Wildcat Alumni Baseball Update - Part 1 of 3

The University of Kentucky baseball program has been strong in recent years, including an SEC championship and hosting an NCAA Regional. You don't have that kind of success without talent, and UK finds much of its alumni in professional baseball now displaying that talent. This is the first of a three-part series updating Wildcats in the professional league.

Andy Green
Singing as a free agent with the New York Mets, Andy Green spent most of his 2009 minor league season recovering from an injury sustained sliding head first into first base. Green put together good numbers for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons upon his return, getting a short call-up with the Mets in the big leagues. The native of Lexington, Ky., hit .261 for the season with five homers, 29 runs scored and 22 RBI. The second baseman also posted an on-base percentage of .346 with a slugging percentage of .379 with an OPS of .726. The 2005 Baseball America Triple-A All-Star saw action in four games in the majors with the Mets, gathering a hit and a base-on-balls. For his minor league career, Green is a .298 hitter with 61 home runs and 391 RBI.

Antone DeJesus
Moving up the ladder in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, the team that drafted him in the 16th round of the 2007 Draft, former Kentucky outfielder Antone DeJesus played well for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals this summer. Playing in 75 games primarily as the fourth outfielder, DeJesus ended the season with a batting average of .299 including one homer and 19 RBI. The native of Cleveland, Ohio, posted an on-base percentage of .356 and stole four bases on the year. His best month came in June, when he hit .306 with 10 runs scored and an on-base percentage of .390. The lefty also hit left-handing pitching well, posting a .279 average against southpaws on the season. DeJesus is a career .252 hitter with a .385 on-base percentage in the minors.

Caleb Stewart
A native of Ashland, Ky., Caleb Stewart spent his 2009 minor league season with the Double-A Binghamton Mets. The corner outfielder ended the season with a .225 batting average using three homers and 14 doubles to gather in 16 RBI. Stewart ended the season with an on-base percentage of .355 with 32 walks and 46 hits. He also scored 32 times, including 14 times in the month of August, his best month at the plate all season. In August, Stewart hit .280 with an on-base percentage of .416 and six of his 10 RBI. The 2007 Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star ends his sixth season in the minors with a total batting average of .260 along with 65 long balls and 272 RBI.

Collin Cowgill
Only one year removed from an extremely successful career at Kentucky, slugger Collin Cowgill took big steps in his progress to becoming a major league player with a good performance at High-A ball for the Visalia Oaks. Playing in 61 games and posting a batting average of .277, the Lexington, Ky., native, finished in the top five on the team in home runs (six), stolen bases (11), on-base percentage (.373), slugging percentage (.445), OPS (.819) and triples (five). Cowgill was on a tear to open the season, posting monster numbers in the month of April, before suffering a hand injury that ended his season. Cowgill posted a .311 average, with five doubles, three triples, four homers and 18 RBI in April. He also slugged a remarkable .622 in April with an on-base percentage of .422. Cowgill's bat came alive late as well, as the outfielder posted a .310 average in his last 10 games along with two doubles, four RBI and two stolen bases. Cowgill's season will continue soon, as he will be playing in the Winter Arizona Fall League for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

John Shelby
Considered one of the top prospects in the Chicago White Sox organizations, John Shelby made a very nice transition to Double-A this past season posting impressive numbers in a pitchers ballpark that Shelby played at as a UK standout. Playing for the Birmingham Barons, a team considered the most talented minor league team in baseball, Shelby gathered a .243 batting average with 32 doubles, three triples, 10 homers, 49 RBI and 30 stolen bases. The native of Lexington, Ky., finished second on the team with doubles, fifth RBI and first in stolen bases. The center fielder hit left-handed pitchers extremely well on the season, posting a .326 average against southpaws with five roundtrippers and 20 RBI. Shelby played in 115 games for the Barons, who finished first in the Southern leagues south division.
Stay tuned to KSR for Part 2 of the three-part series on Wildcats in the minor leagues.

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