The Home Team: locals in the minor leagues

Mejia’s glove work earns minor-league accolade

2014-08-10T21:45:00Z 2014-08-10T22:06:10Z Mejia’s glove work earns minor-league accoladeBy Andrew Cockrum Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Alex Mejia’s dazzling plays at shortstop that earned him Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, have now brought him accolades in the professional ranks.

Baseball America released their Best Tools survey on Thursday and Mejia was voted the best defensive shortstop in the Double-A Texas League. The voting for the award was done by the eight mangers around the league.

This season with the Springfield Cardinals, he has compiled a .957 fielding percentage, had 73 assists and helped turn 13 double plays. In 28 games since moving up from High-A Palm Beach on July 1, Mejia has only committed five errors out of 115 defensive chances with Springfield.

The former Wildcat owns a .961 fielding percentage in his professional career since the St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the fourth round in 2012.

Three up

Kyle Simon, RHP, Reading Fightin Phils (Phillies’ Double-A affiliate)

Simon extended his scoreless streak to 17ª innings after tossing four shutout frames Thursday for Reading. The UA alum struck out five in that outing against Harrisburg to pick up his fourth win of the year.

Stefen Romero, RF, Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate)

The former Pima Aztec and Sunnyside Blue Devil has gone 11 for 29, gathering 13 RBIs, since being sent down to Tacoma on Aug. 1. No hit was bigger than his walk-off grand slam Saturday to seal a 13-10 win over Fresno.

Manny Barreda, RHP, Huntsville Stars (Brewers’ Double-A affiliate)

The Sahuarita High School product has not allowed an earned run in his last eight relief appearances after making his debut with Huntsville on July 20. Barreda holds a 1.32 ERA since signing with the Brewers’ organization.

Three down

Brad Glenn, RF, Buffalo Bisons (Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliate)

Glenn has not recorded a hit in his last four games and has amassed seven strikeouts during that span. The former Wildcat did drive in one run for Buffalo with a bases loaded walk Friday for his 50th RBI of the season.

Cole Frenzel, 1B, St. Lucie Mets (Mets’ High-A affiliate)

The Arizona alum moved back up to High-A St. Lucie on July 29, but has produced just three hits since the promotion. Frenzel’s batting average in the Florida State League is down to .196 for the season.

Lucas Long, RHP, Aberdeen IronBirds (Orioles’ Low-A affiliate)

The one-time Wildcat was charged with his second straight loss when Vermont scored three runs off him on Thursday. Long has yielded six runs and 11 hits since being promoted to the New York-Penn League at the end of July.

Player of the week

Daniel Slania, RHP, Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants’ Double-A affiliate)

The 2010 Salpointe Catholic High School graduate became the fourth former Lancer to ever reach the Double-A level when he was promoted Monday to Richmond.

Slania is the second member of the San Francisco Giants’ 2013 draft class to reach Double-A and the fastest to reach the level out of their top 20 selections. He was chosen in the fifth round last year out of the University of Notre Dame and bypassed High-A San Jose on his way to the Double-A Eastern League.

Slania made his Double-A debut on Tuesday facing four batters, followed by a scoreless relief appearance the next day against Binghamton. The Portland Sea Dogs tagged him for his first earned run on Saturday during a two-inning relief stint.

His promotion to Richmond comes after recording 12 saves for the Augusta GreenJackets, the third most saves in the Class-A South Atlantic League. The right-hander also owned a 3.99 ERA and struck out 46 batters in 58º innings.

The big number

2 Former Wildcat catchers to make their MLB debut with the Boston Red Sox after Daniel Butler was called up to the majors this week from Triple-A Pawtucket. He joins Don Gile, who caught his first big-league game for Boston on Sept. 25, 1959.

Coming up

  • Monday: Cole Plouck and the Gulf Coast League Nationals begin a three-game series against the GCL Mets. The Pima College and Empire High product has two saves and not allowed a run in 6º innings against the Mets’ rookie affiliate this season.

He said it

“Big league chew Tuesday. That’s a new record 15 pieces of gum. PS it didn’t end well.”

— Kurt Heyer, posting on Twitter after entertaining fans at the Double-A Springfield Cardinals-Frisco RoughRiders game on Tuesday. Two days later, the former UA pitcher put the bubblegum aside to win his fourth game of the season for the Cardinals and his first since June 17.

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

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