On Wednesday, former Arizona Wildcat Kurt Heyer made his first start at the Triple-A level. He lasted 3 2/3 innings for the Memphis Redbirds, allowing four hits and walking four guys while surrendering two earned runs. He also struck out three.
Wow! Kurt Heyer walked the leadoff hitter, struck out the next, then picked off the guy he walked. Interesting!— stlCupofJoe (@stlCupofJoe) May 22, 2014
Pitcher @KurtHeyer records his first Triple-A strikeout to the second batter he sees and retires the side in order. #KforKurt— Memphis Redbirds (@memphisredbirds) May 22, 2014
Kurt's the first member from the 2012 National Championship team to make it up to Triple-A. Here's where the rest of the players from that team have been drafted currently play:
|Joey Rickard||AA Montgomery|
|Robert Refsnyder||AA Trenton|
|Seth Mejias-Brean||High-A Bakersfield|
|Alex Mejia||High-A Palm Beach|
|Brandon Dixon||High-A Rancho Cucamonga|
|Johnny Field||Mid-A Bowling Green|
|Konner Wade||Mid-A Asheville|
Heyer has quickly made his way up the ranks in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. After being drafted by the Cards in the 6th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, Heyer has been promoted during the course of each season.
This year, the talented right-hander started with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. In nine starts with Springfield, Heyer put up a 2-2 record, but had a 5.51 ERA, and walked 15 batters in 47.1 innings.
Obviously the Cardinals see something in him. During the spring, Heyer was at a special minor league camp that started earlier than the rest of the minor leaguers. Eventually, Heyer got some game action in a few Big League Spring Training games, including a strikeout of Miguel Cabrera.
Currently, there are only three former Wildcats in MLB. They are Mark Melancon of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Preston Guilmet of the Baltimore Orioles, and Nick Hundley of the San Diego Padres.
Obviously, it would be cool if Heyer was able to join them in the Bigs as soon as possible. But based on the Cardinals needs in their organization, converting Heyer from a starting pitcher to a reliever seems likely at Memphis. That would be the same road that Guilmet went down, and it's turned out pretty good for him so far.
But congrats to Kurt on the promotion! Hopefully big things are coming for him soon.