The Home Team: Local players in the minor leagues

2014-05-05T00:00:00Z The Home Team: Local players in the minor leaguesBy Andrew Cockrum Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

For the fifth straight year Jordan Brown has found himself back in the Pacific Coast League.

The University of Arizona graduate is with the Round Rock Express this season, having joined the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate last Monday. Before the call-up, he had played 23 games for Double-A Frisco, where he compiled 16 hits, 10 RBIs and four home runs.

Brown went hitless in his first two games with the Express before racking up two hits Wednesday for his 92nd career multihit game in the PCL.

The first baseman will have the opportunity to work with another former Wildcat during the 2014 campaign in Round Rock. Casey Candaele, a third baseman on the 1980 College World Series winning team, works as a roving infield/baserunning instructor for the Rangers helping players in their minor-league system like Brown.

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

The UA and Cienega High School alum accumulated 10 hits for a .400 average this week in six games for the Blaze. Mejias-Brean is hitting .292 on the season with 49 total bases and three home runs.

  • Konner Wade, RHP, Ashville Tourists (Rockies’ Class-A affiliate)

Wade won his second straight start after allowing two runs Friday in seven innings against Lakewood, the longest outing of his pro career. He only struck out one batter, but limited the BlueClaws to just two walks.

  • Julio Felix RHP, West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers’ Class-A affiliate)

The Pima College and Sunnyside High School product has struck out 21 batters, while walking just four in 19ª innings this season. He lowered his ERA to 1.40 after a scoreless relief outing Sunday.

Three Down
  • Jason Donald, IF, Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals’ Triple-A affiliate)

Donald was placed on Omaha’s disabled list on April 26 after suffering a left groin strain. Before the injury, the Arizona alum was batting .333 with all 12 of his hits coming against right-handed pitchers.

  • Eric Berger, LHP, Mississippi Braves (Braves’ Double-A affiliate)

In his first game since signing with the Braves’ organization, Berger allowed two runs and two hits in two relief innings for Mississippi. The UA product has now pitched for eight minor-league teams in his seven-year career.

  • Tim Crabbe, RHP, Louisville Bats (Reds’ Triple-A affiliate)

The Sabino High School graduate was tagged for five runs and seven hits in 5ª innings Friday against the Rochester Red Wings. The loss was Crabbe’s third of the season and raised his ERA to 4.70.

Player of the Week
  • Brad Mills, LHP, Nashville Sounds (Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate)

The former UA Wildcat had one of his best pitching performances of his career this week. Mills went six innings Thursday without allowing a hit to the New Orleans Zephyrs, while yielding one unearned run, three walks, and six strikeouts.

The left-hander was lifted at the start of the seventh inning for Michael Blazek after throwing 93 pitches including 60 for strikes. The attempt at a combined no-hitter came to a halt with one out in the top of the seventh when Blazek surrendered a double to New Orleans’ Mark Canha.

The last time Mills was in contention for a no-hitter was July 17, 2011, against the Tucson Padres in Ft. Wayne, Ind. That outing he went seven innings without allowing a hit before Matt Clark led off the bottom of the eighth with a single to left field.

Mills owns a 2-0 record in 2014 for the Sounds, while striking out 20 batters in 24ª innings. His ERA has also dropped to 2.22 for the season.

The Big Number

7 Multistolen base games in Robert Refsnyder’s career after nabbing two bases for Double-A Trenton on Tuesday. The 2012 College World Series Most Outstanding Player has 38 steals in three minor- league seasons.

Coming up
  • Thursday:
  • Brad Glenn
  • and Double-A New Hampshire travel to Portland, Maine, for a four-game series. The Arizona alum is three homers shy of 100 in his career and has hit six in 41 games against the Sea Dogs.
He Said It

“Not going to lie, I’m happy to be back in the rotation. … I came out of college with a good breaking ball and that’s been my goal this year is to throw more breaking balls,” Brad Mills said last Sunday on Nashville’s 102.5 The Game. The civil engineering graduate from UA started the season in the bullpen, before joining the Sounds’ rotation after 2013 PCL Pitcher of the Year Johnny Hellweg was shut down with an elbow injury.

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

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