Star debuts new weekly sports feature: The Home Team

2013-05-20T00:00:00Z 2013-06-08T19:04:23Z Star debuts new weekly sports feature: The Home TeamAndrew Cockrum Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Editor's note: Today, the Star debuts a new weekly feature on Southern Arizonans in the minor leagues. "The Home Team: Minor-Leaguers with Southern Arizona Ties" will run every Monday. 

Ever wonder where some of the players are today who you used to watch at Kindall/Sancet Stadium or Pima College's West Campus?

Maybe you even played with or against them in high school.

Well, there is a chance they could be one of the 46 players with Southern Arizona ties playing minor-league baseball.

The University of Arizona has 31 former players in the minors, Pima College seven, and 20 are graduates from 14 local high schools.

Starting today, the Star will give updates every Monday on the players. As temperatures begin to near triple-digits in Tucson, some minor leaguers with local ties are starting to heat up or battle slumps.

Three up

Preston Guilmet • RHP, Columbus Clippers (Indians' Triple-A affiliate)

• The former UA Wildcat closed out three games last week to increase his International League lead in saves to 13. Guilmet also picked up his first two wins of the year.

Andy Burns • 3B, Dunedin Blue Jays (Blue Jays' High-A affiliate)

• Burns is riding a nine-game hitting streak and batted .389 last week. The one-time Wildcat is now batting .338 on the year, the fourth-best average in the Florida State League.

Donnie Veal • LHP, Charlotte Knights (White Sox' Triple-A affiliate)

• After tossing eight scoreless innings of relief and striking out 10 batters for Triple-A Charlotte, the Sierra Vista Buena High School and Pima College alum was called up to the big leagues.

Three Down

Jett Bandy • C, Arkansas Travelers (Angels' Double-A affiliate)

• Bandy took a pitch to the elbow Thursday, forcing him to leave the game after one at-bat. The next day, the former UA catcher was placed on the seven-day disabled list.

Steve Selsky • RF, Bakersfield Blaze (Reds' High-A affiliate)

• The former Wildcat was sent to High-A Bakersfield on Tuesday after playing the first 32 games of the season with Double-A Pensacola. Selsky only has two hits for the Blaze; both are homers.

Ryan Perry • RHP, Syracuse Chiefs (Nationals' Triple-A affiliate)

• The Marana High School and UA product lost both of his starts last week. Perry also allowed 12 hits, 11 earned runs, and six walks in 5 2/3 innings.

Player of the week

Seth Mejias-Brean • 3B, Dayton Dragons (Reds' Class-A affiliate)

The Cienega High School grad and former College World Series champion with Arizona batted .452 last week, drove in eight runs, and is riding an eight-game hitting streak.

Mejias-Brean had arguably his best game of the season Friday, when he collected two runs, two RBIs, and three hits, including his first home run of the season for Dayton (Ohio). That home run came in a crucial point of the game as he lined it over the left-field wall in the top of the 10th inning to give the Dragons the lead against host South Bend (Ind.). Dayton went on to win 4-3.

Mejias-Brean, who has been playing both third and first base, also had a run of five consecutive multihit games from May 14-18. After batting .190 in April, his recent hot hitting has raised his average to .250 in May.

The big number

9

Strikeouts in four scoreless innings of relief this week for former UA pitcher Bryce Bandilla with High-A San Jose. The Giants prospect did not allow a batter to reach base all last week.

Coming up

• Thursday: Triple-A Durham's Shelley Duncan will travel to Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre Thursday. The Canyon del Oro High School and UA product will face his former Triple-A team; he hit 67 homers there from 2007-2009.

He said it

"It was a good day for me. I got a few good pitches to see and put a good swing on them." Joey Rickard during a postgame interview with Bowling Green Hot Rods TV on May 13. The former Wildcat had three hits and four RBIs that day for the Tampa Bay Rays' High-A affiliate.

Andrew Cockrum is a Tucson-based freelance writer who operates baseballtucson.com. Reach him at baseballtucson@yahoo.com. On Twitter @baseballtucson

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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