Social media reactions to the seven former Southern Arizona high school standouts selected in the 2017 MLB draft:
Round 3 (87) WHITE SOX ($636,500)
Luis Gonzalez, New Mexico (Catalina Foothills, 2014) CF
“I want to thank all of you for the support. So pumped for the opportunity given to me by the White Sox, Jake Burger (Missouri State, also drafted by the White Sox) & Gavin Sheets (Wake Forest, also drafted by the White Sox). Let’s do work!” Luis Gonzalez
Round 6 (187) METS ($237,600)
Marcel Renteria, New Mexico State (Nogales, 2013) RHP
“Crazy last couple of hours! Thank you to the man above for such an amazing blessing and opportunity. I’d like to thank all of my family and friends that showed tremendous love and support! To my brothers at NMSU/ Pima, thank you to every single one of my teammates and coaches who believed in me and made me a better person! I couldn’t have done this without all of you. Special thanks to my amazing parents George Renteria and Barbara Renteria, my sister Aissa Bonillas and my brother George Renteria who have believed in my dream since little league. I am honored and proud to represent Nogales at the next level. Finally to all the young ball players out there, never give up, work hard and follow your dreams. You never know what the man above has planned!” Marcel Renteria
Round 12 (370) DODGERS
Andre Jackson, Utah (Cienega, 2014) RHP
“This was a very hard year both physically and emotionally for Andre. Getting hurt, coming back from surgery, then not playing all year has made him more determined to reach this goal. We are so thankful to everyone who believed in him and so very proud of him.” Chach Jackson, mother.
Round 14 (427) METS
Matthew Duce, Dallas Baptist (Buena, 2014) C
“Matthew Duce, a junior from Sierra Vista, Arizona, hit .333 with nine home runs this year and his 55 RBI were the fourth most in the Missouri Valley Conference. Defensively, Duce starred at multiple positions including catcher, second base, and third base, while also seeing time at the plate as the Patriots’ designated hitter.
Duce has garnered All-Missouri Valley Conference recognition each of the last two years, claiming Honorable Mention honors this season and was a Second Team All-MVC selection in 2016. Duce was also named to the MVC All-Defensive Team as a sophomore and was tabbed to MVC All-Tournament Team each of the last two years.” Dallas Baptist Release.
Round 30 (866) TWINS
Alex Robles, Austin Peay (Tucson, 2013) RHP
“I would love to thank the Minnesota Twins for making my dream come true today. Me and my family have been working for this my whole life!” Alex Robles
Round 31 (939) BLUE JAYS
Graham Spraker, Quincy University (Mountain View, 2013) RHP
“Spraker polished off his four-year collegiate career with a remarkable season in 2017, helping the Hawks clinch a GLVC Championship and their first berth in the NCAA Division II World Series. He went 7-5 with a 2.44 ERA, striking out 80 in 88 2/3 innings. He made 15 appearances and 13 starts.
Spraker ranks second in QU history in innings pitched (281 1/3) and strikeouts (211). His 22 wins are tied for third all-time and his 3.20 career ERA is fourth in program history.” Quincy University Release
Round 32 (953) PHILLIES
Sati Santa Cruz, Central Arizona (Sahuarita, 2015) RHP
“Congratulations to our former Mustang Sati Santa Cruz on getting drafted by the Phillies!” Sahuarita Baseball.
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com