The Colorado Rockies organization is the next stop during the Bells in the Bigs series, as we look at three former Bells who advanced into the minors.
Outfielder Wynton Bernard played 16 games with the Bells in 2010. That summer he was a rising junior from Niagara University and ended the season with a .208 average and a .471 OPS.
Bernard has a remarkable story. Dating back to high school, Bernard wasn’t scouted much. He graduated from Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, Calif., and accepted the only partial scholarship he received from Niagara University — a school that never saw him play in person.
While at school in Buffalo, New York, Bernard lost his father to health complications and remembers walking to the baseball field on campus and breaking down after he heard the news from his brother.
He began his now 11-year minor league career the Arizona Complex League (AZL) with the Padres in 2012 when he averaged .232 over 23 games.
The following year, he played for four teams and completed the season with the single-A-advanced affiliate Lake Elsinore Storm.
He was released after two seasons in the Padres system but discovered that the Detroit Tigers were holding a tryout in Florida. He took a cross-country flight from San Diego and had something to prove.
The Tigers signed Bernard to a minor-league contract in 2014 and he bounced around the minor leagues for two more seasons. At the end of 2016, Bernard elected free agency after concluding the season with the double-A affiliate Erie SeaWolves.
11 days later, the San Francisco Giants signed Bernard to a minor league contract, and he was sent to the triple-A affiliate Sacramento River Cats.
He remained within the Giants organization for one year and found himself back in free agency.
Bernard was released three times during his minor league career, signed to minor league contracts as a free agent five times and played for 15 different teams across five Major League organizations from rookie ball to triple-A.
He will begin the 2022 season assigned to the triple-A affiliate Albuquerque Isotopes of the Colorado Rockies at age 31 with his father in mind and a dream to fulfill.
Southpaw Reagan Todd will also begin the 2022 season assigned to the Isotopes alongside Bernard.
Todd was a Bell in 2015 and made 11 appearances including 10 starts and accumulated 47.2 innings of work. He registered a 4.53 ERA and a 3-4 record as a redshirt freshman at Arizona State University.
He transferred closer to his hometown of Centennial, Colorado, to Colorado Mesa University his junior year. He played in 14 games and made 13 starts equating to 80 innings and a 3.60 ERA.
Todd was selected in the 32nd round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies and played 17 games that season between the AZL Grand Junction Rockies and single-A-short-season affiliate Boise Hawks.
He saw a similar amount of playing time in 2019 with the Hawks and the single-A-full-season affiliate Asheville Tourists.
He began the 2021 year bumped up to the double-A affiliate Fresno Grizzlies where he played 39 games, 43.1 innings. Todd ended the summer assigned to Albuquerque.
Right-handed pitcher Moises Ceja played for the Bells in 2014 as a rising sophomore at UCLA. He appeared in 20 games that summer and pitched 27.1 innings with an ERA or 2.96 including playoffs and non-league games. Ceja was the winning pitcher for the Bells in the deciding game of the 2014 West Coast League Championships.
The following two summers he played in the Northwoods and Cape Cod baseball leagues and after his senior year in 2017, he was selected in the 32nd round of the MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies.
After playing 112 games, four seasons for five different teams in the minors, and four-season at UCLA, Ceja retired on January 14, 2022.