Minor-league baseball notes: Ex-Cats Thomas, Shepherd make their debuts

dvarney@herald-leader.comJune 24, 2014 

A pair of former University of Kentucky baseball stars made their minor-league debuts on Tuesday.

Micheal Thomas, a 22nd-round pick earlier this month by the Detroit Tigers, was 2-for-5 with two singles, three runs scored and a stolen base in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Tigers' 11-3 win against the Astros. Thomas, who played in high school at Elizabethtown, batted .315 with eight home runs and 45 RBI for UK this past season.

Chandler Shepherd, taken in the 13th round by the Boston Red Sox, pitched one scoreless inning of relief with one strikeout for short-season Class A Lowell. Shepherd, a former Lawrence County standout, was 5-5 with a 3.66 during his junior season for Kentucky.

More highlights from Tuesday's games

■ Former Bowling Green standout Jack Snodgrass, a pitcher in the San Francisco Giants' organization, threw a five-hit shutout in Double-A Richmond's 2-0 victory against Harrisburg. Snodgrass, who walked one and struck out four, improved to 8-1 with a 2.81 ERA for the Flying Squirrels.

■ AJ Reed (UK) had an RBI double in short-season Class A Tri-City's 5-4 victory against Vermont. Reed, a first baseman who was drafted in the second round by the Houston Astros, also walked for the eighth time in nine games. He has five RBI and is batting .273 so far.

■ Logan Darnell (UK) improved to 3-4 with a 3.41 after pitching five innings and giving up three runs in Triple-A Rochester's 7-5 victory against Scranton-Wilkes Barre. The Minnesota Twins prospect had six strikeouts.

■ Lance Ray (UK) was 3-for-5 with a run scored in Class A Advanced Fort Myers' 7-6 win against Charlotte. The Twins prospect has batted .343 in 10 games.

■ Ian Tompkins (St. Xavier, WKU) gave up one hit and two walks, but no runs, in an inning and a third in his minor-league debut for Burlington, the Kansas City Royals' rookie-level squad in the Appalachian League.

Legends defeat Hagerstown 5-3

Jake Junis pitched six-plus solid innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts, in the Class A Lexington Legends' 5-3 victory at Hagerstown.

Andrew Edwards (Marshall County, WKU) got the final eight outs and earned the save, his first of the season.

Burdi signs with Twins

University of Louisville closer Nick Burdi, a second-round pick by the Twins, signed with the team. He will begin his professional career at Class A Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League.

Burdi had 18 saves with a 0.49 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 37 innings this past season for the Cardinals.

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