There are nearly 50 Southern Arizona products active in the minor leagues, and here’s a glance at how some of them fared last week:
Batter of the week
Alex Mejia, SS, Memphis Redbirds (AAA)
Maybe it was his 10-day stint in the majors earlier this summer, or maybe he’s simply hitting his stride at 26. Whatever the reason, Mejia is playing the best baseball of his pro career.
The former Arizona Wildcats star had three multihit games and went 10 for 28 last week. Since being optioned back to Memphis following his major-league debut with the Cardinals in late June, he is hitting .342 in 29 games.
In 40 total games with the Redbirds, Mejia is hitting .322. He’s never posted an average higher than .284 at any stop in six minor-league years.
Pitcher of the week
Jio Orozco, RHP, Staten Island Yankees (A)
The up-and-down season for the Salpointe Catholic High School graduate is on another upward swing, the latest evidence coming Wednesday in a strong outing for the Yankees’ short-season club.
Orozco struck out seven and allowed one earned run in a no-decision for Staten Island. He’s made four starts there (2.61 ERA) since being promoted from rookie ball. The Yankees sent the hard-throwing righty down there in June after struggling in 12 starts with High-A Charleston.
Orozco was traded by Seattle to New York last Aug. 31.
Better luck next week
Bobby Dalbec, 3B, Greenville Drive (A)
Dalbec’s week was not devoid of success or drama – he hit a walk-off home run in the 16th inning Thursday to beat Rome – but it was one of only two hits he got in 24 at-bats entering Sunday.
The ex-UA slugger’s recent woes at the plate come with a caveat: He’s still working his way back after undergoing wrist surgery in late May.
Nonetheless, the struggles have been plentiful. His batting average is at a season-low .216, and he has struck out in 39 percent of his plate appearances (92 of 237) with Greenville this year
On the move
Donny Sands, C, Tampa Yankees (A)
A teammate of Orozco’s at Salpointe, Sands made an impact immediately after being promoted to High-A Tampa.
In his team debut last Monday, he went 3 for 5 with a two-run, game-tying single in the sixth inning, then added another RBI base hit that provided the final margin in a 13-11 win over Clearwater.
Sands was a South Atlantic League All-Star in June with Class A Charleston. The Yankees drafted him in the eighth round in 2015 and turned him into a catcher. He’s thrown out four of seven base runners in six games with Tampa.
The big number
38 Games out of 42 in which Scott Kingery has gotten a hit since debuting for Triple-A Lehigh Valley (Phillies) on June 26. The former UA star and 2015 Pac-12 Player of the Year is on a 12-game hitting streak through Sunday and is batting .299 with the IronPigs.