TUCSON, Arizona — We are still waiting to learn if there will be an abbreviated Major League Baseball season, but we do know there will be an abbreviated player draft.
This year, there will be only five rounds instead of 40, but two local players will be selected early. Vail’s Nick Gonzalez is expected to be taken somewhere around fifth overall. That would make him the highest selection ever from southern Arizona. The New Mexico State shortstop was leading NCAA baseball in home runs and RBI before the season was cut short due to COVID-19.
"I think it’s more anxious and excitement," said Gonzalez, who played high school baseball at Cienega. "I’m super fortunate to be where I’m at, so anywhere I land is awesome for me. I’m looking forward to seeing where I land and move into what’s next."
University of Arizona sophomore catcher Austin Wells should go late in the first round, or the second round. He was a Collegiate Baseball Second-Team All-American last year.
And Wildcat utility player Matthew Dyer is most affected by draft only being five rouds. He may or may not hear his name called.
"To hear that the draft was cut from 40 rounds to 5 rounds and then to hear everything else that is going on, it's just crazy," said Dyer. "It's something that I look forward to, and and am excited about, and to be drafted would be an honor."
Dyer says he if he’s not drafted, he will return to Arizona for his senior season.
The first round is Wednesday evening. Rounds two through five are on Thursday.