Three former Arizona Baseball players were listed on 2016 Major League Baseball rosters this week.
Late last year ZonaZealots listed the top 30 former Arizona Wildcats of all time, included were four baseball players:
- Terry Francona (Cleveland Indians Manager)
- Kenny Lofton (Retired, Now a Film Producer)
- Jack Thomas “J. T.” Snow, Jr. (Retired)
- Trevor Hoffman (San Diego Padre’s Executive)
In addition to those famous Wildcats, there are 79 others, and three of them made 2016 Major League Rosters and are only current, former Wildcats playing in the MLB. Rob Refsnyder, who played for the New York Yankees last season, missed this year’s 2016 roster and will hopefully make another appearance this season at some point.
More from Cats in the Pros
- From Arizona Wildcat to New York Yankee, Austin Wells gets called up
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s FIBA World Cup performance is reminiscent of Kobe Bryant’s
- Rawle Alkins a star in the Drew League this summer
- Former Wildcat Scooby Wright wins Second USFL Title
- The Edmonton Elks have re-signed former Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate
Joey Rickard – Outfielder. Baltimore Orioles
One of those players is Baltimore Orioles outfielder Joey Rickard, who made his debut against the Minnesota Twins. Drafted and signed by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 9th round of the 2012 amateur draft, he was then drafted by the Baltimore Orioles from the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2015 rule 5 draft.
Rickard got his first start on April 4th and will turn 25 years old in May and will retain his rookie status through 2016. What a day he had too! In his four at-bats, he scored once and connected for two hits, one a double.
In Rickard’s last season as a Wildcat, he hit .320, batted in 33 RBIs along with scoring 60 runs and led the team with 18 stolen bases.
Nick Hundley – Catcher, Colorado Rockies
Former Arizona Wildcat Nick Hundley is the starting catcher for the Colorado Rockies. He went high chosen by the San Diego Padres in the 2nd round of the amateur draft and remained with the club for six years.
Hundley was traded to the Baltimore Orioles where he played for one season. He then signed a two-year $6.25 million deal with the Colorado Rockies that is good through 2016; he is the starting catcher.
Hundley and our next former Wildcat, Mark Melancon were teammates for a couple of years as Nick played for Arizona between 2003-2005. In his senior year, Hundley was named first team All-Pac-10 and second team All-American in 2005
Mark Melancon – Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
Mark Melancon was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 9th round of the 2006 amateur draft. After a few moves and ten years later, Melancon is pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He signed a one-year $9.65 million contract through 2016 and will be a free agent in 2017.
Melancon gets more valuable as his career progresses. He played at Arizona from 2004-2006 and is second in total saves (18) in Arizona baseball history. He has not yet pitched in the brand new 2016 season, but he was on the roster on opening day.
On top of those five Wildcats, there are a couple more to watch out for in the MLB. Arizona’s Shortstop Kevin Newman was selected 19th by the Pittsburg Pirates in the 2015 MLB Draft. Along with Newman, Second Baseman Scott Kingery was selected 48th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies. BearDown Arizona!