Former Arizona Wildcats catcher Austin Wells officially became a pro player today by signing with the New York Yankees, who drafted him as the No. 28 pick overall in the MLB draft two weeks ago.
Wells reportedly signed for the slot value of that pick at almost $2.5 million.
Wells entered the draft ranked No. 27 on MLB Pipeline’s top 200 list. Baseball America listed him as the No. 21 top prospect in the draft.
Scouts reportedly are impressed with his power from the left side of the plate, a bonus playing at Yankee Stadium. What position he will play — catcher, first base or the outfield — remains to be seen.
He started in all 15 games for Arizona this season, shortened by COVID-19. He earned recognition on the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award watch list batting .375 with 12 runs, six doubles, two home runs, and 14 RBIs. He drew more walks (17) than strikeouts (14) on the way to posting a .527 on-base percentage.
Because of restrictions from COVID-19, Wells will not take part in minor-league baseball this season. He reportedly may be one of the 60 players to join the Yankees’ training session that starts July 1 for the season, slated to begin July 23.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.