Legends entertain Drive for four games

May 28, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-greenvilleGreenville Drive
at Lexington Legends

What: Four-game series

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

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliations: Boston Red Sox (Drive), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, RH Scott Blewett (0-0, 0.00) vs. RH Reed Reilly (2-2, 4.24); Friday, RH Zach Lovvorn (3-4, 4.01) vs. LH Dedgar Jiminez (3-1, 2.77); Saturday, LH Foster Griffin (0-0, 5.00) vs. LH Jalen Beeks (4-1, 3.63); Sunday, RH Nik Stephenson (1-3, 2.70) vs. TBA.

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers

Drive to watch: 3B/DH Rafael Devers (6-foot, 210 pounds, age 18, bats left, throws right, from Sanchez, Dominican Republic) ranks fourth in the league with a .331 batting average. He is tied for second with 13 doubles and is eighth with an .839 OPS. Devers also has two homers, 20 RBI and 26 runs. Over his last 10 games, he is 13-for-37 (.351) with six RBI and 10 runs. Coming into this season, Baseball America ranked him the sixth-best prospect in the Red Sox system. He split his first pro season, last year, between the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League Red Sox, combining to bat .322 with seven homers, 57 RBI and 47 runs in 70 games.

Mike Hill

Mike Hill

Legend to watch: 3B/OF/C Mike Hill (6-2, 195, 23, bats left, throws right, from Whittier, Calif.) has hit safely in his last four games, going 6-for-15 to raise his overall average 35 points to .222. He has eight RBI, 14 runs and six stolen bases in 26 games. Selected by the Royals in the 22nd round of last year’s draft, out of Long Beach State, he started at third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions as a collegian. He graduated from La Quinta High School in Westminster, Calif., in 2010, twice earning league MVP honors. Last summer, with Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League, he led the league in triples (eight) and hit .288 in 63 games to earn all-star honors.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends pay a visit to Intimidators

May 24, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

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

What: Three-game series

When: Monday through Wednesday (6:05 Monday night, 7:05 Tuesday and Wednesday)

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

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

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, LH Foster Griffin (0-0, 4.85) vs. RH Thad Lowry (4-2, 4.25); Tuesday, RH Nik Stephenson (1-2, 2.89) vs. RH Spencer Adams (1-3, 4.60); Wednesday, RH Torey Deshazier (3-3, 3.79) vs. RH Yency Almonte (2-2, 4.30).

Nik Stephenson

Nik Stephenson

Legend to watch: Tuesday starter Nik Stephenson (6-foot-3, 197 pounds, age 21, bats and throws right, from San Diego), at 1-2, 2.89, ranks second on the Legends staff in innings pitched, 37 1/3. Over eight games, including four starts, he has fanned 27 and walked 15. A 2012 graduate of Sunset High in Encinitas, Calif., he had an opportunity to play college ball for Hawaii, but instead signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent. Stephenson pitched for Surprise of the Arizona League in 2012, with no decisions and a 5.63 ERA in seven relief appearances. He moved to Burlington of the Appalachian League for 2013 and most of 2014. He was Burlington’s Pitcher of the Yar in 2014, going 3-3, 2.14 in 11 appearances, including six starts. Baseball America then rated him 20th among Appalachian League prospects. Stephenson joined the Legends on Aug. 26 of last year, going 1-0, 4.00 over two starts. Coming into this season, Baseball America rated him the No. 23 prospect in the Royals system.

Louie Lechich

Louie Lechich

Intimidator to watch: RF/CF Louie Lechich (6-4, 200, 23, left and left, from Stockton, Calif.) is batting .271 with two homers, 23 RBI, 18 runs and nine stolen bases. A 2014 sixth-round draft pick out of San Diego, he spent last summer with Great Falls of the Pioneer League, where he finished with a .254 average, five homers, 22 RBI, 32 runs and four steals. He was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 42nd round of the 2010 draft out of St. Mary’s High School in Stockton Calif. This season, Lechich is batting .286 versus lefthanders, .266 against righties. When leading off, he’s 13-for-39 (.333). He’s 21-for-68 (.309) with runners on base.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends return home to take on Suns

May 21, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-hagerstownHagerstown Suns
at Lexington Legends

What: Four-game series

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

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliations: Washington Nationals (Suns), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, RH Torey Deshazier (3-2, 3.64) vs. RH Drew Van Orden (1-1, 2.86); Friday, RH Zach Lovvorn (2-4, 4.50) vs. RH Luis Reyes (1-2, 5.20); Saturday, LH Colin Rodgers (1-3, 2.67) RH Phillips Valdez (4-2, 1.22); Sunday, RH Corey Ray (0-3, 6.44) vs. RH Jefry Rodriguez (1-3, 4.71).

Jose Marmolejos-Diaz

Jose Marmolejos-Diaz

Sun to watch: 1B/DH Jose Marmolejos-Diaz (6-foot-1, 185 pounds, age 22, bats and throws left, from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) leads Hagerstown in homers (4) and RBI (20). Batting .290 over 37 games, he 12 doubles, three triples, 23 runs and a stolen base. With a .322 on-base percentage, he also is slugging .507. Over his last 10 games, Marmolejos-Diaz is 11-for-36 (.306) with four RBI and four runs. He broke into pro ball in 2011 and ’12 with the Dominican Summer League Nationals. In 2013, with the Gulf Coast League Nationals, he batted .312 with two homers, 21 RBI and 27 runs over 43 games. Last year, with Auburn of the New York-Penn League, he hit .265 with a homer, 31 RBI and 30 runs over 65 contests.

Humberto Arteaga

Humberto Arteaga

Legend to watch: SS Humberto Arteaga (6-0, 183, 21, right and right, from Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela) is 11-for-36 (.306) over his last nine games. Overall, he is batting .246 with a homer, 16 RBI, 17 runs and seven stolen bases over 33 games. Signed as a non-drafted free agent July 2, 2010, Baseball America rated him the Royals organization’s best defensive infielder entering the 2011, ’12 and ’13 seasons. In 2011, Baseball America rated him the eighth-best prospect in the Arizona League. In 2012, he led the Appalachian League in sacrifice hits. After splitting 2013 between Lexington and Idaho Falls, he spent all of 2014 with the Legends. He batted .198 in 122 games, with 13 doubles, two triples, two homers and 12 sacrifice bunts.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends continue road trip versus Drive

May 17, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-greenvilleLexington Legends
at Greenville Drive

What: Three-game series

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

Where: Fluor Field (Greenville, S.C.)

Major League affiliations: Kansas City Royals (Legends), Boston Red Sox

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, LH Colin Rodgers (1-3, 2.57) vs. RH Reed Reilly (2-1, 2.73); Tuesday, RH Pedro Fernandez (3-0, 3.09) vs. LH Dedgar Jiminez (2-1, 2.40); Wednesday, LH Foster Griffin (0-0, 5.00) vs. RH Jeffry Fernandez (0-4, 4.67).

Elier Hernandez

Elier Hernandez

Legend to watch: RF Elier Hernandez (6-foot-3, 197 pounds, age 20, bats and throws right, from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic) is 13-for-37 (.351) over his last nine games, with five RBI and seven runs. For the season, he is batting .275 with three homers, 12 RBI, 14 runs and five stolen bases. Signed as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2011, Hernandez played for Idaho Falls in 2012 and 2013 and led the Pioneer League in triples in his second season. Baseball America rated him the 11th-best prospect in the league that year. He spent last year with the Legends, batting .264 over 111 games. At the start of this season, MLB.com and Baseball America each rated Hernandez as the 22nd-best prospect in the Royals system.

Derek Miller

Derek Miller

Drive to watch: OF Derek Miller (6-2, 180, 22, right and right, from Cedar Hill, Texas) leads Greenville with 37 hits and 18 RBI. Overall, he is batting .294 with eight doubles, four stolen bases and 13 runs. He is batting .303 against righthanded pitchers, .270 against lefties. He is 19-for-44 (.432) with runners on base. A 23rd round draft pick last year, out of Texas-Arlington, Miller spent last summer with the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. He batted .281 over 54 games, with a homer, 24 RBI, 31 runs and 15 stolen bases. He is the son of Blake Miller, vice president of security and parking for the Texas Rangers.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends hit the road to take on Sand Gnats

May 13, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

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

What: Four-game series

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

Where: Grayson Stadium (Savannah, Ga.)

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

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, RH Pedro Fernandez (2-0, 3.00) vs. LH Brad Wieck (0-3, 4.13); Friday, LH Foster Griffin (0-0, 7.20) vs. RH Casey Meisner (2-1, 1.78); Saturday, RH Nik Stephenson (1-2, 3.45) vs. RH Josh Prevost (0-4, 5.40); Sunday, LH Colin Rodgers (1-3, 2.57) vs. RH Martires Arias (2-1, 3.23).

Wander Franco

Wander Franco

Legend to watch: 3B/DH Wander Franco (6-foot-2, 170 pounds, age 20, bats both, throws right, from Dominican Republic) is 12-for-39 (.308) with 11 RBI and five runs over his last 10 games. Overall, he is batting .237 with two homers, 20 RBI and 12 runs. Signed Sept. 26, 2011 as a non-drafted free agent, Franco was a 2012 all-star in the Dominican Summer League and the DSL Royals’ Player of the Year. He spent 2013 with Surprise of the Arizona League, batting .277 in 43 games. Last year, with Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League, Franco batted .323 in 42 games, with 13 doubles, three triples and three homers. Baseball America rates him the 26th-best prospect in the Royals system. He has a brother, also named Wander, in the Astros system. He also is a nephew of Angels infielder Erick Aybar.

Eudor Garcia

Eudor Garcia

Sand Gnat to watch: 3B Eudor Garcia (6-1, 215, turns 21 on Sunday, bats left, throws right, from El Paso, Texas) leads Savannah with a .333 average in seven games. A fourth-round draft pick last year out of El Paso Community College, he signed for $305,000. Baseball America rates him the 28th-best prospect in the Mets system. Last year, with Kingsport of the Appalachian League, he batted .262 in 55 games with two homers, 28 RBI and 22 runs. This season, he’s 11-for-33 with four doubles, two RBI and two runs. Baseball America writes in part: Garcia doesn’t have a classic baseball body type, but he does generate plus lefthanded power from a short, powerful swing.”

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends’ homestand continues vs. Intimidators

May 9, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-kannapolisKannapolis Intimidators
at Lexington Legends

What: Four-game series

When: Saturday through Tuesday (7:05 Saturday and Tuesday nights, 2:05 Sunday afternoon, 10:05 Monday morning)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Major League affiliations: Chicago White Sox (Intimidators), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Saturday, To be determined vs. RH Luis Martinez (1-2, 2.21); Sunday, LH Emilio Ogando (1-1, 0.46) vs. RH Yency Almonte (0-1, 4.86); Monday, RH Corey Ray (0-1, 3.52) vs. LH Jordan Guerrero (3-0, 1.91); Tuesday, RH Zach Lovvorn (1-3, 4.88) vs. RH Spencer Adams (0-3, 5.12).

David Trexler

David Trexler

Intimidator to watch: RHP David Trexler (6-foot-3, 185 pounds, age 24, bats and throws right, from Lynn Haven, Fla.) has made eight appearances, all in relief, with no decisions and three saves in four opportunities. A 2014 17th round draft pick out of North Florida, Trexler carries a 3.78 ERA, with 18 strikeouts and seven walks. Baseball America rates him the 22nd best prospect in the White Sox system. Before playing for North Florida, Trexler spent two seasons at Florida State and one at Gulf Coast (Fla.) Community College. Last year, the White Sox split his time between the Arizona League (0-0, 0.00 in four games) and Great Falls of the Pioneer League (1-2, 3.42 in 14 games).

Ryan O'Hearn

Ryan O’Hearn

Legend to watch: 1B Ryan O’Hearn (6-3, 200, age 21, bats and throws left, from Dunedin, Fla.) leads the Legends with five home runs. Batting .267, he has hits in his last six games (12-for-24). O’Hearn has nine RBI and has scored 13 times. Selected by the Royals in the eighth round of last June’s draft, out of Sam Houston State, he was named Pioneer League MVP and Idaho Falls’ Player of the Year for 2014 after leading the short-season league in runs (61), hits (90), slugging (.590) and OPS (1.034). He also finished second in on-base percentage (.444) and total bases (147), third in homers (13) and average (.361), and fourth in RBI (54) and walks (39). At Sam Houston State last year, he batted .292 with eight homers and 44 RBI. He is a graduate of Wakeland High in Frisco, Texas, where he batted .505 with 15 homers and 55 RBI as a senior. Baseball America ranked him as fifth-best prospect in the Pioneer League last season, and as 25th-best prospect in the Royals system.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends return home to face RiverDogs

May 5, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13sal-logo-charlestonCharleston 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 affiliations: New York Yankees (RiverDogs), Kansas City Royals

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Wednesday, LH Colin Rodgers (1-2, 4.24) vs. RH Luis Cedeno (2-0, 0.00); Thursday, RH Zach Lovvorn (0-3, 600) vs. RH Joey Maher (1-0, 2.84); Friday, RH Torey Deshazier (2-1, 2.42) vs. LH Justin Kamplain (1-3, 3.95).

Luis Cedeno

Luis Cedeno

RiverDog to watch: Wednesday starter Luis Cedeno (5-foot-11, 154 pounds, age 20, bats and throws right, from Puerto de la Cruz, Venezuela) is 2-0, 0.00 over two starts and 10 1/3 innings. He has given up only three hits, walking three and striking out 12. Signed as a non-drafted free agent on May 27, 2012, he went 6-0 over two seasons with the Dominican Summer League Yankees, with ERAs of 0.00 and 0.53. Last year, with the Gulf Coast League Yankees, Cedeno was 1-3 with a 1.13 ERA. Totals thus far for his career are 9-3, 0.70, 76 2/3 innings, 14 walks and 70 strikeouts.

Brandon Downes

Brandon Downes

Legend to watch: OF Brandon Downes (6-3, 195, age 22, bats and throws right, from Plainfield, N.J.) shares the team lead in doubles (4). Batting .244 with three homers, nine RBI and 12 runs scored, he also has a triple and four stolen bases. Selected by the Royals in the seventh round of last year’s draft, he was rated by MLB.com as the 14th-best prospect in the Royals system, and by Baseball America as the 24th-best in the system. A graduate of South Plainfield High, where he was a catcher, he hit 15 homers as a junior — one shy of the New Jersey single-season record. The Boston Red Sox drafted  him in the 43rd round of the 2011 draft, but Downes opted to play for the University of Virginia. There, he hit .316 with 10 homers and 59 RBI as a sophomore in 2013. Last year, with Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League, he batted .308 in 41 games, with 13 doubles, four triples and three homers. His sister, Kelly, played softball for Drexel.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends open May with a trip to Asheville

April 30, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

legends-logo-13logo sal asheville-2011Lexington Legends
at Asheville Tourists

What: Four-game series

When: Friday through Monday (7:05 Friday night, 6:05 Saturday, 2:05 Sunday, 11:05 a.m. Monday)

Where: McCormick Field (Asheville, N.C.)

Major League affiliations: Kansas City Royals (Legends), Colorado Rockies

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Friday, RH Zach Lovvorn (0-2, 5.68) vs. RH Carlos Polanco (0-3, 5.74); Saturday, RH Pedro Fernandez (1-0, 3.44) vs. LH Sam Howard (0-2, 3.75); Sunday, LH Matt Tenuta (1-3, 5.12) vs. RH Zach Jemiola (3-1, 2.35); Monday, RH Nik Stephenson (1-2, 3.93) vs. LH Helmis Rodriguez (2-0, 2.78).

Matt Tenuta

Matt Tenuta

Legend to watch: Through Wednesday, LHP Matt Tenuta (6-foot-3, 219 pounds, age 21, bats right, throws left, from Dallas) leads the team with 19 1/3 inning worked. At 1-3, 5.12, Tenuta has struck out 17 and walked five over four starts. Selected by the Royals in the 25th round of the 2012 draft, he appeared in 26 games, including 20 starts, for Lexington last year when he went 6-10, 5.43. He threw 15 consecutive scoreless innings over three appearances. A graduate of Apex (N.C.) High School, he bypassed an opportunity to play for North Carolina State when he signed with the Royals. He was the Surprise (Ariz.) Royals Pitcher of the Year in 2012 before moving on to throw for Burlington of the Appalachian League and Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League in 2013. His brother Zach played football at Marshall and Akron. Father Jon played football at Virginia, and mother Lori played basketball there. Jon, who has served as defensive coordinator at Ohio State and Notre Dame, currently is associate head coach/defensive coordinator at Virginia.

Forrest Wall

Forrest Wall

Tourist to watch: 2B Forrest Wall (6-0, 192, age 19, bats left, throws right, from Winter Park, Fla..) was a supplemental first-round draft pick last year, signing for $2 million, and is listed by Baseball America as the No. 7 prospect in the Rockies system. Batting .298 with a homer, six RBI and nine runs, Wall has stolen four bases in six attempts. He had committed to North Carolina before opting for the Rockies. Colorado assigned him to Grand Junction of the Pioneer League, where he hit .318 with three homers, 24 RBI and 48 runs over 41 games. In Colorado’s class of 2014, Baseball America rated him the best pure hitter and fastest runner.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends come home to take on Rome

April 27, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

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

What: Three-game series

When: Tuesday through Thursday (7:05 Tuesday and Thursday nights, 10:05 Wednesday morning)

Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

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

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Tuesday, LH Matt Tenuta (1-2, 5.27) vs. RH Brandon Barker (0-2, 5.25); Wednesday, LH Emilio Ogando (0-1, 0.73) vs. LH Ricardo Sanchez (0-2, 7.94); Thursday, RH Corey Ray (0-1, 4.20) vs. RH Alec Grosser (0-0, 5.11).

Keith Curcio

Keith Curcio

Brave to watch: CF Keith Curcio (5-foot-10, 170 pounds, age 22, bats left, throws right, from Sarasota, Fla.) leads Rome with a .350 batting average (21-for-60). He has three consecutive multi-hit games, going 8-for-11. Over 17 games, he has four doubles, a triple, 10 RBI and eight runs. A sixth-round draft pick last  year, out of Florida Southern, he appeared in eight games each for Rome and Danville of the Appalachian League in 2014, going a combined .283 with a homer, nine RBI and 10 runs.

Alfredo Escalera

Alfredo Escalera

Legend to watch: OF Alfredo Escalera (6-1, 186, 20, bats and throws right, from San Juan, Puerto Rico) shares the team lead in RBI at eight. In 17 games, he is 16-for-69 (.232) with three homers, three doubles and five runs. Selected in the eighth round of the 2012 draft, he was the youngest player taken since the draft was established in 1965. He was with the Legends last year, too, batting .221 in 104 games with 17 doubles, four triples, nine homers and 38 RBI. He graduated from The Pendleton School in Bradenton, Fla., in 2012. Escalera earned the 2013 Mike Sweeney Award as the player who best represents the organization on and off the field. His uncle Nino played for the Cincinnati Reds in 1954 and later scouted for the Giants. A cousin, Ruben, played in the Milwaukee and Cincinnati organizations and later served as an instructor in the Oakland system.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300

 


Legends on the road vs. West Virginia

April 22, 2015

South Atlantic League baseball

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

What: Five-game series

When: Thursday through Sunday (6:05 p.m. Thursday doubleheader, 7:05 Friday night, 2:05 Saturday and Sunday afternoons)

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

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

Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Thursday, LH Colin Rodgers (1-1, 4.70) vs. RH Dovydas Neverauskas (0-1, 13.50) and RH Corey Ray (0-0, 2.89) vs. RH Miguel Rosario (0-0, 1.69); Friday, RH Zach Lovvorn (0-1, 2.08) vs. RH Austin Coley (2-0, 2.70); Saturday, RH Torey Deshazier (1-1, 3.46) vs. RH Jose Regalado (0-0, 1.08); Sunday, LH Matt Tenuta (1-2, 5.27) vs. LH John Sever (1-0, 2.70).

Corey Toups

Corey Toups

Legend to watch: SS Corey Toups (5-foot-10, 170 pounds, age 22, bats and throws right, from The Woodlands, Texas) is batting only .200, but leads the Legends in RBI with eight in 10 games. Four of his seven hits have gone for extra bases — a double and a team-leading three home runs. Selected in the 15th round of last year’s draft, out of Sam Houston State, Toups earned Pioneer League all-star honors last summer, leading the league with a .453 on-base percentage while batting .335. A 2011 graduate of The Woodlands College Park High, he teamed with the Legends’ Ryan O’Hearn at Sam Houston State. As a college freshman, Toups started all 62 games. He sat out his sophomore season due to injury. As a junior, he batted .310 while leading the team in runs and tying for the team lead in doubles and stolen bases.

Jerrick Suiter

Jerrick Suiter

Power to watch: 1B Jerrick Suiter (6-4, 230, 22, right/right, from Valparaiso, Ind.) is 13-for-39 (.333) through 11 games, with a triple and homer. He has eight RBI and seven runs scored, with a stolen base. He had a three-hit game against the Legends last week and is 5-for-13 (.385) in three games against Lexington pitching. A 26th round draft pick last year, out of Texas Christian, he played 55 games for Bristol of the Appalachian League last summer, batting .279 with a homer, 29 RBI and 35 runs.

Radio: WLXG-AM 1300