Former Pirate Chris Heston (2009)
Sept. 3, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Former East Carolina hurler Chris Heston has been named the 2012 Eastern League Pitcher-of-the-Year according to a release by the league office over the weekend.
The 24-year old right-hander, who played for the Richmond Flying Squirrels in 2012, appeared in 25 games in his Double-A debut posting a 9-7 record with 130 strikeouts and a 2.13 ERA in 143.2 innings. Currently he leads the league in ERA, while ranking among the league leaders in WHIP (1.09-2nd), strikeouts (130-tied 4th), opponent's batting average (.227-5th) and complete games (1-tied 10th).
Heston made his first career Double-A start against New Britain on April 7th allowing one hit and walking three over five-shutout innings. He has continued to dominate Eastern League batters throughout this season for Richmond, surrendering three earned runs or less in 21 of his 24 starts, including nine appearances in which he didn't allow any earned runs. The Sanford, Fla. native set a new career-high with 11 strikeouts against Trenton on May 27th and matched that total again in a start on August 12th against Bowie. Those two performances were among 13 starts in which he struck out five batters or more this season.
In addition to being named the pitcher-of-the-year, Heston was also selected as the Eastern League Pitcher-of-the-Week Award after posting a record of 2-0 with 20 strikeouts and a 0.64 ERA in two games for the period of May 21st-May 27th, and was also named the right-handed starting pitcher on the recently announced Eastern League All-Star Team. Heston was also the starting pitcher for the Western Division at the 2012 Baseballtown All-Star Classic in Reading, Pa. and was rated by Baseball America as having the "Best Control" in the Eastern League this season.
Heston, who was named a San Francisco MiLB.com Organizational All-Star after going 12-4 with 131 strikeouts and a 3.16 ERA in 24 starts for the San Jose Giants of the Class-A California League last year, was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the 12th round of the 2009 Major League First-Year Player Draft after posting a record of 7-0 with 88 strikeouts and a 4.17 ERA during his junior season with the Pirates.