Legends host Drive; Reds home to take on Cubs

June 4, 2009

South Atlantic League baseball

Coming up

Lexington Legends vs. Greenville Drive

When: Friday through Sunday (7:05 Friday and Saturday nights; 2:05 Sunday).

Where: Applebee’s Park

Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867

Probable pitcher (Legends listed first): Friday, RH Jordan Lyles (2-5, 3.31) vs.RH Stephen Fife (0-0, 0.00); Saturday, LH Brad Dydalewicz (3-0, 0.64) vs. TBA; Sunday, RH Ross Seaton (6-4, 2.44) vs. RH Stolmy Pimentel (3-3, 2.09).

Anthony Rizzo

Anthony Rizzo

Drive to watch: 1B Anthony Rizzo (6-foot-3, 220 pounds, from Parkland, Fla.) leads Greenville in runs (29), RBI (26) and walks (21) through Thursday’s games. Over 48 games, the 19-year-old also is hitting .275 with six home runs. Selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, he batted .373 and drove in 11 runs over 21 games with the Drive in April of 2008. He missed the rest of the season when he was diagnosed with limited stage classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma. With the cancer in remission, he is rated by Baseball America as the 22nd-best prospect in Boston’s system.

Patrick Urckfitz

Patrick Urckfitz

Legend to watch: LHP Patrick Urckfitz (6-4, 190, from Penfield, N.Y.) earned team Pitcher of the Month honors in May, when he went 1-0 with four saves and a 0.71 ERA. Urckfitz gave up one earned run over 10 games in May and 12 2/3 innngs, with 13 strikeouts to one walk, while holding opposing teams to a .178 batting average. Overall, Urckfitz has a 2.82 ERA and also has four saves. A non-drafted free agent out of Monroe (N.Y.) Community College, Urckfitz signed with the Astros last year on June 29. He made 15 relief appearances for Greeneville, going 1-0 with three saves and a 1.40 ERA.

Radio: WLXG AM-1300

Also of note: Thursday, the Houston Astros Player Development Department named Players of the Month for May, as chosen by the field staffs of the Astros minor-league teams.

Brian Pellegrini

Brian Pellegrini

Brandon Barnes

Brandon Barnes

From the Legends, LH Patrick Urckfitz (see above) is Pitcher of the Month (POM), 1B/OF Brian Pellegrini is Offensive Player of the Month (OPM) and OF Brandon Barnes is Defensive Player of the Month (DPM).

Pellegrini, demoted from Lancaster, hit .277 (13-for-47) with three homers and nine RBI over 14 games.

Barnes has one error in 98 chances and 53 games this season, fielding at a .990 clip.

Players of the month for Houston’s other minor-league clubs (former Legends underlined):

Triple-A Round Rock — RH Yorman Bazardo (POM, 4-0, 1.49); SS Tommy Manzella (OPM and DPM, .339, 11 w, 11 2b, 2 hr, 12 rbi and .977 fielding through 52 games this season).

Double-A Corpus Christi — LH Doug Arguello (POM, 1-2, 2.28); OF Drew Locke (OPM, .327, 7 2b, 5 hr, 31 rbi); CF Josh Flores (DPM, .990 fielding over 39 games).

High-A Lancaster — RH Jordan Powell (POM, 1-1, 1 save, 3.77 ERA); OF Jonathan Gaston (OPM, .365, 23 ebh, 9 hr, 25 rbi); C Jason Castro (DPM, .984 fielding, 34 assists over 41 games). 

Ross Seaton

Ross Seaton

Want more Astros minor-league fuel? Check out http://farmstros.blogspot.com/

The Farmstros Five for  (top performers) the Week of May 27- June 3:

RHP Ross Seaton (Legends); RHP Yorman Bazardo (Round Rock); OF Drew Locke (Corpus Christi); OF Jonathan Gaston (Lancaster); RHP Xavier Baso (Dominican Summer League Astros).

Fan extras as Reds host Cubs in weekend series

Food: Kroger $7 Meal Deal this homestand: hot dog, 16-ounce Coke, chips and Cheez-It crackers.

Give and receive: The Reds and Society of St. Vincent de Paul are sponsoring a food drive during the series. Fans donating a non-perishable food item in designated collection barrels will receive two tickets to the June 17 Reds-Braves game and also can enter a drawing to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Braves game.

Individual-game promotions

Friday (7:10 p.m.) — Pre-game concert in the Fan Zone by the Paul Otten Band; game-ball delivery by Miss Teen Ohio, Jessica Paige Byington of Indian Hill; pre-fireworks mini-concert by saxophonist Elan Trotman, who has played with Bronson Arroyo’s band; post-game fireworks with soundtrack.

Saturday (7:10 p.m.) — Pre-game concert in the Fan Zone by the Goshen Brothers; team baseball card set to first 30,000 fans; “Sam” the Bald Eagle trading cards to first 20,000 fans; “Sam” the Bald Eagle flight from the riverboat to the pitcher’s mound during the national anthem.

Sunday (1:10 p.m.) Joey Votto matted photo to first 30,000 fans (500 random winners receive a signed version); Reds Heads Kids Club members accompany a Reds starter on the field for lineup introduction; Aaron’s AcesAaron Harang hosts free ticket program for families with a parent who is serving in the military.

Talking baseball: Legends, Wildcats and Reds

January 21, 2009
Six of Baseball America’s “Top 10 Prospects” in the Houston Astros organization are former Lexington Legends.

The top 10 in order (Legends underlined): Jason Castro, C; Bud Norris, RHP; Ross Seaton, RHP; Brian Bogusevic, OF; Chris Johnson, 3B; Jordan Lyles, RHP; Felipe Paulino, RHP; Drew Sutton, SS/2B; Collin DeLome, OF; Jay Austin, OF. Castro, Norris and Johnson have invitations to major-league spring training with the Astros. Castro is Houston’s top draft pick of 2008, out of Miami (Fla.).

Baseball America’s “Best Tools” designees in the Astros system include: Bogusevic (a converted pitcher), best hitter for average; Johnson, best power hitter and best infield arm; Sutton, best strike-zone discipline; and Norris, best fastball. Other ex-Legends on the Best Tools list are Sammy Gervacio, best slider; Polin Trinidad, best control; Tommy Manzella, best defensive infielder; and Josh Flores, best defensive outfielder.

* More ex-files – Houston signed RHP Paul Estrada; reclaimed 2B Jonny Ash from Milwaukee in the 3A Rule 5 draft; and sent OF Jordan Parraz to Kansas City as the “player to be named” in a deal that sent LHP Tyler Lumsden to the Astros.

* The Brewers signed former Clark County High School RHP Matt Ginter.

Cats not included in Baseball America pre-season Top 25

Kentucky cracked pre-season polls released by Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (23) and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper (19), but not with Baseball America. Louisville checked in at No. 23 in the BBA rankings. Texas A&M is No. 1, followed by LSU, the first of five Southeastern Conference teams listed. The other four: Mississippi (6), Georgia (14), Alabama (21) and Arkansas (22).

The Reds are coming! The Reds are coming!

A reminder that the Cincinnati Reds Winter Caravan is scheduled to stop at Fayette Mall in Lexington on Saturday, 6-8:30 p.m.

Scheduled to make the trip are Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips, No. 1 draft pick Devin Mesoraco and Reds Hall of Famer Lee May. Fans also will have the chance to meet Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, TV analyst Chris Welsh, Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini and Assistant General Manager Bob Miller, as well as team mascot Gapper.

Lexington is part of the Caravan’s “Southern Tour” stops. Simultaneous “Northern” and “Western” tours will feature others in the Reds family.

All the stops are free to the public, and two tickets to opening day (April 6 vs. New York Mets) will be raffled at each stop.

The full Southern Tour:

Thursday, Jan. 22 — 3:15-4:45 p.m., Charleston (W.Va.) Towne Center; 6:30-8:30 p.m., Huntington (W.Va.)/Ashland, Ky., Fannin Motors.

Friday, Jan. 23 — 7-8:30 p.m., Bowling Green, Ky., Greenwood Mall.

Saturday, Jan. 24 — 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Nashville, RiverGate Mall; 6-8:30 p.m., Lexington, Fayette Mall.

Sunday, Jan. 25 — 12:15-1:45 p.m., Maysville (Ky.) Conference Center.

The Northern Tour will stop at Vienna, W.Va.; Athens, Ohio; Lima, Ohio; and Columbus, Ohio. General Manager Walt Jocketty, broadcaster Thom Brennaman, Chief Operating Officer Phil Castellini, Reds Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Browning, Reds Minor League Player of the Year Chris Valaika, infielder Jeff Keppinger, pitcher Mike Lincoln, coach Billy Hatcher and mascot Mr. Redlegs will take part in all or parts of the Northern Tour.

The Western Tour includes one Kentucky site, Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats (Jan. 22, 4:30-7 p.m.). Also on the circuit are Indiana stops in Evansville, Bloomington, Indianapolis and Muncie, as well as the final leg at Dayton, Ohio. Western  participants include Manager Dusty Baker, broadcasters George Grande and Jeff Brantley, outfielder Chris Dickerson, utility player Jerry Hairston Jr., 2008 top draft pick Yonder Alonso and mascot Rosie Red. 

In addition to Lexington, CEO Bob Castellini will visit Louisville and Columbus.

More details are available online at: www.reds.com/caravan.