Chad Hinshaw is headed to the Arizona Fall League for a second stint to compete against some of the top prospects in minor league baseball.
And Hinshaw will have an old friend joining him on the Mesa Solar Sox when AFL play begins in mid-October.
Eric Aguilera, a teammate of Hinshaw at Illinois State, also will play for Mesa after a huge season in the Class A California League. Both are part of the Los Angeles Angels organization.
“It’s still an honor. It means a lot they want me to go back,” said Hinshaw, a Normal Community High School product. “But it’s just to make up at-bats.”
A speedy outfielder, Hinshaw missed 10 weeks of the recently completed season after tearing a thumb ligament.
“It was a good year. The injury was definitely a bummer,” Hinshaw said. “It took away at-bats crucial for my development. But I felt I made the most of the at-bats and games I did have.”
Hinshaw batted .289 with one home run, 26 RBIs and 27 stolen bases for Arkansas of the Class AA Texas League. His on-base percentage was a sparkling .391.
Adding a short rehabilitation stint, Hinshaw hit .291 with a .399 on-base percentage overall.
“I wanted to work on controlling the field more, hit line drives all over the field,” said Hinshaw, who had 16 home runs in Class A ball in 2014. “By the end, I was able to put everything together.”
Aguilera, who also played at Heartland College before transferring to ISU, was second in the California League with a .327 batting average and fourth with 94 RBIs.
The first baseman added 17 home runs and 14 stolen bases. Aguilera received 33 Class AA at-bats late in the season.
“It’s awesome to play with guys you’ve played with in the past,” Hinshaw said. “Him and I will really enjoy it (in Arizona)."