Six Arizona baseball recruits choose college over pros - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Six Arizona baseball recruits choose college over pros

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TUCSON, Ariz. – Coach Jay Johnson formally announced Monday that six players selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft will delay the start of their professional careers and join the Arizona Wildcats for the upcoming school year.

Officially joining the Wildcats for the 2019 season are: Ryan Holgate (Davis HS, Davis, Calif.), George Arias Jr. (Tucson HS, Tucson), Ian Mejia (Sahuarita HS, Sahuarita), Austin Wells (Bishop Gorman HS, Henderson, Nev.), Bryce Collins (Hart HS, Valencia, Calif.) and Andrew Nardi (Moorpark College, Simi Valley, Calif.).

“We are very excited to have these six drafted players as well as the entire 2018 recruiting class join our program,” Johnson said. “We strongly believe they made a great choice to continue their careers at Arizona as their next step in their development toward professional baseball. This group will give us a strong foundation of ability, character and competiveness moving forward.

“I am looking forward to the fall to begin preparing for the 2019 season with this group of players.”

Holgate was drafted in the 32nd round by the Minnesota Twins with the 964th overall selection. The left-handed hitting outfielder was named a 2018 Rawlings/Perfect Game Honorable Mention All-America selection. He was named to Perfect Game’s All-Region First-Team for California and is ranked as the 332nd top high school player in the country by Perfect Game.

Holgate, who hit .373 as a senior at Davis HS with 31 RBI, 27 runs scored and six home runs, was ranked No. 362 in Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects. He was a first-team All-Metro pick by the Sacramento Bee and hit 13 home runs over his three-year varsity career at Davis.

Arias was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 34th round with the 1,011th overall selection. A Rawlings/Perfect Game honorable mention All-American, Arias went 10-4 in his four-year career at Tucson High with a .179 ERA. In 117.1 career innings, he struck out 160 batters and held opposing hitters to a .178 batting average.

Arias was ranked as the 500th best high school player in the country by Perfect Game and was a First-Team West-All Region pick. Arias’ father, George, played at Arizona in 1993.

Mejia was a 35th-round selection of the New York Mets with the 1,040th overall pick. Mejia was a third-team Rawlings/Perfect Game All-American and a first-team All-Region pick. He was ranked as the 162nd best player in the country and the top right-handed pitcher in Arizona.

For his career at Sahuarita High School, Mejia posted a 2.58 ERA in 146.1 innings pitched. He allowed just 115 hits, while striking out 143. He helped guide Sahuarita to the state championship game at Hi Corbett Field as a senior.

Wells, a 35th-round selection of the New York Yankees, had a brilliant high school career at Bishop Gorman High School. Wells hit .527 as a senior this past year with 19 doubles, six triples and four home runs. He drove in 46. As a junior in 2017, he was named the Gatorade Nevada State Player of the Year after hitting .500 with eight home runs.

Wells was ranked as the 160th best draft prospect in the country by MLB.com and the 206th best by Baseball America. He participated in the 2017 Under Armour All-American Game and was ranked as the 65thbest high school player in the country by Perfect Game. Ranked as the top prospect in Nevada by Perfect Game, Wells was a second-team All-America selection by Rawlings/Perfect Game. His father, Greg, played at Arizona in 1993. He was teammates with George Arias.

Collins, a right-handed pitcher, was drafted in the 39th round by the Minnesota Twins with the 1,174th selection. Collins dominated the Southern California prep scene at Hart High School. He posted a 0.98 ERA as a senior with 86 strikeouts. He tossed a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts as a senior and was named a Division I All-CIF Southern Section selection.

For his career, Collins, who was ranked in No. 316 in Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects, had a career ERA of 1.76. He went 15-6 with five complete games in his career, striking out 197 batters in 176 innings.

Nardi was drafted in the 39th round by the Washington Nationals with the 1,181st pick. It’s the second time Nardi has been drafted as he was also selected by the New York Yankees in the 39th round of the 2017 draft.

Nardi pitched this past year at Moorpark College and posted a 2.48 ERA in 80 innings. He went 6-4 with 91 strikeouts. As a freshman at Ventura College in 2017, Nardi posted a 1.17 ERA in 30.2 innings. He prepped at Royal High School in Simi Valley and posted a 1.71 ERA as a senior.

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