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Chris J. Heisey

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Chris Heisey (HI-zee) was the first major leaguer from both Messiah College and the Commonwealth Conference.

Heisey set Messiah College career records in average (.405), total bases (294), doubles (41), homers (23), and extra-base hits (71). The Cincinnati Reds took him in the 17th round of the 2006 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Jeff Brookens. In his pro debut for the Billings Mustangs, he hit .286/.362/.400 and paced the Pioneer League with nine sacrifice hits.

Heisey at Safeco Field in 2010

In 2007, the Lancaster, PA native produced at a .289/.350/.436 rate for the Dayton Dragons; promoted to the Sarasota Reds, he hit .349/.396/.442 but missed almost a month with a fractured left thumb. He went 19-for-24 in steal attempts for Dayton. He tied for 9th in the Midwest League in average.

Chris split 2008 between Sarasota (.287/.381/.438, 27 SB in 29 tries, 31 doubles, 7 triples, 77 runs, .381 average versus left-handers, 14 outfield assists) and the AA Chattanooga Lookouts (.316/.341/.494 in 19 G). He led Reds minor leaguers in runs (88) and doubles (37) and was second to Drew Stubbs in steals. He finished third in the Florida State League in runs and fifth in steals; Baseball America named him the circuit's top baserunner. He tied Gus Milner for the most outfield assists inthe FSL. He made the Florida State League All-Star outfield alongside Cory Patton, James Adduci and Quintin Berry. He hit .281 with five homers and 24 RBI in 38 games that winter for the Lobos de Arecibo of the Puerto Rican League.

Heisey continued to raise his profile in 2009. He split the year between the Carolina Mudcats (.347/.426/.572 in 71 G, 18 2B, 13 HR, 54 R, 40 RBI, 13 SB, 1 CS) and the Louisville Bats (.278/.323/.465, 17 2B, 9 HR, 37 R, 37 RBI in 63 G, .346 versus southpaws). In the 2009 Futures Game, Chris started in left field for the USA and hit 6th. He ground out to Alex Liddi while facing Yohan Flende and struck out versus Leyson Septimo before being replaced by Daryl Jones. Heisey led Reds farmhands in average (.314), runs (91) and hits (162). His 22 homers tied for second behind Juan Francisco and he tied for second in RBI behind Francisco. He was named the Reds Minor League Player of the Year. Heisey would have led the Southern League in average had he qualified (instead, that honor went to Ezequiel Carrera). Baseball America rated him the #14 prospect in the SL and #20 in the International League (right behind Ian Desmond) as well as #4 overall in the Cincinnati chain. In the fall of 2009, Heisey hit .297 and slugged .593 for the Peoria Seguaros. He tied for 4th in the Arizona Fall League with five home runs. Cincinnati added him to their 40-man roster that winter.

Heisey's 2010 start with Louisville was unexceptional - .241/.307/.430, 23 K in 79 AB after 20 games. He was then called up to the Reds to replace the injured Chris Dickerson. In his debut, he batted 7th and played right field for Cincinnati. He struck out against Oliver Perez of the New York Mets in his first at-bat in The Show and finished the day 0 for 5. Heisey collected his first three major league hits, including his first home run, in the same game, on May 11th, on a night when Johnny Cueto pitched a one-hitter over the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Reds won 9-0.

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