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Sept. 2, 2010
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Less than a month into his time at Single-A Lexington, former Penn State All-American catcher Ben Heath (Huntersville, N.C.) was promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi on Wednesday. It marks Heath's fourth team of 2010 after concluding his season with Penn State less than four months ago.
Corpus Christi is Heath's third professional team since his final collegiate game in May. After being selected by the Houston Astros in the fifth round of this June's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, he was assigned to Low-A Tri-City of the New York-Penn League. He hit .248 with six home runs and 21 RBI and was promoted to Single-A Lexington on Aug. 7 where he hit .290 with four home runs and 13 RBI. He posted a strong OPS of .955 behind a .551 slugging percentage and .405 on-base percentage.
Heath's time as a Legend was highlighted by a memorable game only a week after his call-up. He hit three home runs and drove in seven against West Virginia, falling just short of a fourth when his fly ball was caught in front of the wall. He was honored with South Atlantic League Player of the Week laurels and his performance was noted on the front page of MiLB.com, the official website of Minor League Baseball.
Corpus Christi now has five catchers on its roster including Heath, but only two are active. Lou Santangelo and former major leaguer J.R. Towles are both on the disabled list while Jonathon Fixler is on the restricted list. Also on the roster is Koby Clemens, son of former six-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens. The Hooks' season concludes on Monday, Sept. 6 against San Antonio.
Heath's path is similar to former Penn State pitcher Scott Kelley, who threw for four teams a year ago. After his collegiate career concluded, he was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the MLB Draft and pitched for the Idaho Chukars and Burlington Royals before finishing with the High-A Wilmington Blue Rocks.
A second team All-American this spring, Heath enjoyed one of the best seasons in Penn State baseball history, hitting .369 with a school-record 19 home runs and 57 RBI. (His school-record breaking 18th home run can be viewed below.)
Numerous postseason honors include being named First Team All-Big Ten, Louisville Slugger and PING!Baseball Second Team All-American, Pro-Line NCBWA Third Team All-American, and a Dick Howser Trophy and Johnny Bench Award semifinalist. Only 25 players in the nation were named a Howser semifinalist while 16 cracked the Bench list. He was also one of eight players invited to participate in the inaugural TD AMERITRADE College Home Run Derby, but was unable to attend due to his season with Tri-City.
Baseball camp information is now available. Call the Sports Camp Office at (814) 865-0561 or email them at SportCampInfo@outreach.psu.edu for more information.
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