Baseball Notebook: Bisson Leads Cape Cod League in Steals

June 22, 2009


LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky sophomore second baseman Chris Bisson, a 2009 second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection, has swiped a league-leading 12 steals in just eight games while playing for Cotuit of the Cape Cod League.

In 2009, Bisson, hit a team-leading .360 average, pacing the club in at bats (222), runs (49), hits (80), triples (3), RBI (52) and walks (20), adding 13-of-15 stolen bases. The Orleans, Ontario, native, hit .365 (46-for-126) in SEC play alone, driving in 27 RBI while starting all 30 games at second base. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound left-handed hitter, led UK with 25 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI games, running up a team-high 15 game hitting streak.

Bisson, 19, played in 53 of UK’s 54 games with 52 starts, reaching base safely in 50-of-53 games, going hitless only seven times all season. Arguably the highlight of the season for Bisson came in the bottom of the ninth inning of a rivalry game with Eastern Kentucky, when the sophomore erased a one-run deficit with a walk-off, two-run homer, Bisson’s first career roundtripper.

While spending his first summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, Bisson has played in eight games for Cotuit, stealing 12-of-14 bases, leading the CCL. Bisson has hit .156 (5-for-32) with two RBI and four walks to just five strikeouts, playing three games at second, one game at third and six games at shortstop.

Ryan Strieby Continues to Mash at Double-A
Ryan Strieby, the 2006 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, has done nothing but hit since arriving in Lexington in 2006 and embarking on his professional career with the Detroit Tigers organization.

Strieby, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound first baseman, is off to another amazing start to the season in his first year at Double-A, batting .292 (62-for-212) with 12 doubles, one triple and 14 home runs. A Brier, Wash., native, Strieby has totaled 46 RBI, while drawing 41 walks and striking out 60 times. Strieby has been playing for the Erie SeaWolves of the Double-A Eastern League, just a year after leading the Florida State League with 29 home runs in 112 games, despite missing most of August with a minor injury.

Following his monster season at high-A in 2008, Strieby was named the best power hitter in the Tigers organization by Baseball America, also earning Detroit Tigers Minor League Player of the Year honors.

A fourth-round draft pick in the 2006 MLB Draft, Strieby finished his UK career as a first-team All-American. Strieby helped lead UK to its first SEC Championship in school annals in 2006, leading UK in doubles (22), homers (20), RBI (77), total bases (164), on-base percentage (.473) and slugging (.704).

Hot Coughy
A major piece of the 2006 Kentucky Southeastern Conference Championship, catcher Sean Coughlin earned a promotion to Double-A midway through the 2009 season and has charted impressive numbers for the Mobile BayBears of the Southern League.

Coughlin, a native of Morrison, Colo., has hit .350 (35-for-100) in 33 games at double-A, adding seven doubles and five homers, driving in 14 RBI and drawing 22 walks to just 13 strikeouts. After hitting .260 (27-for-104) in 27 games for the Visalia Rawhide of the California League, Coughlin was promoted to Mobile.

Currently riding a 1.033 OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage), Coughlin has hit .519 (14-for-27) in his last 10 games, scoring nine runs and adding two homers, drawing a staggering 13 walks to just two strikeouts. A powerful left-handed hitter, Coughlin is hitting .344 (11-for-32) in Double-A against left-handed pitching, totaling three homers.

A 2007 first-team All-American catcher, Coughlin led UK with a .344 average, a .620 slugging percentage, 13 home runs and 73 RBI during his senior season. While helping UK to the SEC Championship in 2006, Coughlin hit .325 with 17 home runs and 55 RBI, leading all SEC catchers in homers. In his two-year career, Coughlin hit .335 (142-for-424) with 29 doubles, three triples, 30 homers and 128 RBI, slugging .630 and reaching base at a .434 clip.

Catching up with a Pair of First-Team All-American Outfielders
Sean Coughlin and Ryan Strieby are not the only former Kentucky first-team All-Americans to have success in professional baseball in 2009, as 2008 first-team selections Sawyer Carroll and Collin Cowgill are off to impressive starts to the season.

Carroll, UK’s first consensus first-team All-American selection in the 105-year history of the program in 2008, has hit .316 (79-for-250) in his first 66 games of 2009 for the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the class-A Midwest League. Carroll has added 20 doubles and one triple, hitting five homers and drawing 40 walks. A 6-foot-4, 215-pound outfielder, Carroll has stolen 14-of-19 bases on the year. In his last 10 games, Carroll has hit .424 (14-for-33) with 10 runs, five doubles, one triple, one homer and six RBI, drawing 10 walks to just five strikeouts.

In his UK career, Carroll finished as the all-time career record holder in batting average, hitting .386 (173-for-234) in 117 games. In 2008, Carroll had a career year, totaling the best batting average in the SEC, a .419 average. Carroll added 22 doubles, three triples and 19 homers in 2008, driving in a school record 83 RBI, charting a 44-33 walk-strikeout ratio and stealing 12-of-12 bases.

Cowgill, a Lexington native and former Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball for Henry Clay High School, has hit .277 (61-for-220) in 61 games for the Visalia Rawhide of the class-A California League, adding nine doubles, five triples and six homers, driving in 36 RBI and stealing 11-of-15 bases. Cowgill, a fifth-round draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has hit .310 (9-for-29) in his last 10 games.

A 5-foot-9, 195-pound outfielder, Cowgill finished his career with a first-team All-America honor in 2008, batting .361 with 15 doubles, two triples and 19 homers, driving in 60 RBI and stealing 23-of-27 bases. In his three-year career, Cowgill hit .306 (171-for-558) with 35 doubles, four triples, 37 home runs and 140 RBI, stealing 32-of-43 bases and adding 11 outfield assists. 

Luke Maile Named Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball
Kentucky signee and Covington Catholic catcher Luke Maile has been named Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball, it was announced.

Maile, a 43rd round draft choice of the Boston Red Sox in the 2009 MLB Draft, is regarded as the top high school prospect in the state by Baseball America. A 6-foot-3, 190-pound catcher was tabbed as the 12th-best prospect in the state and one of only three high school prospects in Kentucky’s top-20 prospects by Baseball America.

The Gatorade Kentucky High School Player of the Year, Maile hit .514 with 12 homers and 55 RBI in 2009, reaching base at a .722 clip. Maile, who struck out just three times in 37 games, helped lead his team to the regional finals.

Braden Kapteyn Strikes out 13 in Six Scoreless Innings
Two-way standout Braden Kapteyn is off to an excellent start for the Amsterdam Mohawks in the New York Collegiate Baseball League, recently going six shutout innings in a start, allowing only one hit and striking out 13.

A 6-foot-4, 210-pound freshman in 2009, Kapteyn has totaled a 2-1 record and a 1.80 ERA in three starts on the mound. The Lansing, Ill., native has hurled 15 innings, allowing only six hits, walking 10 and striking out 23. Kapteyn has also started nine games in the field, batting .306 (11-for-36) with four RBI and three steals. Kapteyn’s best outing of the summer of the mound came June 16, when he tossed six scoreless frames, allowing only one hit, walking two and striking out 13 of the 23 batters he faced.

As a freshman in 2009 for UK, Kapteyn emerged as a two-way talent, starting 35 games in the field and batting .319 (45-for-141) with a team-high 11 doubles, adding four homers and 27 RBI. On the mound, Kapteyn functioned as UK’s closer, totaling a 5-0 record and a 6.06 ERA in 23 relief appearances, tallying four saves. Kapteyn tossed 32.2 innings and walked 16, striking out 42.