Former U of L and Butler High School star Adam Duvall is ranked the 11th best prospect in the San Francisco Giants' farm system.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Time for a short break from basketball. The Baseball America Prospect Handbook arrived in my mailbox.
It is the baseball equivalent of the college football and basketball recruiting rankings on the Internet sites. Baseball America ranks the Top 30 prospects in every Major League Baseball organization.
College baseball has never been better at Kentucky and Louisville. Both programs have had multiple players selected in the MLB free agent draft over the last few years.
How many guys made the Top 30? Two from Louisville and two from Kentucky.
Here is the rundown:
ADAM DUVALL, LOUISVILLE – Duvall, who also played at Butler High School, has worked his way past his former U of L teammate Chris Dominguez in the San Francisco Giants' farm system. BA ranks Duvall as San Francisco's 11th best prospect because of his power. He hit 30 home runs last season with San Jose in High Class A ball. He should play third base in AA ball this spring.
TONY ZYCH, LOUISVILLE – The Chicago Cubs are looking for fresh arms in the bullpen, and Zych, the former Cards' closer, ranks as the Cubs' 22nd best prospect. Zych signed for $400,000 in 2011. He struck out 64 hitters in 62 innings last season and figures to begin this season in Class AA.
ALEX MEYER, KENTUCKY – A former first-round pick, Meyer remains on the fast-track to the big leagues, especially now that he has been traded from Washington to the Minnesota Twins. BA ranks him as the Twins' fourth best prospect. At 6 feet 9, Meyer has an intimidating mound presence with his 97 mph fastball. He struck out 139 in 129 innings in his first pro season.
JAMES PAXTON, KENTUCKY – Nobody in baseball would be surprised if Paxton, a lefty, showed up in the big leagues with Seattle this season. He pitched his way to Class AA ball last season, winning nine of 13 decisions while allowing 96 hits in 106 innings. He starts the season as the Mariners' No. 4 prospect.
Former U of L infielder Ryan Wright did not make the Top 30 prospects in the Cincinnati Reds' system, but Wright was listed as Cincinnati's best second base prospect. Wright should begin his third season in pro ball in high Class A ball.