Former Cienega standout Nick Gonzales became the third baseball athlete from Southern Arizona drafted in the top ten after the New Mexico State standout was taken No. 7 by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I was uncertain where I would go but it looked like Pittsburgh as the draft went on,” Gonzales said. “I was happy and excited and this has been a dream of mine since my younger days.”
It’s still up in the air what the next step would be. The Pirates train in Bradenton, Florida, just south of Tampa, but the COVID-19 pandemic might change the timelines a bit.
As an added bonus, his older brother, former Cienega football and baseball standout 1st Lt. Daniel Gonzales, was watching live from his deployment in Japan along with his unit. 1st Lt. Gonzales played football for the Naval Academy.
“It was great that he was able to watch live,” Gonzales added. “This is all just a special feeling.”
Former Tucson High standout Eddie Leon went No. 3 in the 1966 Secondary Draft but former Sahuaro standout Sam Khalifa went No. 7 in the 1982 Regular Draft. Leon also went No. 9 in the 1965 Regular Draft.
Former Sabino softball standout Molly Johnson went No. 2 in the 2010 Pro Fastpitch Draft and former Cholla standout Sean Elliot went No. 3 in the 1989 NBA Draft.
His stat line this year included: .448, 12 HR, 3 2B, 36 RBI and 21 walks of which 10 were intentional.
According to reports, his draft slot value is worth $5,432,400
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. 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 is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at email@example.com