The Cincinnati Reds now have three local high school products in their minor league system after Shelley Duncan signed a minor-league deal with the club Friday.
The Canyon del Oro graduate will likely join the Triple-A Louisville Bats, who have former Sabino Sabercat Tim Crabbe in their pitching rotation.
The Reds are Duncan’s fifth organization in his 13-year career and his second in 2014.
The first baseman/outfielder played in 16 spring training games with the Diamondbacks before the club released him March 24. Before his stint with Arizona, Duncan, 34, spent the majority of 2013 with the Tampa Bay Rays’ Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls.
The University of Arizona’s all-time home run leader will have a chance to reach the 200-homer plateau for his minor league career once he begins playing for the Bats, as he is just eight shy of the mark.
- Pat McCoy, LHP, Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate)
After compiling a 3.95 ERA in nine relief appearances for Double-A Erie, McCoy was called-up Monday to Triple-A Toledo. In his first outing for the Mud Hens, the Sahuaro High School product pitched 2º scoreless innings Thursday.
- Joey Rickard, OF, Montgomery Biscuts
- (Rays’ Double-A affiliate)
Rickard had seven hits in six games this week including his 12th career three-hit performance Wednesday for Montgomery. The former Wildcat has bounced back after a rough April to hit .269 in nine games during May.
- Tim Crabbe, RHP, Louisivlle Sounds (Reds’ Triple-A affiliate)
The Sabino graduate tossed six shutout innings Wednesday, scattering five hits and two walks against Norfolk for his second win of the season. Crabbe now owns a 3.93 ERA and 21 strikeouts for the year.
- Jesus Castill
- o, RHP, Midland RockHounds (Athletics’ Double-A affiliate)
The Pima College and Tucson High product was placed on the RockHounds’ seven-day disabled list on May 3 with a strained right forearm. Before the injury, Castillo had been effective out of the pen with a 1-0 record and 3.95 ERA.
- Erik Castro, 1B, Oklahoma City RedHawks (Astros’ Triple-A affiliate)
The one-time Wildcat has struggled at the plate in his first season at the Triple-A level, hitting .109 with 21 strikeouts. Castro did contribute in the RedHawks’ 8-3 win over Memphis with an RBI double Thursday.
- Dan Butler, C, Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox Triple-A affiliate)
The UA alum reached base just four times this week with three singles and one walk in three games. Butler is batting .209 for the season with seven extra-base hits and nine runs scored in 86 at-bats.
Player of the week
- Brandon Dixon, 2B, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Dodgers’ High-A affiliate)
Dixon produced arguably the best week of his professional career, hitting .394 in seven games for High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
During that time the former Wildcat racked up 10 runs, seven RBIs and 13 hits to extend his current hitting streak to 12 games, the longest of his career.
Dixon’s season average has risen 76 points since finishing April with a .148 clip.
The best game of his week came Friday when he collected three hits, three RBIs, and hit his third home run of the year to spark a ninth-inning rally against the High Desert Mavericks.
The three-hit game was Dixon’s second of the week and the fifth of his career since being selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third round of the 2013 draft.
Dixon’s success has not only been at the plate, but on the field as he did not commit an error at second base.
He also added 20 assists and helped turn four double plays.
The big number
4 Home runs this season for ex-Wildcat Johnny Field after blasting a two-run shot Friday in the top of the seventh of Class-A Bowling Green’s extra-inning loss to Lake County.
- UA product
- Brad Mills
- will start the series finale against the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines. He has not allowed an earned run in his last 15 innings with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds and has a 1.72 ERA this season.
He said it
“It’s always good to acquire guys that are young, have good stuff and have the ability to pitch late in the game. Those are three really good qualities. Everybody’s looking for it, and I think (Orioles’ Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations) Dan (Duquette) might’ve got lightning in a bottle right there with this kid,” Triple-A Norfolk manger Ron Johnson said in The Virginian-Pilot about his closer Preston Guilmet joining the Baltimore Orioles’ organization.
The Animal Sciences graduate from UA has a 2-0 record and has converted four saves for the Tides.