The Lexington Legends lost their biggest bat but replaced him with a former University of Kentucky mystery man on Thursday.
First baseman Chris DeVito, who is leading the South Atlantic League with 11 home runs, 38 RBI and 42 hits, was promoted to Wilmington, the Kansas City Royals’ advanced-Class A affiliate in the Carolina League.
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DeVito, who arrived in Lexington this spring after playing rookie ball last season in Burlington, N.C., played only 30 games for the Legends before earning his promotion. He is fifth in the South Atlantic League with a .347 batting average.
DeVito was replace on the Legends roster by first baseman Joe Dudek, who spent the 2016 season with the University of Kentucky but never played an official game for the Wildcats.
Dudek, originally from Wall Township, N.J., played two collegiate seasons at North Carolina before transferring to Kentucky. Upon his arrival at UK, Dudek flashed potential during the fall “with above average power and a sweet left-handed swing,” according to his UK bio.
Dudek had to sit out the spring 2016 season as a transfer. Rather than finish his collegiate career at UK, Dudek signed a professional contract with the Royals last summer.
He was assigned to Burlington, where he hit .346 with six homers and 29 RBI in 30 games. He joins the Legends from extended spring training.
▪ The Legends were scheduled to play Greensboro on Thursday and Friday nights.
▪ Friday night's Greensboro starter is right-hander Dustin Beggs, who pitched for UK in 2015 and 2016. He was 9-2 in 2016, including a 5-2 mark against Southeastern Conference competition. He was selected by Miami in the 16th round of the June 2016 draft.