Last year, there were 63 players with ties to Southern Arizona who played minor-league baseball.
Only 44 remain in the minors. Of the 19 missing, many were released or granted free agency, while two others — Stefen Romero and Donn Roach – have found homes at the big-league level.
There is still plenty of talent representing Tucson in the minors, with 13 players moving up at least one level in their farm system and six ranked in the top 30 of their organization’s prospects list.
The number of Southern Arizonans in the minors will see a spike after June 5, when the draft begins, that is sure to take several local college and high school players.
Here’s a look at how Southern Arizonans are faring in the minors:
Preston Guilmet, RHP, Norfolk Tides (Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate)
Since joining the Orioles’ organization April 7, the former Arizona Wildcats ace has compiled two wins and two saves. Guilmet has struck out 11 batters this season while walking one in nine innings.
Brad Glenn, OF, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays’ Double-A affiliate)
Glenn produced his sixth career multi-homer game last Monday in the Fisher Cats’ 7-4 win at New Britain. The Arizona alum is now five round-trippers shy of 100 in his six-year minor-league career.
Manny Barreda, RHP, Trenton Thunder (Yankees’ Double-A affiliate)
The Sahuarita High School graduate owns a 1.35 ERA after making eight relief appearances for the Thunder to start the season. Opposing hitters are batting .178 against Barreda, who recorded his eighth career save on April 18.
Donnie Veal, LHP, Charlotte Knights (White Sox’ Triple-A affiliate)
Veal was outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte on April 19. In two appearances for the Knights, he’s 0-1 with one run and three hits allowed. The Pima College and Sierra Vista Buena High School product is in his 10th professional season.
Brandon Dixon, 2B, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers’ High-A affiliate)
The former Wildcat is batting .135 with 23 strikeouts in 77 plate appearances. Dixon has moved to second base this season, where he has made three errors in 99 defensive chances.
Kyle Simon, RHP, Reading Fightin Phils (Phillies’ Double-A affiliate)
Simon allowed seven runs in eight innings in a six-game stint with Triple-A Lehigh Valley before being sent down to Double-A Reading on Tuesday. Two days later, he was charged with a loss against New Hampshire.
Player of the Week
Johnny Field, OF, Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays’ Class-A affiliate)
Field’s first full season of professional baseball got off to a hot start.
The 2012 Pac-12 batting champion is batting .308 through 21 games and is tied for the Midwest League lead with 18 runs scored. Field also has a team-high 11 RBIs and seven stolen bases for the Hot Rods.
The former Wildcat has hit safely in 15 of 21 games and held a five-game hitting streak this past week.
His best game of the season came on April 12 at Peoria, Ill., where he accumulated four RBIs, three runs, and two home runs for his first career multi-homer game.
Ranked by Baseball America as the Tampa Bay Rays’ third-best right field prospect entering 2014, Field has yet to play the corner position this season. Bowling Green has used him as its starting center fielder in 18 games, where he has not made an error in 30 defensive chances.
The Big Number
19 Strikeouts for Salpointe Catholic alum Dan Slania in 17 innings for Class-A Augusta. The Giants’ ninth-best right-handed relief prospect according to Baseball America also owns a 3.75 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
- Former UA ace
- Kurt Heyer
- will go for his third win of the season for Double-A Springfield as he faces Northwest Arkansas. Heyer has 23 strikeouts in 30º innings for the Cardinals.
He said it
“(Andy) Burns is coming off easily his best series of the season against the Rock Cats with a three-hit game (Thursday). … You knew he was going to start to come around.”
— Tom Gauthier, the broadcaster of Double-A New Hampshire said Friday about the former Wildcat. The Blue Jays’ No. 19 prospect started the season with a .150 average in his first 10 games, but has compiled seven hits and six runs this past week for the Fisher Cats.