Arizona alumni in the MLB: Where are they now?
As Arizona baseball gets ready to open up a new season this week, MLB teams will also head to their respective Spring Training camps very soon. The motto around Hi Corbett Field that Jay Johnson and the whole University of Arizona team preaches is “MLB Training Ground,” serving as reminder that college baseball is a steppingstone to the MLB. It is posted around the coach’s offices, as well as in the captions of every social media post. With that in mind, here is a look at your former Wildcats in the MLB and where they are right now.
Mark Melancon – RP, Atlanta Braves:
Melancon started the 2019 MLB season in San Francisco with the Giants where he appeared in 43 games to the tune of a 3.50 ERA over 46.1 innings pitched with 44 strikeouts and 16 walks. Right before the trade deadline, he was dealt to Atlanta. Melancon appeared in 23 games with the Braves, pitching 21 innings with a 3.86 ERA and 24 strikeouts to just two walks. He worked as the Braves primary closer as well, saving a total of 11 games. In Atlanta’s Division Series loss against the St. Louis Cardinals, Melancon appeared in three games where he allowed four runs over the three innings he pitched in.
Melancon will remain the closer for the Braves heading into the new season, as Atlanta looks to win the National League East for the second consecutive year.
Scott Kingery – 3B/SS, Philadelphia Phillies:
Kingery appeared in 126 games in 2019 with the Phillies, hitting .258 with 19 home runs, 55 RBIs, 15 stolen bases with an OPS of .788 in his second full season in the MLB.
Kingery enters the 2020 season as the Phillies starting third baseman in an extremely talented infield alongside Didi Gregorius, Jean Segura and Rhys Hoskins. It was a disappointing 2019 season for the team as they finished at 81-81 and will look to rebound this season with a deep roster from top to bottom.
Kevin Newman – SS, Pittsburgh Pirates:
In his first full season as a starter, Newman appeared in 130 games in 2019, hitting .308 with 12 home runs, 64 RBIs, 16 stolen bases with an OPS of .800.
The UA product was taken by Pittsburgh in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft, working his way up through the minor leagues to eventually make his major league debut in 2018. Newman builds off of his first full season in 2020, while a rebuilding Pirates team looks to find some hope for the future.
Kevin Ginkel – RP, Arizona Diamondbacks:
Ginkel made his major league debut last season on Aug. 5 against the Phillies, pitching 2/3 of a scoreless inning with one strikeout. He finished the year pitching 24 1/3 innings with a 3-0 record and 1.48 ERA.
Ginkel enters his first full season in 2020 with what appears to be a very competitive Diamondbacks roster that made several key additions this offseason, bringing in Starling Marte, Kole Calhoun and most notably Madison Bumgarner. Arizona should compete in a very tough National League West division this coming season, and Ginkel figures to play a pivotal role in the Diamondbacks bullpen.
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