Deunte Raymon Heath
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 215 lb.
- School Lake City Community College, University of Tennessee
- High School Newton County High School
- Debut September 1, 2012
Deunte Heath made it to the majors in 2012.
Heath was picked by the New York Mets in the 27th round of the 2003 amateur draft but did not sign; by the time he got to the big leagues, their #1 pick that year (Lastings Milledge) had already washed out of The Show. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays chose him in the 25th round of the 2004 amateur draft out of junior college. He had a 3.80 ERA as a college sophomore and was picked again, this time in the 23rd round of the 2005 amateur draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, one pick after 2005 College World Series MVP David Maroul. As a junior, he went 4-3 with a 3.86 ERA for Tennessee. He was drafted for the fourth and final time, going to the Atlanta Braves in the 19th round of the 2006 amateur draft, one pick before Josh Tomlin. Scouted by Billy Best, he was signed for a reported $245,000 and made his pro debut the next summer.
Heath made his pro debut in 2007, pitching for the Rome Braves (2-3, 2.03, .225 opponent average in 71 IP) and Myrtle Beach Pelicans (2-4, 5.82, .284 opponent average, 31 BB in 55 2/3 IP). In '08, he was with the Pelicans (9-2, 3.11, 41 BB in 84 IP) and the Mississippi Braves (4-5, 5.56, 32 BB in 66 1/3 IP). He tied James Parr and Todd Redmond for second in the Braves chain in wins, two behind Scott Diamond, but was also second in walks. In 2009, he made it to AAA, pitching for Mississippi (2-5, Sv, 4.16) and Gwinnett Braves (0-1, 9.64, 27 H in 18 2/3 IP). For the year, he walked 50 in 98 2/3 innings.
Heath then signed with the Chicago White Sox as a minor league free agent. In 2010, he was 2-4 with a 3.12 ERA and two saves for the Birmingham Barons, walking 32 in 57 2/3 innings but also whiffing 84. He tied for the Southern League lead in holds (10) and was third in opponent average among SL relievers. He spent all of 2011 in AAA with the Charlotte Knights, going 4-7 with a save and a 4.73 ERA in 30 games (16 starts). He struck out 117 in 102 2/3 innings and walked 62. He was 8th in the 2011 International League in walks. That winter, he was 2-2 with a 2.29 ERA for the Venezuelan League's Tigres de Aragua. Had he qualified, he would have tied Andrew Baldwin for 4th in the Liga in ERA.
In 2012, Heath went 4-3 with 3 saves and a 1.48 ERA in 36 games for Charlotte, striking out 74 in 67 innings and allowing just a 1.00 WHIP in a stellar campaign. That earned him a September call-up to the majors.
Heath made his major league debut as the 8th Chicago White Sox hurler in a 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on September 1st. Relieving Addison Reed in the bottom of the 8th with one on and two out, he got Prince Fielder to hit into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.