Kentucky Sports Radio

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KSR Baseball Podcast E39: Doug Flynn

It’s time for another exciting edition of the KSR Baseball Podcast!

In episode 39, coach Keith Madison and KSR baseball aficionado Trey Huntsman discuss the following:

-Update on former UK players in the pros
-Early preview of next year’s UK roster
-Coach Madison’s thoughts on the championship changing play in the College World Series
-Coach Madison talks Mississippi State coaching change and how they feel for Coach Henderson after leading the team to CWS.

Then, former Major League Baseball infielder and Lexington native Doug Flynn joins the show to talk about:

-Update on the Reds, what’s standing out
-Thoughts on their draft picks
-Does he think they’ll make any moves at the All Star break?
-Likes way Reds are playing but making crucial mistakes costing them games
-Change in players in current era of baseball
-Players he likes around the league
-3rd annual Bluegrass World Series coming up in early August in Louisville — big-time former MLB stars playing in the event
-Coach Madison plays his lightning round game with Doug Flynn

And to close, the trio gives a special tribute to Kentucky legend Frank Ramsey — did you know he was also an All-SEC baseball player at UK for two years?

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to Kentucky Sports Radio on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Two Kentucky Pitchers Sign Pro Contracts

UK Athletics

Kentucky pitchers Chris Machamer and Andrew Miller have agreed to professional contracts according to Jim Callis of With the signings of Machamer and Miller, all 13 UK draft picks have inked professional contracts.

UK had to feel confident about Machamer returning in 2019. The former UK closer was drafted in the 16th round after leading the Cats in saves as a draft-eligible sophomore. Machamer had reported to the Cape Cod League and pitched in two games before signing with the Boston Red Sox this week. By pitching in the Cape, it appeared that Machamer had made the decision not to sign with Boston. But nearly a month after the draft, Machamer put pen to paper and signed with the Red Sox for $213,000.

There was no bigger surprise than Andrew Miller signing with the Miami Marlins. Miller sat out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer rules and Tommy John surgery, but the Marlins must have seen something they liked in Miller in his time at Maryland. Miami selected Miller in the 40th round and gave him a $150,000 signing bonus.

Next season might be tough on the starting rotation. Miller and Machamer were expected to compete for starting spots in a rotation that does not return a pitcher who threw 50 or more innings last season. Nick Mingione and Jimmy Belanger will have their work cut out for them as they look to replace six pitchers from last year’s team.


Zack Thompson Dominates In Team USA Debut


Zack Thompson announced his presence with authority against Chinese Taipei on Saturday. The lefty struck out four and did not allow a hit in his first appearance for the USA Collegiate National Team. Chinese Taipei’s offense was silent when Thompson was on the mound. Thompson walked two but did not allow a runner to reach scoring position in his three innings of work.

Playing for Team USA is one of the highest honors a collegiate player can receive. The 2018 team includes Golden Spikes winner Andrew Vaughn (Cal) and College World Series MVP Adley Rutschman (Oregon State). Thompson proved he deserved to represent his country when he tied team highs in strikeouts and innings pitched in his summer debut.

It is good to see Thompson returning to his true form. The Indiana native missed a large part of his sophomore season thanks to a nagging flexor injury. In 31 innings in 2018, Thompson struck out 42 and allowed 17 runs. The junior lefty is expected to be the top arm for the Cats in 2019.

Thompson will most likely start for Team USA next week against Japan and against Cuba the following week. 

Tristan Pompey signs with Marlins for $645K

UK Athletics

Former UK outfielder Tristan Pompey inked his deal with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.

The third-round selection signed a contract for $645,000, slightly above the allotted value of the 89th pick in the draft.

Pompey leaves UK ranked 18th on the school’s all-time hits list after 193 hits in his three seasons in Lexington. He hit a combined .321 in 165 games over the course of his career, with 136 runs, 46 doubles, one triple, 24 home runs, 113 RBI, 99 walks, 21 stolen bases and an OPS of .947. The 46 doubles and 99 walks each rank 11th in school history.

The KSR Baseball Podcast E38: ESPN’s Mike Rooney

Before the college baseball seasons reaches a conclusion in Omaha at the College World Series, listen to the latest edition of the KSR Baseball Podcast.  Coach Madison is joined by ESPN baseball analyst Mike Rooney to talk about a variety of topics, like…

—  What’s a StitchHead? Baseball Lingo Explained.

—  The Best Nicknames in Baseball.

—  Thoughts on Miss. State’s new head coach and what’s next for Gary Henderson.

—  Breaking Down and Predicting the College World Series Final.

—  The Reds are actually winning baseball games?  What’s going on?!?!?!

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to Kentucky Sports Radio on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Ex-UK baseball star Luke Heyer called up to Single-A Great Lakes, among other MLB notes

Luke Heyer (Photo by Tim Warner)

Our MLB Draft Cats are getting their professional careers officially started, and according to several reports, they’re off to a hot start.

It took just five games for former Kentucky baseball star Luke Heyer to get called up to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate Great Lakes.

He hit .286 with a double and a homer in his brief stint with the Ogden Raptors.

Former Wildcat Kole Cottam, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Red Sox, is currently making plays for the short-season Class-A Boston affiliate Lowell Spinners.

He has been racking of Player of the Game honors in the process:

As for former Kentucky star pitcher Sean Hjelle, his professional debut will be coming sometime this week.

San Diego’s ninth-round draft selection Luke Becker is currently with the Tri-City Dust Devils, the short-season Class A affiliate of the Padres. He is playing right field with the organization.

Chris Machamer, drafted in the 16th round by the Boston Red Sox, is looking good with the Brewster Whitecaps.

Others are just now getting signed with their respective organizations, such as Trey Dawson and Ben Aklinski, but they are expected to begin summer ball in the very near future.

Congratulations to all of our former Wildcats, and best of luck to them going forward.

Eleven Former Cats Have Signed Pro Contracts This Month

UK Athletics

Kentucky Baseball will have lots of new faces across the diamond in 2019 thanks to the MLB draft. Eleven players from the Cats’ 2018 team have signed pro contracts after being selected in this month’s draft. Take a look at which players have agreed to terms with big league franchises and how much money they received for signing.

Draft Signings

Sean Hjelle- San Francisco Giants: 1.5 million

Kole Cottam- Boston Red Sox: $375,000

Zach Haake- Kansas City Royals: $300,000

Luke Becker- San Diego Padres: $5,000

Luke Heyer- Los Angeles Dodgers: $47,500

Justin Lewis- Arizona Diamondbacks: $125,000

Trey Dawson- Houston Astros: $125,000

Troy Squires- Toronto Blue Jays: $1,000

Ben Aklinski- Philadelphia Phillies: $100,000

Alec Maley- Washington Nationals: Unknown

Tristan Pompey- Miami Marlins: Finalizing Contract

Unsigned Draft Picks

Chris Machamer- Boston Red Sox

Andrew Miller- Miami Marlins

It will be difficult to bounce back after losing so many guys that saw playing time in 2018.  The good news for the Cats is that all of their commitments for 2018 will be headed to campus. Will Gambino, Cole Ayers, and Braxton Cottongame were selected in the later rounds of this month’s draft and all three will attend UK. Jaren Shelby, the prized JUCO signee and younger brother of John and JaVon, was not selected and will attend UK as well. Mingione signed one of the top classes in the country and (as of now) the whole group will be on campus this fall.

Their will a lot of new faces for UK when the team takes the field this fall. Mingione and his crew will have their work cut out for them as they look to rebuild after losing a large portion of their team to the draft in 2018.

Former Wildcat Andy Green Drops Mic on Umpire After Ejection


Before he was escorted from the field, San Diego Padres manager Andy Green left with the last word.

A star at Kentucky from 1997-2000, Green was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.  In the same year he was promoted from Padres’ third-base coach to manager, instantly becoming one of the youngest in Major League Baseball at just 38.  A fiery coach, he went off the top rope during last night’s game against Atlanta.

Infamous umpire Joe West was behind the plate for the game.  West enjoys being the center of attention and is notorious for making questionable calls.  After West made another bad one, Green threw his hat, gave him a piece of his mind, was escorted off the field, then dished out the ultimate burn.

“Don’t worry, Joe, I’m leaving so you can go and get another call wrong!”

Green did not wish to elaborate on the specifics of the incident after the game, but he did thank West for picking up his hat.

Sean Hjelle officially signs with San Francisco Giants

UK Athletics

Kentucky pitcher Sean Hjelle has officially signed with the San Francisco Giants, ending his career as a Wildcat.

According to MLB analyst Jim Callis, Hjelle’s deal will be worth $1,587,600.

Hjelle joins Kole Cottam, Zack Haake, Luke Heyer, Justin Lewis, Troy Squires, Trey Dawson, and Ben Aklinski as Wildcats to officially sign with MLB clubs.

Cottam reportedly signed with the Red Sox for $375,000.

Haake signed with the Royals above pick value at $300,000.

Heyer signed with the Dodgers for $47,500, well under his expected pick value of $155,300.

Lewis has reportedly signed with the Diamondbacks, though no numbers have been announced yet.

Same goes with Squires, Dawson, and Aklinski.

Best of luck to the former Wildcats in their professional baseball journeys.