Arizona Baseball

Successful St. Louis Cardinals organization features two Arizona Wildcats farmhands

Alex Mejia had 14 doubles with the Palm Beach Cardinals this season

Alex Mejia had 14 doubles with the Palm Beach Cardinals this season

Did you know Cardinals GM John Mozeliak first attended Arizona before returning home to Boulder, Colo., to complete his undergraduate studies at Colorado?

National League Championship Series MVP Michael Wacha, one of five rookie pitchers on the St. Louis Cardinals’ roster, is symbolic of how the organization’s scouting department is the best in baseball.

Arizona’s baseball program knows all about Wacha, a 22-year-old right-hander who shut out the Wildcats over seven innings in 2011 while pitching for Texas A&M. The Aggies beat the Wildcats 3-0 at College Station, Texas, to advance to the super regionals.

Neither team scored until the bottom of the eighth, when the Aggies finally scored three times, all with two outs against Arizona starter Kurt Heyer, a Cardinals farmhand.

A&M’s Tyler Naquin doubled to the right-center wall with two outs and nobody on in the eighth. Krey Bratsen followed with a chopping RBI single up the middle, as Arizona shortstop Alex Mejia and second baseman Bryce Ortega lunged at the ball to no avail.

Mejia is a shortstop in St. Louis’ minor-league system.

Wacha, Heyer and Mejia may share the same field again in the next few years with St. Louis. Heyer and Mejia must be encouraged and humbled that the Cardinals drafted them given how scouts in that organization grade prospects.

Here are the minor-league stats of Heyer and Mejia, courtesy of

KURT HEYER, right-handed pitcher
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ALEX MEJIA, shortstop
[table “” not found /] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report, Lindy’s College Sports and


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