Former Heartland baseball players playing professionally

Former Heartland baseball players playing professionally

(KFVS) - Several former Heartland baseball players are making a name for themselves in the Major League Baseball organization.

Joey Lucchesi is a starting pitcher with the San Diego Padres. His incredible rookie stats include a 2.78 ERA, 35 strikeouts to 10 walks, and his record is 3-1.

Lucchesi was 2-time OVC Pitcher of the Year for the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks. He played the last two years in the minors. He is scheduled to pitch on Friday, May 4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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James Naile is a starting pitcher for the Nashville Sounds, the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. His first three starts were exceptional, giving up 0 runs through 17.2 innings.

During that stretch, he had 15 strikeouts and just 2 walks. The last three games haven't been as good - 5.06 ERA, 12 strikeouts, 6 walks. Naile is a Charleston, Mo, native.

Shae Simmons is a relief pitcher for the Iowa Cubs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Simmons has appeared in eight games, pitching one inning each in seven of those. He doesn't give up many runs, only 2 total, which is want you want from a reliever.

He has 5 strikeouts and 5 walks. Simmons is a Scott City, Mo. native and was an All-American for the Redhawks.

Alex Winkelman is a pitcher for the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. He has pitched in five games this year, starting two. His record is 1-1, has a 4.19 ERA, 19 strikeouts and 13 walks. Winkelman is a former pitcher for the Redhawks as well.

Boggetto has been hitting exceptionally this year, boasting a .429 batting average with 4 doubles and 1 homer. He last played April 29, so he may have suffered an injury. Boggetto was a First-Team All-OVC selection with the Redhawks.

Clay Chandler is a pitcher for the Clinton Lumberjacks, a Class A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Chandler has appeared in five games, starting one and has a 4.02 ERA, 17 strikeouts and just 5 walks with 15.2 innings pitched. He also was a pitcher with the Redhawks.

We look forward to our Heartland players stepping up in the minors and also keep an eye on Naile and Simmons joining Lucchesi in the majors sometime this year.

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