Legends come home to take on Power

August 25, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-wvalegends-logo-13West Virginia Power
at Lexington Legends

What: Three-game series

When: Tuesday through Thursday (7:05 each night)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliates: Pittsburgh Pirates (Power), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Tuesday, RH Matt Alvarez (5-6, 4.70) vs. LH Cody Dickson (6-9, 4.05); Wednesday, RH Niklas Stephenson (0-0, 0.00) vs. RH Dovydas Neverauskas (6-10, 5.63); Thursday, LH Luis Rico (3-8, 4.27) vs. RH Luis Heredia (2-4, 3.98).

Isaac Sanchez

Isaac Sanchez

Power to watch: P Isaac Sanchez (6-foot, 184 pounds, age 21, bats and throws right, from Bronx, N.Y.) is 3-4, 4.53 and leads West Virginia with six saves in seven opportunities. He has made 39 appearances, all in relief, and worked 53 2/3 innings. Sanchez has struck out 44 and walked 20. Signed as a non-drafted free agent on June 17, 2010, he has played parts of two seasons each with the Dominican Summer League Pirates and Gulf Coast League Pirates. He also has had time with State College and Jamestown of the New York-Penn League. Last year, with Jamestown, he finished 1-1, 3.45 over 14 games, including 13 starts.

Niklas Stephenson

Niklas Stephenson

Legend to watch: P Niklas Stephenson (6-3, 197, age 20, bats and throws right, from San Diego) will make his Legends debut Wednesday, having been promoted from Burlington of the Appalachian League. At Burlington, he was 3-3, 2.14 over 11 games, including six starts. Working 59 innings, he struck out 47 and walked nine. Signed as a non-drafted free agent July 6, 2012, he is a graduate of Sunset High Schooll in Encinitas, Calif. He bypassed an opportunity to play for Hawaii by signing with the Royals. In 2012, he made seven relief appearances for Surprise of the Arizona League, with no decisions and a 5.63 ERA over eight innings. Last year, with Burlington, he finished 0-0, 8.10 over 12 relief outings and 23 1/3 innings.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends on the road to face GreenJackets

August 22, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-augustaLexington Legends
at Augusta GreenJackets

What: Three-game series

When: Friday through Sunday (7 Friday and Saturday nights, 2 Sunday afternoon)

Where: Lake Olmstead Stadium (Augusta, Ga.)

Major League affiliates: Kansas City Royals (Legends), San Francisco Giants

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Friday, RH Alec Mills (2-1, 1.09) vs. LH Christian Jones (5-8, 3.61); Saturday, LH Matt Tenuta (5-10, 5.80) vs. LH Steven Messner (7-3, 4.18); Sunday, LH Cody Reed (2-8, 6.04) vs. RH Joan Gregorio (2-5, 3.83).

Tim Hill

Tim Hill

Legend to watch: P Tim Hill (6-foot-2, 200 pounds, age 24, bats and throws left, from Muskogee, Okla.) is 2-0, 0.84, with five saves in six opportunities. In his 10 games with the Legends, spanning 10 2/3 innings, he has struck out 14 and walked five while holding opponents to a .114 batting average. He has allowed just one earned run. Hill also appeared in five games this season for Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League, going 1-1, 2.35. A 32nd round draft pick in June, out of Bacone College, he fanned 12 and walked two over 7 2/3 innings with Idaho Falls.

Luis Castillo

Luis Castillo

GreenJacket to watch: P Luis Castillo (6-2, 170, age 21, bats and throws right, from Bani, Dominican Republic) is 2-2, 3.33 with eight saves in 10 opportunities. Over 44 games and 54 innings he has struck out 58 and walked 25. Over his last 10 games, Castillo is 0-1 with a 2.51 ERA, 21 strikeouts and three walks. Signed as a free agent in 2011, he pitched the last two seasons for the Dominican Summer League Giants, combining to go 1-4 with 22 saves in 24 chances. He struck out 81 and walked 25 in the DSL.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends wrap up homestand vs. Shorebirds

August 18, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-delmarvalegends-logo-13Delmarva Shorebirds
at Lexington Legends

What: Three-game series

When: Monday through Wednesday (7:05 each night)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliates: Baltimore Orioles (Shorebirds), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, LH Luis Rico (3-8, 4.44) vs. RH Dariel Delgado (0-3, 6.46); Tuesday, LH Cody Reed (2-8, 5.87) vs. LH Mitch Horacek (5-10, 3.86); Wednesday, RH Luke Farrell (1-12, 5.17) vs. RH Janser Severino (3-2, 4.66).

Chance Sisco

Chance Sisco

Shorebird to watch: C Chance Sisco (6-foot-2, 193 pounds, age 19, bats left, throws right, from Corona, Calif.) is batting .332 with four homers, 54 RBI and 49 runs over 102 games. He’s batting .352 against right-handers, .247 versus lefties. A 2013 second-round draft pick out of high school, he came into the season rated by Baseball America as the 10th-best prospect in the Orioles system. Signed for $785,000, he broke into pro ball last year with the Gulf Coast League Orioles (.371, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 31 games) and Aberdeen of the New York-Penn League (1-for-5 over two games).

Andrew Brockett

Andrew Brockett

Legend to watch: RHP Andrew Brockett (6-0, 185, age 22, bats and throws right, from New Haven, Conn.) has been effective in limited action. Overall, he has no decisions and an 0.77 ERA over six games and 11 2/3 innings. He has struck out 10 and walked three. A  2013 22nd-round draft pick, he is a graduate of North Haven (Conn.) High School and the University of Richmond. At Richmond, he struck out 64 in 59 1/3 innings in 2012, earning a team-high six saves. A  year later, he went 3-2 with a 3.70 ERA and a team-best three saves. Last summer, he split time between Surprise of the Arizona League (1-1, 4 saves, 0.96) and Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League (1-0, 4.05). He also has appeared in five games this season for Burlington (3-1, 1 save, 2.16).

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 

 


Legends open homestand vs. Power

August 14, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-wvalegends-logo-13West Virginia Power
at Lexington Legends

What: Four-game series

When: Thursday through Sunday (7:05 Thursday through Saturday nights, 2:05 Sunday afternoon)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliates: Pittsburgh Pirates (Power), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, LH Cody Reed (2-8, 6.00) vs. RH Buddy Borden (7-7, 3.16); Friday, RH Luke Farrell (1-11, 5.11) vs. RH Dovydas Neverauskas (5-10, 5.79); Saturday, RH Pedro Fernandez (1-7, 5.04) vs. RH Luis Heredia (2-4, 3.96); Sunday, RH Alec Mills (1-1, 0.96) vs. TBA.

Isaac Sanchez

Isaac Sanchez

Power to watch: RHP Isaac Sanchez (6-foot, 170 pounds, age 21, bats right, from Bronx, N.Y.) leads the team with five saves and has not allowed an earned run over his last four appearances, spanning six innings. Overall, he is 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA over 36 relief appearances and 49 2/3 innings. He has struck out 41 and walked 17. Sanchez broke into pro ball with the Dominican Summer League Pirates in 2010, going 1-0, 1.04 over six relief outings. Last  year, with Jamestown of the New York-Penn League, he was 1-1, 3.45 over 14 games, including 13 starts. He struck out 47 and walked 26.

Kevin Perez

Kevin Perez

Legend to watch: RHP Kevin Perez (6-0, 210, age 21, bats right, from Coral Gables, Fla.) is 1-3 with two saves and 4.89 ERA over 27 relief appearances. Over 53 1/3 innings, he has struck out 58 and walked 29. A 17th round draft pick in 2013, he is a graduate of American Senior High in Hialeah, Fla., where he was coached by former Major Leaguer Ricky Gutierrez. Perez attended Florida Atlantic University before transferring to Miami Dade Community College South. Last year, with the Surprise Royals of the Arizona League, he had no decisions and a 3.52 ERA over 13 relief outings and 15 1/3 innings. He struck out 15 and walked eight.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

Promotions: Thursday is Bark in the Park Night. A $2 admission for each dog will benefit the Paris Animal Welfare Society; the first 300 dogs through the gates receive a bandana; there will be a pre-game Doggie Parade and several contests during the game, including best dressed, longest tail and Big L lookalike; and there will be a raffle for a chance to win a year supply of dog food. It’s also Thirsty Thursday, with beer and soft drinks on sale for $1. … Friday, Legends president and COO Andy Shea and catcher Chad Johnson will demonstrate their support for the fight against childhood cancers by having their heads shaved after the game. The Legends also will host Boy Scouts from around the region for an overnight campout. … Saturday is Hearing Loss Awareness Night, with 5,000 disposable earplugs to be given away. There will be a fireworks show to follow the game. … Sunday, a Latin Heritage celebration will feature the Kentucky Salsa All-Stars and Cardinal Valley Folk Dance Group. Radio Vida, 1440-AM, will provide a Spanish play-by-play broadcast of the game.

 


Legends visit Intimidators for 3-game series

August 11, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-kannapolisLexington Legends
at Kannapolis Intimidators

What: Three-game series

When: Monday through Wednesday (7:05 Monday and Tuesday nights, 12:05 Wednesday afternoon)

Where: CMC-Northeast Stadium (Kannapolis, N.C.)

Major League affiliates: Kansas City Royals (Legends), Chicago White Sox

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, LH Matt Tenuta (5-8, 4.86) vs. RH Robinson Leyer (5-8, 3.43); Tuesday, RH Alec Mills (1-1, 1.23) vs. LH Jeff McKenzie (2-4, 6.15); Wednesday, RH Matt Alvarez (5-5, 4.88) vs. LH Chris Freudenberg (1-0, 4.50).

Alexis Rivera

Alexis Rivera

Legend to watch: OF Alexis Rivera (6-foot-2, 235 pounds, age 20, bats and throws left, from Ponce, Puerto Rico) is 4-for-11 over his last three games, snapping out of a season-long slump. In 30 games overall, Rivera has hit just .156, with seven RBI and 12 runs scored. He also has spent time this season with Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League, batting .222 with a homer, five RBI and seven runs over 11 games. Selected in the 10th round of the 2012 draft, Rivera is a graduate of Montverde (Fla.) Academy. In 2012, with Surprise of the Arizona League, he batted .341 with three homers, 34 RBI and 35 runs over 48 games to earn post-season all-star honors. Last year, with Idaho Falls, he hit .269 with four homers, 26 RBI and 44 runs spanning 57 games.

Trey Michalczewski

Trey Michalczewski

Intimidator to watch: 3B Trey Michalczewski (6-3, 210, age 19, bats both and throws right, from Jenks, Okla.) leads Kannapolis with 70 RBI, 118 hits and 187 total bases. Batting .273, he has smacked 10 homers and seven triples, scoring 57 times in 116 games. A 2013 seventh-round draft pick, he broke into pro ball with Bristol of the Appalachian League, batting .236 with three homers and 21 RBI over 56 games. This season, he’s batting .302 against left-handers and .264 off of righties. Hitting .288 at the all-star break, he is at .256 since then. He has earned one SAL Player of the Week award this season.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends open homestand with Braves

August 4, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-romelegends-logo-13Rome Braves
at Lexington Legends

What: Three-game series

When: Monday through Wednesday (7:05 each night)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliates: Atlanta Braves (Rome), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, RH Jake Junis (8-6, 4.05) vs. RH Brandon Barker (4-1, 4.61); Tuesday, RH Luke Farrell (1-9, 5.07) vs. LH Chris Diaz (0-0, 2.31); Wednesday, RH Pedro Fernandez (1-6, 4.91) vs. RH Tyler Brosius (4-7, 4.50).

Jacob Schrader

Jacob Schrader

Brave to watch: 1B Jacob Schrader (6-foot-2, 215 pounds, age 23, bats and throws right, from San Antonio, Fla.) is batting .286 over 66 games, with eight homers, 42 RBI and 38 runs. Among his 69 hits are 13 doubles and three triples. Over his last 10 games, he’s batting .303. For the season, he is batting .316 against right-handers, .185 versus lefties. Attended St. Johns River Community College before transferring to Tampa, where he was NCAA Division II Championship Series All-Tournament Team MVP as a senior in 2013, leading his team to the title over Minnesota State. He broke into pro ball last year with Danville of the Appalachian League, hitting .195 with five homers and 16 RBI over 36 games.

Pedro Fernandez

Pedro Fernandez

Legend to watch: Wednesday starter Pedro Fernandez (6-0, 175, age 20, bats and throws right, from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic) is 1-0 with a save in his last two appearances. At 1-6, 4.1 overall, he has struck out 43 and walked 22 over 40 1/3 innings spanning 11 games, including five starts. Since the all-star break, Fernandez is 1-3 with two saves and a 2.97 ERA. Signed as a non-drafted free agent Sept. 2, 2011, he broke in with the Dominican Summer League Royals in 2012, going 3-2 with a 1.93 ERA over 12 games, including 10 starts. Last year, he appeared in four games for the DSL Royals (0-0, 0.75) and was the Surprise Royals’ Pitcher of the Year in the Arizona League, going 0-1, 1.82 over eight games, including seven starts.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends on the road to take on Power

July 30, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-wvaLexington Legends
at West Virginia Power

What: Four-game series

When: Thursday through Sunday (7:05 Thursday through Saturday nights, 2:05 Sunday afternoon)

Where: Appalachian Power Park (Charleston, W.Va.)

Major League affiliates: Kansas City Royals (Legends), Pittsburgh Pirates

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, RH Luke Farrell (1-9, 5.05) vs. RH Dovydas Neverauskas (5-9, 5.50); Friday, LH Matt Tenuta (4-8, 5.40) vs. RH Luis Heredia (1-3, 4.86); Saturday, RH Alec Mills (1-0, 0.82) vs. RH Felipe Gonzalez (1-3, 2.55); Sunday, RH Matt Alvarez (4-5, 5.40) vs. LH Cody Dickson (5-8, 4.42).

Luis Villegas

Luis Villegas

Legend to watch: C Luis Villegas (5-foot-10, 188 pounds, age 21, bats and throws right, from Maracay, Venezuela), just off the disabled list, is 4-for-17 (.235) and has scored three runs in five games. Signed July 2, 2009, as a non-drafted free agent, he spent the 2010-11 seasons with the Dominican Summer League Royals. He was a DSL all-star in 2011, when he batted .244, with a homer, 23 RBI and 26 runs over 53 games. In 2012, with Surprise of the Arizona League, Villegas hit .232 over 29 games. He spent last year with Burlington of the Appalachian League, hitting .222 over 19 games.

Austin Meadows

Austin Meadows

Power to watch: OF Austin Meadows (6-3, 200, age 19, bats and throws left, from Loganville, Ga.) leads the Power with a .345 batting average over 14 games. He also has played two games for the Gulf Coast League Pirates and five games for Bristol of the Appalachian League this season. Rated by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the Pirates system, he was a 2013 first-round draft pick (ninth overall) out of high school, signing for $3.025 million. His father, Kenny, played baseball and football for Morehead State, and mother Staci played softball at Georgia State. Austin spent last season with the GCL Pirates (.294 with five homers and 20 RBI over 43 games) and Jamestown of the New York-Penn League (.529 with two homers and two RBI over five games). Baseball America reports, in part: “Meadows draws comparisons to Reds right fielder Jay Bruce as a left-handed hitter with power and athleticism. He repeats his easy, fluid swing, has present strength, good plate discipline and the ability to hit the ball hard to all fields.”

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends continue homestand vs. Sand Gnats

July 26, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-savannahlegends-logo-13Savannah
Sand Gnats

at Lexington Legends

What: Five-game series

When: Saturday through Tuesday (7:05 Saturday and Tuesday nights, 6:05 Sunday, 5:05 doubleheader Monday)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliates: New York Mets (Sand Gnats), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Saturday, RH Pedro Fernandez (0-6, 6.32) vs. RH Robert Gsellman (8-4, 2.77); Sunday, LH Luis Rico (3-7, 4.43) vs. RH John Gant (10-5, 2.76); Monday, RH Matt Alvarez (4-4, 4.52) vs. LH Alex Panteliodis (3-2, 4.01); Monday, game two, RH Alec Mills (0-0, 1.80) vs. RH Miller Diaz (5-1, 2.26); Tuesday, RH Jake Junis (8-5, 3.87) vs. RH Robert Whalen (5-0, 2.10).

Nelfi Zapata

Nelfi Zapata

Sand Gnat to watch: 3B Nelfi Zapata (6-foot, 185 pounds, age 23, bats and throws right, from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is leading Savannah with a .356 average for 13 games since stepping down from Double-A Binghamton of the Eastern League. Over those 13 games, he has seven doubles, a triple, three RBI and eight runs. Over 14 games at Binghamton, Zapata hit .185 with an RBI and five runs. Selected by the Mets in the 19th round of the 2009 draft, out of Lynn English (Mass.) High School, he broke in that year with the Gulf Coast League Mets. Since then, he has had stops with Kingsport of the Appalachian League, Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League and St. Lucie of the Florida State League. His best season average came with Brooklyn in 2011, when he hit .269 with two homers and 14 RBI.

Kevin Kuntz

Kevin Kuntz

Legend to watch: INF Kevin Kuntz (6-1, 180, age 24, bats both and throws right, from Overland Park, Kansas) is 5-for-25 (.200) since joining the Legends. He has two doubles, two RBI and five runs in 11 games. Selected in the 28th round of the 2013 draft, he is a 2009 graduate of Tulsa’s Union High, where he batted .430 as a senior. The Royals drafted him that year in the 48th round, but he did not sign. He went on to play collegiate ball for Kansas, earning All-Big 12 Tournament honors in 2013. He is the son of Royals first base coach Rusty Kuntz. Kevin broke  into pro ball last year with Burlington of the Appalachian League. He batted .208 with six RBI and nine runs over 36 games.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends come home to face RiverDogs

July 22, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

sal-logo-charlestonlegends-logo-13Charleston RiverDogs
at Lexington Legends

What: Three-game series

When: Wednesday through Friday (7:05 each night)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliates: New York Yankees (RiverDogs), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Wednesday, RH Alec Mills (0-0, 0.00) vs. RH Rookie Davis (4-8, 4.66); Thursday, RH Jake Junis (8-4, 3.70) vs. RH Andy Beresford (1-0, 4.60); Friday, RH Luke Farrell (1-8, 4.89) vs. LH Chaz Hebert (0-2, 3.58).

Mark Payton

Mark Payton

RiverDog to watch: OF Mark Payton (5-foot-8, 190 pounds, age 22, bats and throws left, from Chicago) is 15-for-43 (.349) in his first 13 games as a professional. A seventh-round draft pick last month out of Texas, he batted .315 for the Longhorns, with two homers, 39 RBI and 19 stolen bases over 67 games. He struck out only 27 times and drew 57 walks. Thus far with the RiverDogs, he has a homer, two doubles and a triple, nine runs and nine walks to nine strikeouts. He’s batting .455 when runners are in scoring position. Payton was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 31st round of the 2010 draft, and by the Cleveland Indians in the 16th round of the 2013 draft but did not sign.

Alec Mills

Alec Mills

Legend to watch: Wednesday starter Alec Mills (6-4, 190, age 22, bats and throws right, from Clarksville, Tenn.) was on his way to an outstanding season with the Legends last year when he suffered an injury that required Tommy John surgery. He earned mid-season SAL All-Star honors last season, making his last appearance of the year on June 12. He made 15 relief appearances for Lexington before moving into the starting rotation, finishing with a 1.59 ERA over 18 total outings and 45 1/3 innings. He struck out 47. Mills returned to action this year June 17 with Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League. With the Chukars, he went 2-2 over seven games, including six starts. Over 19 1/3 innings, he struck out 14 and walked four. Wednesday will mark his first appearance of the season with the Legends.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends continue road trip at Savannah

July 18, 2014

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-savannahLexington Legends
at Savannah Sand Gnats

What: Four-game series

When: Friday through Monday (7:05 Friday and Monday nights, 6:05 Saturday, 2:05 Sunday)

Where: Grayson Stadium (Savannah, Ga.)

Major League affiliates: Kansas City Royals (Legends), New York Mets

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Friday, LH Matt Tenuta (4-7, 5.52) vs. RH Robert Gsellman (7-4, 2.89); Saturday, LH Luis Rico (3-6, 4.42) vs. RH John Michael Gant (9-5, 2.97); Sunday, RH Matt Alvarez (4-3, 5.62) vs. LH Alex Panteliodis (2-2, 4.42); Monday, TBA vs. RH Logan Taylor (0-2, 3.27).

Dex Kjerstad

Dex Kjerstad

Legend to watch: OF Dex Kjerstad (6-foot-1, 210 pounds, age 22, bats and throws right, from Canyon, Texas) is batting .417 over his last 10 games. Overall, he is at .270 over 43 games with the Legends, with three homers, 16 RBI, 18 runs and seven stolen bases. Signed as a  non-drafted free agent July 11, 2013, he missed the 2013 season following Tommy John surgery. Kjerstad earned 2010 all-state honors at Randall High School in Amarillo, Texas, batting .470 with 11 homers and 60 RBI. He played one season of college ball for Texas, then transferred to Howard and then Louisiana Lafayette. He was named Louisiana Newcomer of the Year and All-Sun Belt Conference in 2013, leading the league with a .388 batting average. He finished two hits shy of a school record for ULL.

Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith

Sand Gnat to watch: 1B Dominic Smith (6-0, 185, 19, bats and throws left, from Los Angeles) is tied for seventh in the league with 99 hits. Rated by Baseball America as the fourth-best prospect in the Mets system, he is a 2013 first-round draft pick out of high school, signing for $2.6 million. He batted .196 through his first 51 pro at-bats, then hit .328 the rest of the way with the Gulf Coast League Mets (.287 overall for 48 games) to earn a promotion to Kingsport of the Appalachian League. There, he went 4-for-6 (.667) over three games. Baseball America reports in part: “A sweet left-handed swing combined with hand-eye coordination and sound pitch recognition all indicate that he will hit for average while posting a high on-base percentage. He hits with authority to his pull side and straight away, and he could mature into a steady 20-homer threat.” With the Sand Gnats, Smith is batting .295, with 29 RBI, 39 runs and a .353 on-base percentage. In 25 games since the all-star break, he’s batting .350.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300