U. Arizona freshman moves from the gridiron and court to the diamond

By Mike Schmitz

Arizona Daily Wildcat, U. Arizona via UWIRE

U. Arizona freshman and starting third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean has dazzling in the field and dominated at the plate through 28 games this season. He was a huge part of the Wildcats’ 15-game winning streak and is a cornerstone of the youngest team in the Pacific 10 Conference.

But the Tucson native wasn’t a sure thing at Arizona.

Mejias-Brean, who starred at football, baseball and basketball at Cienega High School, remained unsigned just three days before classes began.

He was enrolled at Pima Community College and being a Wildcat wasn’t even a possibility. That is, until Matt Helm, then committed to Arizona, signed a $500,000 contract with the Diamondbacks, opening the door for Mejias-Brean.

“I had all my classes, and I was all set at Pima,” Mejias-Brean said. “And then I got this call from coach (Andy) Lopez. I was really excited. I never expected it to happen.”

“I feel like God has his way of placing everyone where they need to be,” he added. “That just happened to be how it turned out for me.”

Mejias-Brean played on the same legion team as Arizona head coach Andy Lopez’s son David, allowing Lopez to see that Mejias-Brean had some talent.

“I was just playing and David, his son, was telling me ‘Oh, you should come. (Helm) signed, we need someone,’” Mejias-Brean said. “I was worried about playing time. There was a lot going through my head a couple of days before school.”

But when Lopez offered the uber-athlete a scholarship, Mejias-Brean found a home with the Wildcats.

“We were able to offer him a little bit of money and get him and we’re very happy with him,” Lopez said. “He’s a very good athlete — very competitive. He’s done a marvelous job for us.”

Mejias-Brean was highly regarded as a dual-threat quarterback, and was hoping to play both football and baseball in college, which drew him to San Diego State University.

He verbally committed to SDSU for baseball in the summer before his senior year and was promised a roster spot on the Aztecs’ football squad. But for whatever reason, SDSU lost interest.

“At first I was pumped,” Mejias-Brean said of going to SDSU. “But it just never went through and I never got a call back.”

His hopes of being a two-sport athlete at the collegiate level went out the window, but he couldn’t be happier to be playing for Arizona.

He’s found a home, batting .396 in 28 games at third base. He already captured a game-winning hit this season, and with the perfect frame for a third basemen — 6-foot-2, 198-pounds — the sky is his limit.

“He has a bright future,” Lopez said. “Just the physical package that he brings is going to attract some people to say ‘Hey we need to follow this guy.’ And obviously if he continues to put up the numbers that he’s put up in 20 something games, they’re going to be watching him in a year or two.”

Mejias-Brean attributed his early success to his ability to focus on only one sport, but also made it clear how much his multi-sport background helped him endure the bumps and bruises that come along with the lengthy college baseball season.

Lopez was also intrigued by the athleticism and leadership that comes along with playing three sports.

“I love those guys,” Lopez said of multi-sport athletes. “They’re competitive and they’ve been in a lot of pressure situations. He’s been a quarterback, a point guard and a shortstop. All year long he’s in pressure situations.”

It’s been an interesting road for Mejias-Brean, but as is the case for a lot of athletes, all he needed was a chance. He’s solidified himself as the starting third baseman and has exceeded all expectations.

After being overlooked during recruiting, Mejias-Brean entered the season with a chip on his shoulder, and it’s certainly translated on the field.

“People were like, ‘Oh, he’s not going to do well,’” he said. “But you’re not supposed to listen to them. You’ve just got to go out there and do your best.”

Mejias-Brean has done exactly that, and Lopez and the Wildcats couldn’t be more pleased.

“I’m very, very happy with him,” Lopez said. “He’s a great student. He’s got a good mind. He’s easy to work with and with that he’s easy to make adjustments with in terms of his baseball mechanics and things of that nature … He’s got a very bright future.”

Read more here: http://wildcat.arizona.edu/sports/from-the-gridiron-and-court-to-the-diamond-1.1308790
Copyright 2018 Arizona Daily Wildcat