By Nick Roush on ©October 05th, 2019 @ 11:30am
There’s no better place to watch postseason baseball than KSBar and Grille.
Plenty of establishments offer drink specials during games — our $3.50 drafts take care of that — but nothing makes the games more exciting than the “Hammer It Out Of The Park” promotion at KSBar and Grille. Throughout the rest of the MLB Playoffs, whenever a home run is hit, you can cash in on great deals.
- $2 Fireball Shots
- $2 Domestic Aluminum Bottles
- One guest wins $50
That’s right. Someone at KSBar and Grille will win $50 after every home run. Insane. A deal almost too good to be true, it couldn’t have been made possible without The Hammer, Darryl Isaacs.
— KSBar and Grille (@KSBarAndGrille) October 4, 2019
Here’s when you can catch games at KSBar over the weekend:
- 5:07 — Twins at Yankees
- 9:07 — Rays at Astros
- 4:10 — Braves at Cardinals
- 7:45 — Dodgers at Nationals
By Zack Geoghegan on ©September 22nd, 2019 @ 1:00pm
Following four consecutive sub-.500 seasons as the manager of the San Diego Padres, Lexington native and former Kentucky Wildcat, Andy Green, was relieved from his position on Saturday.
Sitting on a record of 69-86, the Padres are on pace to finish with 90 or more losses for the fourth straight year. Green ends his tenure in San Diego with an overall record of 274-366 after he was hired back in Oct. 2015.
Green did not offer a comment on his firing (although he plans to in the future), but Padres General Manager A.J. Preller had this to say.
“I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons,” Preller said. “This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.”
After excelling at Lexington Christain Academy during his high schools days, Green stayed in his hometown and played four seasons at the University of Kentucky from 1997-2000 where he still holds five school records. He was inducted in the UK Athletics Hall of Fame back in 2015.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the team cited “communication issues” as to what led to Green’s firing. Preller had this to offer about where the team stood with Green.
“When you look at the way the last two months … and what improvements are being made and how things were playing out on a daily basis, it just didn’t feel like we were going to get there with Andy as our manager,” said Preller, according to The San Diego Union-Trubine. “That’s a tough thing to say. Ultimately, we hire a manager and it’s my job to put players on the field. I’ve been beating myself up a lot over the course of the last few months. It just didn’t feel like this was going to work for the long-term.”
With only a week left remaining in the regular season, the Padres felt it was better to go ahead and begin building towards next year. The Padres have gone 1-9 in its previous 10 games.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 12th, 2019 @ 6:30pm
The Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Baseball families lost a former player this week. Lowell Hughes, one of only six three-sport lettermen at Kentucky since World War II, passed away at the age of 81 on Sunday in Ocala, Florida.
Lowell was a member of the 1958 NCAA Championship basketball team, the starting quarterback for the football team, and also a member of the baseball team. A Prestonsburg, Kentucky native, he played basketball for Prestonsburg High School and went on to graduate from UK Law School. He also served two terms in the Kentucky State Senate before moving to Florida in 1982 to run a horse farm.
A visitation will be held tomorrow from 10-11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Ocala. To read his obituary, please click here.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©September 05th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
Tomorrow, the Lexington Legends will look to advance to the championship round of the South Atlantic League playoffs, and they’ll do it with a former Kentucky Wildcat on the mound.
Zach Haake will start Game 2 vs. the Augusta Green Jackets. On Wednesday night, the Legends won Game 1 to take the lead in the best-of-three series. If they win, they’ll face the winner of the Delmarva Shorebirds and Hickory Crawdads for the South Atlantic League title. Haake was drafted in the sixth round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals. This season, he’s 4-6 with a 2.85 ERA in 75.2 innings in 18 starts.
This afternoon, John Calipari tweeted his support:
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) September 5, 2019
First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. If necessary, Game 3 will be Saturday at 1:05 p.m. Go get ’em, Zach.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©September 04th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
A former University of Kentucky pitcher made New York Yankees history on Tuesday night.
James Paxton, who played at Kentucky from 2007-09, became just the third Yankees pitcher to have three games with 12-plus strikeouts and one walk or fewer in a season.
The only others to ever do it? Mike Mussina (2001) and Masahiro Tanaka (2017).
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) September 4, 2019
Looking at the list of historic Yankees pitchers such as Whitey Ford, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemons, and C.C. Sabathia, this accomplishment is pretty darn impressive.
In seven innings, Paxton managed 12 strikeouts, one hit, one walk, and zero earned runs.
Here are the highlights:
James Paxton, 12Ks in 30 Seconds. pic.twitter.com/8rGwY4f875
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 4, 2019
In his first year with New York – he played his first six years in Seattle – Paxton is 12-6 with an ERA of 4.16. Since August 2, the former Wildcat has managed an ERA of 2.98, 51 strikeouts, and a .170 BAA in 42.1 innings, including a record of 7-0.
Back in 2009, Paxton became the first UK player selected in the first round of the MLB Draft since World Series Champion Joe Blanton was picked by the Athletics in 2002. During his final year with the program, the 6-foot-4 pitcher out of Richmond, British Columbia ranked third in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings, fanning 13.22 hitters per nine innings pitched.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©August 21st, 2019 @ 9:00pm
The city of Angels is already falling for former Kentucky basketball star Anthony Davis.
The newest member of the Los Angeles Lakers threw out the ceremonial first pitch in Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night when the hometown Dodgers trounced the visiting Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 16-3.
And we have plenty of video of the 6-foot-10 NBA superstar towering over MLB players in the locker room to go along with his excellent first pitch.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 21, 2019
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) August 21, 2019
And he threw a perfect strike? The only thing that would have made this a perfect night is if Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger hadn’t nearly whiffed on dapping up Davis.
Cody Bellinger almost left Anthony Davis hanging ?
— ESPN (@espn) August 21, 2019
Smooth recovery by both gentlemen.
— GraydientVisuals (@graydientLA) August 21, 2019
But the real question, is who did it better: Davis, or his new teammate LeBron James?
I’m going with Davis. The catcher didn’t even need to move to snag the perfect toss from the former Wildcat.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 17th, 2019 @ 5:15pm
Bowling Green’s Little League World Series dreams have unfortunately come to an end.
Following the team’s 6-1 loss to New England this afternoon, Bowling Green East has been eliminated from contention.
Bowling Green – who turned into Great Lakes for the LLWS – managed just two hits on the day, while New England ended game with eight total, led by three from Lucas Tanous.
New England’s Owen Pfeffer pitched a complete game, finishing with seven strikeouts, two hits, two walks, and zero earned runs.
As for Great Lakes, Jameson Napper and Luke Idlett made up the team’s two hits on the day.
Kentucky made its 10th LLWS appearance overall and its first since 2016, with the state’s record now moving to 14-20 all time in the event. Bowling Green East made its third trip to Williamsport, with all three of them coming in the past five years alone. Led by manager Rick Kelley, Bowling Green won two games in both 2015 and 2016.
The team had been a perfect 14-0 going into the weekend, including a 3-0 finish at Regionals.
Great Lakes lost on Friday afternoon to Minnesota in the double-elimination event.
The boys of summer’s time is nearing its conclusion. Today marks the final Saturday without football. Once the action returns to the gridiron, baseball will take a backseat until October.
In its most perilous hour, only one man can save baseball: Bill Walton.
The animated, off-the-wall former seven-foot center and outlandish basketball broadcaster took a break from the hardwood for a night to enter a baseball diamond. In the booth on the White Sox behalf with Jason Benetti, his college basketball broadcasting colleague, the two rocked tie-dye t-shirts as the Los Angeles Angels celebrated the 50th anniversary of Woodstock.
Peace, love and hi-jinx oozed from Walton throughout the entire broadcast. Typically, fans can zone out or multitask during a broadcast. Walton would not allow that to happen. There were random exclamations that would wake up every snoozing dad from their evening nap. You had to stay on your toes to catch all of his odd remarks, like, “What’s the record for strikeouts in an inning?” He even made the in-game ad reads fun: “I love streaming. I often run into trouts, salmon and tuna.” Of course, Walton wasn’t going to be in a booth that long and not make a weed reference.
Bill Walton: “I’m not a very good catcher. I’m much better at getting high than getting lower.” pic.twitter.com/Pp33wIBqmt
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) August 17, 2019
You gotta hear the world’s greatest marketing slogan.
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) August 17, 2019
Not even the outro music could slow down Walton.
Bill Walton is a National Treasure… but sometimes you have to play the outro music just to get him to stop speaking ? pic.twitter.com/w9AgfuHLsT
— NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSChicago) August 17, 2019
Bill Walton isn’t the hero baseball deserves. He’s the hero baseball needs.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 14th, 2019 @ 6:30pm
Former Lawrence County standout and Kentucky pitching star Chandler Shepherd made his MLB debut last night.
Pitching for the Baltimore Orioles in a relief effort against the Yankees, Shepherd finished with a final line of five hits, one earned run, and two strikeouts in four innings. Out of 68 total pitches, 41 of them were strikes for the former Wildcat.
Here was his very first strikeout as an MLB pitcher, which came against none other than Aaron Judge:
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 14, 2019
The Orioles recalled Shepherd from Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate Norfolk prior to Tuesday’s game against the Yankees.
Before his professional career, Shepherd was a star at Kentucky from 2012-14. As a sophomore, the former Wildcat served as a dominant reliever, appearing in 26 games with one start, posting a 2.77 ERA and a 5-0 record over 55? total innings. He finished 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA over his last 11 appearances and was selected to the 2013 Cape Cod League All-Star team.
His junior year, Shepherd returned from a forearm injury to finish with a 3-1 record, a 3.83 ERA, and one save, winning Baseball America honors as the top prospect in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.
To close out his Kentucky career as a senior, was rated the No. 70 player in the 2014 Baseball America Preseason NCAA Top-100. He then made 16 pitching appearances, finishing with a 5-5 overall record and a 3.66 ERA in 76? innings, including nine starts and one saved game.
Shepherd was then selected by the Red Sox in the 13th round of the 2014 MLB Draft, where he lasted until this year. After being waived in May, the former Wildcat had a short four-day stint with the Chicago Cubs before being released and claimed by the Orioles.
Now, three months later, Shepherd is officially an MLB pitcher.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 08th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
Back in June of 2018, former Kentucky pitcher Sean Hjelle was drafted in the second round to the San Francisco Giants.
Just 13 months later, the former Wildcat has already been promoted four times, with his most recent coming yesterday afternoon.
Hjelle, who had been with the San Jose Giants (Class A-Advanced) since May, is now set to move up to Double-A with the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
HUGE news, as Sean Hjelle has been promoted to Double-A and is headed to join the @GoSquirrels! That's his second promotion this season, his first full campaign in pro ball. #WeAreUK #CatsinthePros #MLBTrainingGround pic.twitter.com/xdWnK9yLkB
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) August 8, 2019
In San Jose, Hjelle posted an impressive 2.78 ERA in 14 starts with the team. This comes after posting a 2.66 ERA to go with 44 strikeouts and just nine walks in 40.2 innings the stop before.
According to MLB.com, the former Kentucky star is the No. 6 overall prospect for the Giants and the third-best pitcher they are grooming in the minors before making the jump to the MLB.
On his official MLB.com prospect scouting report, they raved about the 6-foot-11 pitcher’s unique size, control, and pitch selection:
Hjelle doesn’t fit the prototype of a tall pitcher because his polish stands out much more than his power. His fastball sits at 91-94 mph and peaks at 96, with the unusual angle he creates with his extra-large frame more notable than his velocity. He has outstanding body control for someone his size, allowing him to repeat his delivery with ease and throw strikes with all of his offerings.
Hjelle’s best pitch is his low-80s knuckle-curve, which earns plus grades from some evaluators. He also uses a cutter/slider to give him a harder breaking ball and shows feel for a changeup. While he still could add some strength to his lanky frame, his floor stands out more than his ceiling and he’s likely to settle in as a No. 4 starter.
Hjelle still has two jumps to go before he’s officially taking the mound as an MLB pitcher, but he’s certainly knocking on the door.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©July 26th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
Not just once, but TWO years in a row now.
The University of Kentucky baseball team has been honored with the Team Academic Excellence Award by the American Baseball Coaches Association for the 2018-19 season. This marks the second year in a row that the team has been recognized with the award.
We believe in developing young men as students first and foremost, which is why we’re thrilled to be honored with the @ABCA1945 Team Academic Excellence Award for 2018-19.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) July 26, 2019
The ABCA hands out the award to the program that finishes with a GPA above 3.0 and the Batcats ended the academic year with a 3.103. They are the only Southeastern Conference team to win the award over the last two seasons and Kentucky is among 51 Division I teams that received the award along with being only the second from the SEC.
“Everything we do in our program is built around developing young men, first and foremost, as students,” UK coach Nick Mingione said, according to UK’s press release. “I could not be more proud of the effort and commitment our team continues to put into their academic growth. We also greatly appreciate the work our academic counselor Michael Stone and his team at CATS. do for our student-athletes. They are a critical piece of their development.”
Not only did Kentucky pull this off in back-to-back seasons, but they also added 25 players to the honor roll this past year, more than any school in the SEC. Let’s see if they can three-peat.
By Brent Wainscott on ©July 21st, 2019 @ 10:00pm
ECU pitching coach Dan Roszel is leaving Greenville and headed to Lexington to join the Kentucky Wildcats coaching staff, per HoistTheColurs.net.
Roszel was with the Pirates for nine years and is leaving the program after a 47-18 season where they hosted a regional for the second straight year and made the program’s fifth all-time Super Regional appearance before falling to Louisville.
He will join a Kentucky team coached by Nick Mingione, who going into his fourth season at UK. In his first three seasons, Mingione holds a record of 104-84, and his Wildcats missed the SEC tournament in 2019 along with the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons, which is what brought the coaching staff changes.
Last season, Kentucky’s pitching posted an ERA of 5.10 and opponents were batting .257 against the Cats in a season that saw them finish 26-29.
Roszel will look to better those numbers, and he has the resume to do it with 19 seasons under his belt.
During his time at East Carolina, he was responsible for developing the program’s highest-ever draft pick in starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman, who was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays ninth overall in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft. Roszel also coached Major League Baseball All-Star Chris Sale as an assistant at Florida Gulf Coast.
Roszel’s 2019 staff led The American in eight statistical categories including wins (47), strikeouts (595), innings pitched (577.2), shutouts (six) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.79) while ranking second in the AAC in ERA (3.96) and WHIP (1.32). The Pirates also set the AAC record for league wins with 20.
For a Kentucky program that has been predicated on dominant pitchers, such as Sean Hjelle, Justin Lewis, and Zack Thompson; this hire was crucial for a Kentucky program that took a massive step back last year. Hopefully, this hire will put the Wildcats back in the right direction.
By Alex Holder on ©July 17th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
With no Kentucky Basketball or Football going on at the moment and Major League Baseball in full swing, why not talk about it? But since this is a Kentucky sports website, I have decided to write about MLB teams people from the Bluegrass State would be most interested in; including their records, trades, injuries, and playoff potential. Each Wednesday I will be giving my weekly update until we reach the end of the season – or until any of these teams are eliminated from the playoffs or otherwise terminated at the end of the season. I have also included the three Minor League affiliate teams that reside in the state with a weekly update of how each of those teams is doing in their respective leagues. So let’s get to it!
Major League Baseball Teams:
Atlanta Braves (58-39/ 1st Place Division):
Despite the Braves dropping two of its last three at the Milwaukee Brewers, they have won four of six, including a series sweep against the Padres in San Diego since the break. The Braves still have a six-game lead for first place in the NL East ahead of the Washington Nationals, and also claim the second-best record in the National League behind only the Dodgers. If I am a Braves fan, the one thing I am worried about is the pitching performance, but with the trade deadline approaching, we could see Atlanta make a push for some relief. Other than that, I’m feeling pretty good going into the second half of the season, especially with how hot the bats have been in Hotlanta since the beginning of June.
Chicago Cubs (52-44/ 1st Place Division):
As for the Cubs, they have also come out swinging here after the break. The Cubbies completed a three-game sweep over an inter-division opponent in the Pittsburgh Pirates this past weekend, dropped one to the Reds on Monday 6-3, but have beaten the Reds the last two games, including Wednesday, to top off the series. Early this week the Cubs acquired Martin Maldonado from the Kansas City Royals for their World Series champion pitcher Mike Montgomery. The Cubs have a two and a half-game lead over the second-place Brewers, and after that move has won five of its last six games. I’d say the Cubs are in a good position already after the All-Star break.
Cincinnati Reds (43-50/ 5th Place Division):
The Reds going into the All-Star break looked to be right there with all of the other teams in the NL Central, only 4.5 games back of last place. The Redlegs looked to have gained some series momentum going into the break, putting up an absolute fight in each and every series. Since the beginning of the second half, Cincinnati has already fallen to 7.5 back from first place in only winning two of their last six, with series losses to the Rockies and inter-division Cubs. With Castillo on the mound and Sony Gray giving good pitches, you could only come to the conclusion that it has to be the bats, which doesn’t make much sense with some of the power they have in their lineup. Either way, you can only hope that the Reds can somehow climb their way into a Wild Card spot at the end of the season, only because winning the division would be tough. If you want to be optimistic as a Reds fan, keep your fingers crossed for a Wild Card spot.
Cleveland Indians (53-40/ 2nd Place Division):
As of today, the Indians are slotted into the Wild Card spot behind the Rays. After hosting the All-Star Game at The Jake, the Tribe has dropped two games to the Twins and have so far split with the Tigers, with the series finale against Detriot on Wednesday night. If the Indians can beat Detroit they would be 3-3 since the second half has started. Cleveland is right around the corner from being in first place with the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. As of right now, they are 4.5 back from doing just that.
St. Louis Cardinals (48-46/ 3rd Place Division):
So far this season the Cards have been pretty banged up, but are still right there with all of the other teams in the NL Central Division. Since the second-half start, the Cardinals are 4-6 with series wins over the Arizona Diamondbacks and inter-division Pirates. If the Cardinals pitching can heat up and Paul Goldschmidt can do Paul Goldschmidt-like things, I believe the Cardinals could be right there with the Cubs and Brewers for a shot at first place in the NL Central. If all else fails, the Cards are only a half-game back from the Wild Card spot.
Minor League Teams in the Bluegrass and their Second Half Stats:
Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays Class – A) –
The Hot Rods are 17-7 since the break and are the first-place team in the Midwest League Eastern Division at 3.0 games ahead of the Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians Affiliate).
Lexington Legends (Kansas City Royals Class – AA)-
After winning the first half of the season, the Legends have fallen to last place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division with a record of 11-15 at 3.5 games back from first place. Even though the Legends have started the second half off on a bad note, they have already guaranteed themselves a spot in the playoffs by managing a 37-32 record through their first 69 games of the season.
Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds Class – AAA)-
The Louisville Bats are 35-60 on the season and are in dead last place of their division, the International League West.
(If there are any other team ideas I should add, leave them in the comments section or on my Twitter.)
Former Kentucky catcher/first baseman Kole Cottam is back in town with the Greenville Drive, a single-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
The Drive play in the South Atlantic League and compete in the southern division alongside the Lexington Legends. The teams are two games into a three-game series, and Cottam has performed well in both so far. On Friday night he went 1-3 with a walk and scored a run in a 5-4 Legends win, and last night he went 2-4, smacking his fifth home run of the season and scoring twice as the Drive won 6-2.
After batting .352 with the Cats his junior year, the Red Sox selected Cottam in the fourth round of the 2018 MLB Draft. This has been the 22-year-old’s first full season with the Drive, and as he did against stiff SEC competition, Cottam has more than held his own. Working mostly behind the plate, Cottam has played in 56 games and currently has a .249 batting average.
Something about playing on the road, particularly in the Bluegrass, elevates Cottam’s game. He’s batting .276 in away games this year, and two of his five homers have come in Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
The rubber match of this series is currently underway in Lexington. Drive Manager Iggy Suarez has given Cottam a day off but may decide to let the former Wildcat try and stay hot in a pinch-hit opportunity.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©July 12th, 2019 @ 7:30pm
Despite being selected in the 33rd round of the MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, Kentucky pitcher Carson Coleman will forgo the professional ranks and stay in Lexington for his junior season.
So excited to have @Carson_Coleman back!!! Carson, we can’t wait to get you back in the blue and white! We are proud of what you’ve accomplished so far and know your future has BIG things in it, including graduating next spring! #WelcomeHome #WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/RE3wNniF4N
— Nick Mingione (@Coach_Mingione) July 12, 2019
The right-handed reliever led the Wildcats with five saves last season, appearing in 23 games. Through two seasons, Coleman has held batters to a .214 hitting percentage.
Joining the former Lexington Catholic product next season with the Cats will be four others who elected to stay in college despite being drafted. Outfielder Oraj Anu (16th round), infielder Jaden Brown (40th round), and pitcher Sam Wibbels (36th round) will all join Coleman in wearing the blue and white next season.
“Playing professional baseball has been a dream of mine since I was a kid and I can’t thank the Tampa Bay Rays enough for giving me the opportunity to make that a reality,” Coleman said, according to the University of Kentucky. “However, I believe there is more for me to accomplish and more growth to experience before I begin that journey. As such, I’m excited to say that I’ll be returning to the University of Kentucky for my junior season. Our job is not finished in Lexington, and I can’t wait to get back to work with the boys. Go Cats!”
After finishing 26-29 last season with a conference record of 7-23, the Bat Cats will look to rebound with several high-level prospects in the mix.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©July 09th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
Former Kentucky baseball star AJ Reed has barely been with the Chicago White Sox organization for 24 hours, and he has already been called up to the big leagues.
After claiming him off waivers and initially placing him at the Triple-A level, the former National Player of the Year will be going straight to the MLB right after the All-Star Break.
“I’m going to be meeting the team in Oakland after the All-Star Break, so that’s exciting news,” Reed said in an interview with Rick Semmler of Sports 10. “[The organization] didn’t say much about playing time, but just looking at the roster, it looks like I’m going to get some good at-bats in this year.”
In fact, Reed said the White Sox have been trying to trade for him for a few years now, but the price has been too high for the organization.
When the Houston Astros placed him on wavers, they made sure to snatch him up as fast as they could.
“They called me and said they were excited to have me,” he said. “They’ve actually been trying to get me in a trade for a couple years, but the Astros were asking for too much.”
The former Kentucky star has a .153 career average over 48 games for Houston from 2016-18. He had spent this season at Triple-A Round Rock and was designated for assignment by the Astros on July 2.
A former Cat is getting a fresh start in the major leagues. The Chicago White Sox picked up AJ Reed off waivers today, ending his disappointing run with the Houston Astros. He’s been assigned to Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 8, 2019
Reed was drafted in the second round by the Astros in 2014 after a standout career at Kentucky. During his time in Lexington, he won all five national player of the year awards, including the Golden Spikes, and became the first player in SEC history to lead the conference in home runs and pitching victories.
Reed’s pro career actually got off to a great start. In 2015, he led the minor leagues in home runs (34) and did it again in 2017 (34). Unfortunately, he didn’t have much success when called up by the Astros, and therefore, didn’t get called up much at all, appearing in only 48 major league games.
Here’s hoping a fresh start makes all the difference.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©July 06th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Former Kentucky baseball star Zack Thompson just made a significant jump in the ranks
After allowing just two hits, one unearned run, and managing two strikeouts in his professional debut on June 29, the first-round draft pick has been promoted three levels in the St. Louis Cardinals farm system.
Starting out with the GCL Cardinals in the Rookie League, Thompson jumped all the way up to Class A-Advanced with Palm Beach, skipping over Class A Short Season (State College Spikes) and Class A (Peoria Chiefs) in the process.
The #STLCards have promoted their first round draft pick, LHP Zack Thompson, from GCL Cardinals to Palm Beach.
— Rob Rains (@RobRains) July 4, 2019
Now, the former Wildcat is already just two stops away from the majors, with those jumps being with the Springfield Cardinals (Double-A) and Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A).
In 14 starts at Kentucky last season, Thompson posted a 6-1 record and 2.40 earned run average overall. In 90.0 total innings, the newest St. Louis Cardinal allowed just 59 hits and 34 walks while striking out 130 batters. He also held opposing hitters to just a .184 batting average and ranked 11th nationally in strikeouts per nine innings with 13.00.
Thompson ranks third on UK’s career strikeouts list with 268 and second on the single-season list with 130, which is a record for a left-handed pitcher.
The Cardinals selected Thompson with the No. 19 overall pick back on June 3.
By Ty Schadt on ©June 30th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Former UK standout Evan White will be heading to Cleveland, Ohio soon for the 2019 MLB Futures Game. White, along with 49 other top MLB prospects, will gather at Progressive Field on July 7 to showcase their skills as a part of the MLB All-Star Weekend.
White is the #5 prospect in the Seattle Mariners organization and currently serves as the first-baseman for Seattle’s AA affiliate, the Arkansas Travelers.
After a breakout 2018 season in High-A that saw him bat .303 and receive a Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove award, White was promoted to Arkansas.
So far, successful results have translated. For the season, White is batting .300 with 63 hits, 43 runs scored and 27 runs batted in. White went on a month-long tear where he batted .374, posting a 23-game hitting streak that included 37 hits and seven homers.
Evan White’s hitting streak:
23G, .374/.404/.646/1.050, 37H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 7HR, 25R, 18RBI, 4BB, HBP, 20K. #Mariners
— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) June 28, 2019
White will be among the first group of players to experience a new format the MLB has chosen for the Futures Game. Instead of pitting a U.S. team against a World team, the contest will reflect the MLB All-Star Game as a National League versus American League affair. Additionally, the game will be shortened to 7 innings.
White’s impressive play has helped him move quickly through the minors and allowed him a chance to shine in the national spotlight on MLB All-Star weekend. He is still a ways out from the majors, but the Futures Game is a great place to get some attention.
First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m on Sunday, July 7. The game will be broadcast on MLB Network.
By Brent Wainscott on ©June 30th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
Last night, Kentucky’s T.J. Collett competed in the 10th annual College Home run derby.
Collett managed to get to the second round of last night’s contest clobbering 16 balls out of TD Ameritrade Park, but unfortunately, his second round performance couldn’t get him into the one on one final for the College Home Run Derby Championship. However, Northen Kentucky’s Griffin Doersching won the contest with a whopping 51 home runs on the night.
Regardless of where Collett finished, he said it was one of the best times he’s ever had in his baseball career.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) June 30, 2019
Collet had so much fun, that the left-handed slugger even decided to hit from the right side of the plate in last night’s derby.
Check out all of T.J.’s best moments at the College Homerun Derby:
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) June 30, 2019