NATCHITOCHES – Former Northwestern State outfielder Nick Heath picked up 36 steals during his first professional baseball season with the Idaho Falls Chukars.
Heath’s steal total gave him the Pioneer League championship, outpacing the runner-up by 10 and marking his second stolen base crown of 2016. Heath’s school-record 35 stolen bases led the Southland Conference during his final season with the Demons.
For his work on the bases, Heath was named the Kansas City Royals organization’s Willie Wilson Baserunner of the Year for the 2016 season.
A 16th-round selection in June’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Heath hit .291 with 36 steals for Idaho Falls. His 36 steals ranked third among Kansas City farmhands but came in just 62 games for the rookie-level Chukars.
Heath, a Junction City, Kansas, native, swiped 75 bases in three seasons at Northwestern State, ranking him third in school history. His total is the most by a Demon who played three seasons.
The award is named for Willie Wilson, a member of Kansas City’s 1985 World Series championship team. Wilson stole 612 bases for the Royals across 14 seasons and remains the team’s all-time stolen base king.