MLB BASEBALL: The heat’s on! Wallingford’s Hart launches pro career in Arizona

MLB BASEBALL: The heat’s on! Wallingford’s Hart launches pro career in Arizona

WALLINGFORD —  After being drafted in the 10th round of this year’s Major League Baseball draft by the Cleveland Indians, Wallingford’s Zach Hart has started his career as a professional baseball player.

He’s reported to Cleveland’s rookie affiliate in Goodyear, Arizona, where his journey has begun in the Arizona League.

Hart has gotten to work for the Indians as he threw his first inning of professional baseball against the Los Angeles Dodgers rookie affiliate. Hart gave up a hit, but no runs.

The Indians are going to try him out in more than one capacity. Hart is expected to throw two innings in relief this weekend and will get a chance to start next week.

“I’m loving it here. Arizona is hot, but I’m a fan of it,” Hart said late last week. “The Indians treat their players amazingly well and really take care of them, and I’m getting the chance to see that first hand.”

Hart’s baseball career spans back to when he was a little kid playing in the Yalesville Little League and has proven to be an exceptional talent and a proven winner every step of the way.

The 6-foot-4 right-hander pitched for Sheehan’s 2015 state Class M championship team and for the Wareham Gatemen’s 2018 championship in the Cape Cod League. Hart’s teams at Franklin Pierce University were also competitive.

The Indians are known for taking their time in developing their players. So, with that, there’s no telling when, or if, they’ll move Hart to A ball this season. 

In the meantime, playing professionally for an affiliated team, Hart isn’t fazed by the elite players around him. He’s actually more experienced than many of the players around him in rookie ball. 

“I’m one of the older guys here,” said Hart, who turned 22 on May 27, about a week before he was drafted. “At 22 years old, I think my age and experience goes a long way here.”