The Home Team: Locals in the minor leagues

2014-05-26T00:00:00Z 2014-05-27T00:08:12Z The Home Team: Locals in the minor leaguesBy Andrew Cockrum Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The 2012 Arizona Wildcats national championship team has produced 11 professional players.

Kurt Heyer became the first from that group to reach the Triple-A level, after the St. Louis Cardinals promoted him Wednesday to the Memphis Redbirds.

The former Wildcats ace started that night for the Redbirds at Colorado Springs, yielding two runs and striking out three in 3º innings. Heyer retired the side in his first inning, highlighted by picking off stolen base threat Jason Pridie from first base.

The right-hander began 2014 making his Double-A debut with the Springfield Cardinals. He started nine games compiling a 2-2 record, 5.51 ERA, and 30 strikeouts.

Heyer’s next Triple-A start is today at Memphis’ AutoZone Park against Oklahoma City.

Three up

  • Rafael Neda, C, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers’ Class-A affiliate)

The Amphitheater High School graduate hit his second career home run Saturday in a game played at Milwaukee’s Miller Park. Neda played first base that day, making it the third game in five years that he has been at that position .

  • Pat McCoy, LHP, Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate)

The former Sahuaro Cougar has yet to allow a run in four games for Toledo and owns a 2-0 record after picking up the win Friday at Lehigh Valley. McCoy has nine strikeouts in eight innings with the Mud Hens.

  • Shelley Duncan, 1B, Louisville Bats (Reds’ Triple-A affiliate)

Duncan was officially added to Louisville’s roster on Thursday and has recorded one hit in each of his first two games. The UA and Canyon del Oro product’s first hit of the season was a double.

Three down

  • Matt Chaffee, LHP, Lynchburg Hillcats (Braves’ High-A affiliate)

The ex-Wildcat was charged with his second loss on Saturday after surrendering five runs off three hits to the Winston-Salem Dash in one-third of an inning. Chaffee also threw two wild pitches, bringing his season total to six.

  • Jesus Castillo, RHP, Midland RockHounds (Athletics’ Double-A affiliate)

The Pima College and Tucson High alum left Double-A Midland on May 15 to return to the Mexican League and pitch for Broncos de Reynosa.

Castillo compiled a 3.95 ERA in eight games with the RockHounds.

  • Mike Colla, RHP, Montgomery Biscuits Rays’ Double-A affiliate)

Colla was tagged for five-plus runs for the second consecutive start when the Jacksonville Suns scored seven off the right-hander in 5ª innings Monday. The UA product owns a 1-5 record and 5.79 ERA this season, with 41 strikeouts in 51⅔ innings.

Player of the Week

  • Seth Mejias-Brean, 3B, Bakersfield Blaze (Reds’ High-A affiliate)

The former Arizona Wildcat and Cienega High School Bobcat produced seven hits this week including four home runs.

The four round-trippers were the most hit by any player in the California League and tied for the second-most in all of minor-league baseball last week.

Mejias-Brean homered in back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday, before blasting two long balls Friday for his second career two-homer game.

The third baseman added three runs and a season-high four RBIs during Friday’s 12-8 win over High Desert.

His previous multi-homer game came Aug. 11, 2012, at Missoula, Montana, as a member of the Billings Mustangs.

He now has eight home runs this season, as well as 32 RBIs and a team-high 40 runs scored.

The slugger has thrived at Bakersfield’s Sam Lynn Ballpark hitting .319 with five home runs in 25 games.

Baseball America ranks Mejias-Brean as Cincinnati’s 21st-best prospect entering this season.

The big number

23

Scoreless innings for UA grad

Brad Mills

before the streak

came an end last Monday at Nashville, when he allowed three runs in the top of the third to Omaha.

Coming up

  • Tuesday:
  • Jett Bandy
  • starts a three-game series at Corpus Christi with Double-A Arkansas.
  • The last game he played against the Hooks, the ex-UA catcher hit his fourth home run of the season.

He said it

“This game is so funny. When you think you’re out, you’re in. When you think you’re in, you’re out. That’s one of the things I’ve learned over the years is just to come to work every day, be prepared, do your job, and eventually things will work out the way they’re supposed to,” Trevor Crowe, said in the Toledo Blade about his season with the MudHens.

The former Wildcat is batting .180 this year, but has hit safely in three of his last four games.

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

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