Gunnar Heidt made his Toronto Blue Jays Grapefruit League debut yesterday pinch-running for Juan Graterol, safe to assume you were not alone if you were searching for the 411 on Heidt during the 7th inning stretch.
The lesser known prospect made the two and half hour trek from Dunedin with a cast of predominantly minor leaguers as the Blue Jays visited the Minnesota Twins at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers yesterday. Heidt made his spring debut for Manager John Gibbons scoring a run after being called upon to pinch-run.
The versatile infielder was drafted in the 13th round, 384th overall in the 2014 amateur draft by the Blue Jays. Heidt put up respectable numbers last season between Lansing and Dunedin and could become a prospect to watch if he can build on last season’s totals.
The native of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina attended College of Charleston in his home state. The same school that Blue Jays reliever Jeff Beliveau also attended years before Heidt. During his two years with Charleston, the line drive hitter batted .349 and .327 respectively.
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During his collegiate years, Heidt also played in the Cape Code League during the summer of 2013. A wood bat league renowned for housing the best collegiate players in the country Heidt batted .210 with 2 home runs and 7 stolen bases in 38 games for the Harwich Mariners. A couple of his teammates on the Mariners were touted prospects A.J. Reed, Nick Howard, and Ian Happ.
Heidt batted .270 with 57 hits including 13 stolen bases in 241 plate appearances with single-A (Lansing). After moving to single-A+ (Dunedin) Heidt hit .256 with 46 hits and 9 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances. His combined 2016 statistics is good for a .263/.345/.419 slash line.
In order for Heidt to continue to progress, he will have to cut down on the strikeouts. The infielder whiffed 101 times in 447 plates appearances last season. Defensively he logged time at shortstop (48 games), second base (40 games) and third base (17 games) during the course of 2016.
To get to know Heidt a little better give him a follow on Twitter @gunnarheidt2 for epic tweets like this one.
Another minor league name to keep an eye out for during the dog days of summer and if nothing else “Gunnar” is a great baseball name.