Recent 8th round draft pick Grant Heyman hasn't taken long to get adjusted to professional baseball. The 6-4, 220 corner outfielder is off to a torrid start in the pitching-dominant Northwest League. In his first 10 games he's hitting .412 with 1 homer and 6 RBI. Heyman is just 2 years removed from high school where he was a three-sport star and was originally planning to play quarterback for Rutgers. The Toronto Blue Jays drafted him in 2012 out of high school in the 12th round but Heyman admitted he wasn't ready for pro ball. He accepted a scholarship to the University of Miami but didn't click with the program, didn't get enough at bats, and when he did he didn't perform.
He transferred to Southern Nevada Community College (the same school Bryce Harper attended) to get regular playing time and blossomed in his one season there. He was named the Scenic West Conference player of the year and accepted a scholarship to #1 ranked Oregon State. Fortunately for the Diamondbacks he agreed to a near-slot bonus of $157,000 and now embarks on his journey up the prospect ladder
If first impressions are anything Heyman is off on the right foot. He's very athletic for his size and has decent speed to go with his high-leverage left-handed hitting stroke. He's one to watch closely going forward and you have to love the hot start. He reminds me a little of Jason Heyward with his size, speed and uppercut left-hand swing.
3 Stars: Ben Eckles, Hillsboro 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 8 K, 0 ER, W (1-0)
2 Stars: Carlos Hernandez, Missoula 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 ER, W (1-0)
1 Star: Rudy Flores, Visalia 3 for 5, 2 DBL, 1 RBI
0 Stars: Jesse Darrah, Visalia 4 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 7 ER, L (3-4)
AAA: Reno 4 Colorado Springs 6. Andrew Chafin is finding out just how tough the PCL is with another shaky performance. He surrendered 6 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks in 4+ innings. His ERA stands at 7.01. The bullpen was very good with Jess Todd, Kevin Munson and Joe Paterson following with 4.2 shutout innings. But the offense could only manage 4 runs. Nick Ahmed and Danny Dorn each went 2 for 5.
AA: Mobile 5 @ Montgomery 7. The Bay Bears battled back from deficits 3 times but the Biscuits scored twice in the bottom of the 8th off three relievers and that was that. A.J. Schugel wasn't too sharp allowing 5 runs on 9 hits and a walk over 6 innings with 6 strikeouts. Evan Marzilli went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and is now hitting .323 in his first 18 games at AA. Sean Jamieson, Tom Belza, Raywilly Gomez and Garrett Webber each added a pair of singles. All 12 hits by Mobile were singles.
A+: Visalia 5 @ bakersfield 8. It was bad Jesse Darrah again as he got rocked for 7 runs on 9 hits over 4 innings. The offense couldn't measure up to that even though they had 12 hits with 2 homers. They were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base. Rudy Flores went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles while Brandon Drury also collected 3 hits. Socrates Brito and Steve McQuail each hit home runs, Brito his 6th and McQuail his 3rd.
A: South Bend - Off Day
A-: Hillsboro 4 Vancouver 0. We had a Ben Eckles sighting as he put up a dominating performance tossing 6+ shutout innings on 3 hits while striking out 8. I've soured on Eckles some since his failed promotion to South Bend, but he is still only 20 and still has time to rebound from that. Zac Curtis pitched the 9th and struck out 2. He has 8 strikeouts and 1 walk in his first four innings.Elvin Soto was 2 for 4 with an RBI and Pedro Ruiz drove in 2 runs.
R: Missoula 7 Helena 0. Carlos Hernandez was outstanding delivering 6 shutout innings on 4 hits while striking out 6. Hernandez is in his second stint with Missoula and has clearly taken a step forward this year. Three relievers followed with 3 shutout innings on 1 hit with 5 strikeouts. B.J. Lopez went 3 for 4 with an RBI and Justin Williams went 2 for 3 with a walk. Dane McFarland had a double, 3 RBI and a stolen base. McFarland was drafted out of high school last year in the 12th round and was clearly over-matched in his first pro season. But the toolsy outfielder looks to have matured some physically since last year and is off to a hot start with a 1.042 OPS in his first 7 games. He has a nice combination of size, speed and power and may be a developing corner outfielder worth keeping an eye on.
AZL: Dbacks - Off Day