With a little more than a year under their belts as professional baseball players, former Southeastern standouts Heath Wyatt and Justin Miller have already made an impression.
After each spent a season in the rookie leagues, both opened the 2012 summer at the CLass A level. In fact, they opened the season in the same league as Wyatt pitched for the Quad City River Bandits, while Miller opened with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, both of the Midwest League.
Miller has since been moved to the Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm where he has continued to thrive, and currently leads the San Diego Padres farm system in batting average, hitting .333 between the Tin Caps and the Storm.
He has really caught fire since the call up, batting .408 in 21 games with LE, and boasting six doubles, a triple, two homers and 13 RBI.
Miller put together a nine-game hitting streak after reaching the Storm and has continued to provide plenty of spark at the plate, carrying a .483 on base percentage and a .592 slugging percentage for an impressive 1.075 OPS.
He and the rest of the Storm team will wrap the first half of the season with games against the High Desert Mavericks and the Bakersfield Blaze before the California League All-Star Game Slated for June 19.
Not to be outdone, however, Wyatt has made his presence felt in the closers role with the River Bandits. So much so, the he was named a reserve for the 2012 Midwest League All-Star Game on June 19 in Geneva, Ill.
He is the only first year player from his squad to earn a trip to the all-star game.
Wyatt was the Cardinals’ 33rd round pick in 2011 and has gone on to post a 2-2 record with a 1.38 ERA and leads the River Bandits with seven saves in 10 opportunities. He is second in the league with 22 appearances and 20 games finished.
He did not allow a run in his first six appearances April 6-17, a span of 7 1/3 innings, and has held opponents to a .196 batting average.
Last season for rookie-level Johnson City Wyatt had a team-high 23 appearances and was third in the Appalachian League with eight saves.