TUCSON, Arizona — Former Cienega Bobcat Nick Gonzalez is a walk-on turned star, and he will be one of the very first players selected in next week’s Major League Baseball draft.
Gonzalez, a shortstop, played college baseball at New Mexico State. He had 80 RBI in 55 games last year, and was leading college baseball in home runs and RBI when this season was cut short due to COVID-19. A mock draft on Major League Baseball's website has Gonzalez as the fourth overall selection, and no southern Arizona player has ever been selected that high.
"It would mean the world," said Gonzalez, when asked about being a high draft pick. "That is so incredible to be that high with all the talent that has come out of southern Arizona. To be at the top of that is really special."
Once could say his college numbers are inflated against inferior competition, but Gonzalez proved himself against big school players in the Cape Cod League last summer.
"I think the numbers speak for themselves, outside the conference and outside NM State. They were with wood bats, at sea level, and against Power 5 Conference pitching. I'm super fortunate to be where I'm at, so anywhere I land in the draft is awesome for me."