pitch to the face Tuesday.
  • Evan Drellich of reports PLD alum A. J. Ellis has been recalled from AAA to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he may receive somewhat regular playing time with Dodgers catcher Russell Martin slated to miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury.
  • Gannett reporter Brian Heyman profiles Lexington native Austin Kearns, who says he is happy to be playing for the Yankees.
  • Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal writes during the Louisville Bats 11-game winning streak the team has “rocketed up the charts faster than Lady Gaga” and is in good position for a playoff berth.
  • Bats shortstop Zack Cozart sat down for a question-and-answer session with Jason Stella of the team’s’ media relations department.

July Awards: Louisville Bats

Minor League Baseball

In the second July Awards post we’ll look at the month’s best performances from the Louisville Bats:

Hitter of the month: 1B Yonder Alonso

  • Yonder Alonso struggled during the first two months of his AAA career, but he put those struggles behind him in July to the tune of a .366 batting average, nine home runs, 19 RBI and 15 runs scored. Alonso slugged .696 for the month with an OPS of 1.007.
  • Honorable Mention: Daniel Dorn, Chris Valaika, Juan Francisco, Zack Cozart, Wladimir Balentien

Pitcher of the month: RHP Matt Maloney

  • The Cincinnati Reds have an embarrassment of starting pitching depth at the moment with Matt Maloney representing their best AAA starter at the moment. In July, Maloney was 3-1 with a 1.00 ERA in four starts. Maloney struck out 17 and walked just three in 27 innings pitched.
  • Honorable Mention: Aroldis Chapman, Ben Jukich, Enerio Del Rosario, Jared Burton, Joseph Krebs