The Lexington Legends are excited to announce that infielder Manny Olloque has been named’s Player of the Week for the South Atlantic League. Olloque has been solid at the plate slashing .412/.421/1.118 for the Legends July 16-22.

“Manny adds a lot of leadership and is a versatile player that can play multiple positions. His strong numbers this week are why we have won five games in a row and are starting to play great baseball,” said Legends Executive Vice President, Gary Durbin.

Olloque is currently riding a seven-game win streak while recording doubles in back-to-back games (July 16 & 17) and smacking two triples as well. Olloque also hit home runs in back-to-back games with a solo homer on July 19 and a two-run bomb on July 21 against the West Virginia Power. He also scored six runs and had 7 RBI as well. He tied a season-high with three RBI on July 17 facing the Greensboro Grasshoppers.


The Legends are excited to announce today that Seuly Matias, Sebastian Rivero, Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez have been named to the South Atlantic All-Star Team for 2018. The 2018 South Atlantic League All-Star Game is scheduled to be played on June 19, 2018, at First National Bank Field in Greensboro, North Carolina, home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers.

“We are very proud to see four Legends be recognized for all their hard work so far this season. They have been leaders on the field and have also been involved in a variety of capacities in the community. We are so excited to see these young men excel on the field, and beyond the diamond as well,” said Legends President/CEO Andy Shea.

Seuly Matias has been stellar at the plate, leading the SAL in home runs for the majority of the season. Currently, Matias is batting .247 with 17 home runs, seven doubles, one triple and 34 RBI. His 17 home runs, currently leads all levels of Minor League Baseball. He started the season off with a bang, blasting four home runs in the first three games and recorded a six-game hit streak from 4/05-09 where he went 8-for-19 with one triple, eight RBI and four homers. He had a five-game hit streak from 4/16-25 when he went 8-for-20 with two doubles and home runs in back-to-back games. He has picked up speed again smashing five home runs in five games 5/27-6/02.

MJ Melendez has alternated behind the plate all season with fellow Lexington catcher, Sebastian Rivero. Melendez had a four-game hit streak 4/17-21 going 4-for-16 with two home runs and four RBI. He was named South Atlantic League Player of the Week for the week of 5/14-20 after having a stellar seven days at the plate. During that time, he went 10-for-24 batting .472/.462/1.042 with a double, triple, four home runs, eight RBI and scored six runs. Melendez had another six-game hit streak from 5/20-25 going 9-for-25 with one home run, four doubles and six RBI. Currently, Melendez is batting .263 with 11 doubles, five triples, eight home runs and 29 RBI this season.

Nick Pratto has been the every day first baseman for the Legends, appearing in 49 games. Pratto hit the ground running in his first year with a full-season team, with a six-game hit streak from 4/19-25. He went 12-for-23 with two doubles, one home run and five RBI. From 5/09-514 he recorded another six-game hit streak with one double, two home runs and five RBI. Pratto is currently batting .264 with 10 doubles, seven home runs and 27 RBI.

Sebastian Rivero has been a very valuable backstop for the Legends, as well as productive at the plate. Rivero recorded his first four-game hit streak of the season from 4/18-25 going 9-for-15 with two home runs, six RBI and four runs scored. He had an eight-game hit streak from 5/05-5/14 going 13-for-31 with three doubles, home run, three RBI and six runs. Rivero is currently batting .266 with seven doubles, four home runs and 17 RBI.

The Lexington Legends are pleased to announce that catcher MJ Melendez has been named South Atlantic League Player of the week. During the week of May 14-20, Melendez went 10-for-24 at the plate, batting .417/.462/1.042 with a double, triple, 4 home runs, eight RBI and scored six runs.

“We are always excited to have one of our players receive such an honor as SAL Player of the Week. MJ Melendez has been superb at the plate and has worked hard to earn this award. Not only is he very talented, but he is also a young man with great character that we are proud to have representing Lexington,” said Legends President/CEO Andy Shea.

Melendez started the week blasting home runs in back-to-back games on May 14 and 15 facing Greenville in Lexington. On May 15, he went three-for-four with one home run, two runs scored and two RBI.

On May 16 facing the Greenville Drive, Melendez hit a leadoff bomb to the opposite field leading off the bottom of the second inning. He recorded two more hits in that ballgame, both to right field.

On May 18, Melendez had another strong outing. He went three-for-five with two home runs and a double. He blasted his first homer of the game in the first inning after Travis Jones reached on a leadoff double. He brought in Jones again in the third with an RBI double, then followed that up with another two-run dinger in the fifth, again with Jones on base.

The Legends, a Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and member of the South Atlantic League, play all home games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky. For ticket information, call (859) 422-7867 or visit

The Legends have started off the season, opposite of the weather: Hot. Despite playing in cold temperatures, the Legends have been solid at the plate and on the mound. Currently, they are tied with the Delmarva Shorebirds with an 8-2 overall record. After the opening home stand, the Legends were 6-1, even sweeping the Greenville Drive. As the Legends wrap up their first road trip, let’s break down the break out players for the Legends in the early part of the season.

Seuly Matias

Seuly Matias has had the best start for the Legends. He had four home runs through the series of the opening homestand, and still leads the South Atlantic League in home runs (4). He is third in the league with RBI (10) and fourth in slugging percentage (.686). Once he reaches base, Matias is not afraid to swipe bags for extra bases. He has two stolen bases so far this season. Matias is only 19-years-old and is looking like one of the most electric players on the Legends roster.

Tyler Zuber

Tyler Zuber has earned a save in all three save opportunities that he has been in. He has tossed 5.0 innings and has not allowed a run. He has given up just one hit and has yet to allow a free pass. Zuber has eight strikeouts through those 5.0 innings and has shown complete control with every pitch. He ends games quickly, and shuts down opponents.

Carter Hope

Carter Hope has recorded a win in all three appearances on the mound for the Legends. Sitting at 3-0, he still has a 0.00 ERA after tossing 7.1 innings. He allowed one hit while striking out eight and not walking a batter. Hope has come out of the bullpen for his three outings, but has shown how dominant he can be.

Nick Pratto

One of the top prospects in the Royals system, Nick Pratto has shown how versatile a player he can be. Pratto is currently batting .303 with three doubles, one home run, six RBI and a stolen base. He has started at first base, all but one game. His footwork first and presence at the plate has proven why he is ranked so highly on prospect lists.

MJ Melendez

MJ Melendez has been splitting time with Sebastian Rivero behind the dish, but has proven that he can hit for extra bases. Melendez is batting .300 with two doubles, two triples, one RBI and a stolen base. Once Melendez gets settled behind the plate, he is a strong back stop with hard throws to second.

Travis Jones

Travis Jones has been one of the most varied position for the Legends. He has played in both the infield and outfield, as well as designating hitting. At the plate, Jones is batting .273 with a double, an RBI and three stolen bases.

Marten Gasparini (Photo Credit: Clinton Riddle)

Emmanuel Rivera is batting .372 in the month of August. He leads the South Atlantic League in hits and is third in batting average as of August 27. (Photo-Mary Lay)

The Legends will wrap up the home season this week, and third baseman Emmanuel Rivera will put the finishing touches on an outstanding year.

Going into Sunday’s games, Rivera leads the South Atlantic League in hits with 138, five more than Asheville’s Willie Abreu.  Rivera is second in batting average at .312, tied for third in total bases at 210, and is fifth in on-base percentage at .366.

This is Rivera’s first year in full-season professional baseball (a 140-game schedule as opposed to 70 in the Arizona and Appalachian Leagues, where he spent the last two years), and he’s putting together a strong finish.  He has 15 hits in his last 36 at bats (.417).  For the month of August, he’s hitting .372 (29 for 78) in 21 games, with 17 runs batted in.

The Legend are at home for a single game Tuesday night and a doubleheader Wednesday against the Augusta GreenJackets, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.  Game time Tuesday night is 7:05 p.m., and the first of two seven-inning games Wednesday will begin at 5:35 p.m.    The Legends are off Thursday and will finish the season with four games at Hagerstown starting Friday night.  For more information, visit

Vizcaino’s streak:  After a two-out, ninth-inning error kept Saturday night’s game going, Legends outfielder Vance Vizcaino took advantage of the opportunity and singled, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.  That’s the longest streak by a Legend this season.

Shortstop Angelo Castellano hit the most recent of the Legends’ six grand slams in 2017.

After splitting a four-game series at Hickory, the Legends remain on the road.  They’ll open a three-game series in Asheville Monday night.  Game time is 7:05 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Pitching matchups (Lexington pitcher listed first) :

Monday, Aug. 7 – Nolan Watson (1-7, 7.19 ERA)  vs.  Erick Julio (4-10, 4.85)

Tuesday, Aug. 8 – Ofreidy Gomez (5-9, 5.11) vs. Antonio Santos (7-9, 5.32)

Wednesday, Aug. 9 –  Garrett Davila (7-6, 5.59) vs. Riley Pint (2-10, 4.38)

The Legends will be back at home Thursday night to open a four-game series against the Charleston RiverDogs, an affiliate of the New York Yankees.  Game times are 7:05 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 6:35 p.m. Saturday and 2:05 p.m. Sunday.

On the rise:   2B Gabriel Cancel is batting .371 (26 for 70) in 18 games since July 1, with six homers and 14 RBI.   He was limited to 13 games in July due to a right wrist strain.   

Roster move:   INF John Brontsema has been promoted to Wilmington.  INF Max Bartlett, who had transferred from Lexington to Burlington August 3, is back with the Legends.

Cashing in:  The Legends are 22 for 53 (.415) with the bases loaded this season.  3B Emmanuel Rivera is four for five, including a grand slam.  The Legends have hit a league-leading six grand slams this year – one each by Rivera, Manny Olloque. Khalil Lee and Angelo Castellano, and two by Chris DeVito.  Lee’s slam and one of DeVito’s were hit in the same game April 28 vs. Hagerstown, a 16-4 Legends victory.  The most recent slam was by Castellano in Saturday’s 9-3, 9-inning win at Hickory in game 2 of a doubleheader.

Prospects:  Current Legends on’s top 30 prospects in the Royals’ organization are OF Khalil Lee (# 2), 3B Emmanuel Rivera (#17) , C Meibrys Viloria (# 18), OF Marten Gasparini (#20) and 2B Gabriel Cancel (#24), RHP Nolan Watson (#27), LHP Garrett Davila (#28), and RHP Gerson Garabito (#30).



Nolan Watson will make his first start for Lexington since May 7. (

Watson returns:  Right-hander Nolan Watson is scheduled to make the start tonight (Friday) for the Legends.   Sidelined in May by a shoulder injury, Watson returned to action in late June, making four rehab starts for the Arizona League Royals and three for Burlington of the Appalachian League.  Tonight will mark his first start for Lexington since May 7.

Watson was a first round pick by the Kansas City Royals and the 33rd overall pick in the June 2015 first-year player draft.

Homestand continues through Wednesday:  The Legends will play the Kannapolis Intimidators, an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, Friday at 7:05 p.m., Saturday at 6:35, and Sunday at 2:05.  Kannapolis took the series opener Thursday night 2-0.

Pitching matchups (Kannapolis pitcher listed first:

Friday – Blake Hickman (2-5, 4.26 ERA) vs. Nolan Watson  (1-5, 5.71)

Saturday  – Dylan Cease (0-2, 3.72) vs.  Ofreidy Gomez (4-9, 5.49)

Sunday –  Luis Martinez (4-1, 3.28) vs. Travis Eckert (4-6, 5.07)

The homestand continues as West Virginia visits for a doubleheader Monday night and single games Tuesday and Wednesday.   The first of two seven-inning games will begin at 5:35 p.m. as the Legends and Power make up a game that was postponed due to rain July 6.  Tuesday’s game begins at 7:05 p.m., and Wednesday’s first pitch is set for 12:35 p.m.

July numbers:   Third baseman Emmanuel Rivera has batted .321 in 21 games in the month of July.  He’s sixth in the league in hitting at .300.  Second baseman Gabriel Cancel is batting .412 in July (21 hits in 51 at bats), but has been limited to 12 games due to a right wrist strain.  He has been on the disabled list since July 19.  Right-hander Anthony Bender is 2-1 in July with an ERA of 1.57 in six appearances, including his first three starts of the season.  He pitched six no-hit innings in a start against Columbia July 21, which earned him South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week honors for July 17-23.  Right-hander Justin Camp has an 0.77 ERA in four July appearances covering 11 and two-thirds innings.  He also earned a South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week award after pitching five no-hit innings (11th through 15th) in the Legends 7-6, 21-inning win at Delmarva July 13-14

Emmanuel Rivera is batting .305 and leads the Legends in RBI with 50. (Photo-Mary Lay)

The Legends will try to bounce back from a 16-2 loss to the Columbia Fireflies Wednesday afternoon at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.   They’ll have two more opportunities against the Fireflies in this series.  Game time is 7:05 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Among the leaders:   3B Emmanuel Rivera is tied for fourth in the SAL in hitting at .305 and tied for second in hits with 99.   OF Khalil Lee is tied for third in the SAL in home runs with 13.

Hot  in July :  In 12 games in the month of July, 2B Gabriel Cancel has 21 hits in 51 at bats (.412), with four homers and 11 RBI.  3B Emmanuel Rivera is 20 for 56 (.357)  in 14 July games and OF Marten Gasparini is at .315 (17 for 54) in 14 games for the month.  As a team, the Legends are batting. .274 in 15 games in July.

At the top:  The Legends lead the South Atlantic League in home runs with 88.  They have a team batting average of .265, one point behind Asheville, Charleston and Hagerstown, who are all tied at .266.

Vs. Fireflies:  Columbia has a 9-7 edge in the season series.  LHP Andre Davis is 2-0 in three starts against Columbia, with an ERA of 1.08 and 25 strikeouts in 16.2 IP.

Congratulations to Camp:  Legends’ relief pitcher Justin Camp was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for July 10-16.

In his one appearance last week, Camp pitched five no-hit innings – the 11th through 15th-in the Legends’ 7-6, 21-inning victory at Delmarva. It was the longest game in the Legends’ 17-year history. The first 20 innings were played Thursday night and early Friday morning. Rain then forced the suspension of play, and when the game was resumed Friday evening, the Legends scored a run on Marten Gasparini‘s homer in the top of the 21st and held on to win.

 Prospects:  Current Legends on’s top 30 prospects in the Royals’ organization are OF Khalil Lee (#12)  C Meibrys Viloria (#13), LHP Garrett Davila (#16) and OF Marten Gasparini (#18).

Legends’ second baseman Gabriel Cancel is batting .450 (18 hits in 40 at bats) against Greenville this year. (Photo – Mary Lay)

The Lexington Legends are taking some positive momentum into this weekend’s four-game series against Greenville at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

The Legends have won four straight games and are tied for first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division.  Lexington and Charleston each have nine wins and five losses in the second half of the season.   The season is divided into two halves, with each division winner going on to the post-season playoffs.   Kannapolis won the Northern Division for the first half, and Greenville was the Southern Division champion.

The Legends are batting .266 as a team for the year, one point behind league leader Hagerstown.

Game times this weekend are 7:05 p.m. Friday, 6:35 p.m. Saturday, 2:05 p.m. Sunday and 7:05 p.m. Monday.

Other notes as the Legends take on the Drive, an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox:

Vs. Drive:  The Legends have a 5-5 record against the Drive this season.  2B Gabriel Cancel is batting .450 (18 hits in 40 AB) against Greenville, with five doubles, one homer, four runs batted in and 10 runs scored.

Hot bat:  OF Yeison Melo has 9 hits in his last 21 at bats (.429).

On the rise:  The Legends are now second in the league in team batting average at .266, one point behind Hagerstown.  The Legends batted .272 in the month of June (26 games).   In the series at Greenville June 30-July 3, the Legends scored 33 runs on 55 hits, and won three of four games.

Cashing in: With the bases loaded, 3B Emmanuel Rivera is 4-for-5 with 10 RBI.   Rivera has drawn a bases-loaded walk in each of the two games of the West Virginia series this week.

 Ready to run:  Fans can see two of the league’s leading base stealers in action this weekend.  OF Rudy Martin, who has played in 32 games for the Legends, is third in the league in stolen bases with 25.  Martin is one behind co-leaders Tyler Hill of Greenville and Randy Ventura of Rome.


Legends notes entering tonight’s doubleheader against the West Virginia Power in Charleston, where the first of two seven-inning games will begin at 6:05 p.m.

Legends infielder John Brontsema was four-for-four with a home run and five runs scored against Hagerstown June 16.

Hot bat:  INF John Brontsema has hit safely in eight straight games, and has 13 hits in 28 at bats (.464 ) during the streak.

Coming through:  With runners on base, Brontsema is 18 for 35 (.514) with five doubles and six runs batted in.

All-Stars:   Legends OF Kort Peterson, RHP Jace Vines and RHP Grant Gavin were chosen for the SAL Southern Division All-Star team.  Peterson was promoted to advanced-A Wilmington June 9, and Gavin was promoted to Wilmington June 22.  Vines is 7-2 with the league’s eighth-best ERA at 2.64.

Vines pitched one scoreless inning in the All-Star game.  Gavin did not pitch.

Vs. Power:  Catcher Meibrys Viloria was 0-for-5 Thursday night, but has 13 hits in 30 at bats (.433) against West Virginia this season.

Recent roster moves:  In addition to Gavin’s promotion to Wilmington, catcher Luis Villegas joined the Legends June 22.  He was with Lexington in 2014 and 2015.  RHP Justin Camp returned to the Legends from Wilmington.  He was promoted to Wilmington from Lexington May 27.  RHP Geoffrey Bramblett was sent from Lexington to Idaho Falls June 24.

Homestand starts Monday:  The Legends will be at home for four games against Columbia starting Monday night.  Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow was still on the Columbia roster as of Saturday afternoon.  It’s the second visit to Lexington for the Fireflies, who played a series here May 25-28.  Game times at Whitaker Bank Ballpark are 7:05 p.m. Monday and Tuesday,  12:35 p.m. Wednesday and 7:05 p.m. Thursday.







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