Spotlight on Blackwood
Jake Blackwood reached a career milestone of 500 career runs May 29 against the St. Paul Saints. Blackwood, who is sitting at 585 career RBIs, is off to a slow start in 2016, batting .221 with one home run and 16 RBIs.
The 30-year-old Kansas City native batted .302 with 119 hits in 2015, including 22 doubles and 11 home runs, along with 64 RBIs and 59 runs scored in 98 games. The then-Florida Marlins selected Blackwood in the 16th round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of Maple Woods Community College. He is a career .271 hitter with 109 homers in 1,048 games across the minor and independent leagues.
Blackwood is in his second stint with Kansas City after he was one of the top players for the T-Bones during 2009-2010, when the club still played in the Northern League.
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Massey picking up hits
Outfielder Tyler Massey has turned his 0-for-14 start to the season around, batting .429 with two home runs and three RBIs in his last five games.
“He was hitting the ball hard early in the season, but right at people,” manager John Massarelli said. “He’s still hitting the ball hard, but now it’s falling for him.”
Massey, who’s becoming one of the top center fielders in the American Association, was recruited by Auburn and Vanderbilt as a defensive back coming out of high school in Chattanooga, Tenn., before being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 14th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft. Prior to arriving in Kansas City this season, Massey had spent his entire career with the Rockies organization, reaching Class AA in 2015.
In spite of Massey’s surge offensively, the T-Bones have been slumping as a club, batting .242 on the season, which sits second-worst in the American Association. In the last five games, the T-Bones have left 53 runners on base, seven more than any other team in the league.
The T-Bones will continue their seven-game homestand Friday night as they begin a four-game series against the Joplin Blasters. Friday night’s game is a Negro Leagues Baseball Tribute game, and the T-Bones will be wearing Monarchs jerseys and the Blasters will be representing the Joplin Owls. The jerseys will be auctioned after the game, with proceeds going to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.