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Even though this Arizona 2017 high school baseball class was above-average, it would be a surprise if a player is selected in the first round of the MLB draft on Monday.

But there could be at least 18 in the state with a chance to hear their name called over the next couple of days.

Where they go will depend on several factors, mainly signability. A guy like Nick Brueser, a two-time All-Arizona first baseman who led Chandler Hamilton to the past two state championships, said he wants to play at Stanford before being drafted. So even though he might be one of the top two pro prospects in the state, there is a good chance no team will waste a pick on him unless it wants to give him lottery money.

Let’s take a look of Arizona’s top high school prospects, in order of where I think they might go in the draft:

Jacob Gonzalez, Scottsdale Chaparral, 3B

He already has a nice head start by being the son of former Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez. He has good size at 6-foot-4 with a powerful bat and he hits for average. He could play either corner infield position. Gonzalez has signed with TCU, but he is very open to the draft. Luis says he tells his son, “Enjoy the process and wait and see what happens.” It’s a win-win.

Projection: Rounds 3-5

Boyd Vander Kooi, Mesa Skyline, P

The 6-4 Vander Kooi, azcentral sports Big Schools Baseball and Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year, has what it takes to be a big-time pitcher at the highest level. He has signed with Arizona State and brings an electric fastball to a roster. He said he has only worked out for the San Diego Padres. “I don’t mind either way I go,” he said. “I could fall anywhere in the draft from top 10 to the 20th.”

Projection: Rounds 3-5

Trevor Hauver, Gilbert Perry, SS

Another ASU signee, Hauver has always had a great bat, especially hitting from the left side. He stands out with his glove, too, showing that in workouts with the Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers and Padres. He said his adviser told him that he could go somewhere in rounds three to seven, but he knows how unpredictable things can get.

Projection: Rounds 3-5

MORE: High school sports coverage

Gil Luna, Casa Grande, P

Because he is left-handed and has nasty stuff, Luna should be among the top tier of high school prospects from Arizona. He has signed with Arizona.

Projection: Rounds 3-5

Gianni Tomasi, Chaparral, OF

Tomasi put up big numbers and with his speed and defense. His name could be called between rounds 5-10.

Projection: Rounds 5-10

Genner Cervantes, Phoenix Trevor Browne, SS

This smooth-fielding, 6-1 shortstop has speed that scouts love. He hit .493 with 12 doubles and 31 RBIs his senior season, making him very signable. He will play at community college if he doesn’t sign out of the draft. 

Projection: Rounds 5-10

RELATED: All-USA Arizona high school baseball team 2017

Matt Schroer, Phoenix Arcadia, P

This 6-4, hard-throwing right-hander has amazing stuff, and he showed off an impressive bat during an All-Arizona senior season. He said he is open to the draft, and has worked out for the Padres with several other teams interested in him. But he said, “It would have to be a significant amount in order to take me away from the great opportunity to play at LSU.”

Projection: Rounds 5-10

Jake Holmes, Phoenix Pinnacle, SS

Holmes is a big, rangy shortstop who defends well and hits for power at the top of the order. He has a plus-arm and bat. He had a couple of workouts with major league clubs but no feel for where he might go.

Projection: Rounds 5-15

Gabriel Ponce, San Luis, P

This big right-hander has been clocked at 92 mph and throws consistently at 88. But his coach, Cesar Castillo, said it would take “a hefty” amount of money for Ponce to walk away from a full-ride scholarship to the University of San Diego. “That’s $60,000 a year,” Castillo said of Ponce’s scholarship worth. “He’s got it made with a full ride. He’s interested in just school. It has to be a life deal for him.”

Projection: Rounds 10-15

David Avitia, Phoenix Alhambra, C

As great a hitter as he is, Avitia might be an even better backstop with an arm and quick release that scouts covet. This two-time All-Arizona catcher who signed with Grand Canyon could be a surprise of the draft.

Projection: Rounds 10-15

Cole Bellinger, Hamilton, P, 2B

Clutch performer. Was the winning pitcher for Hamilton in the last two state championship games. He comes from a great family. His father Clay played for the New York Yankees. Cole’s brother Cody is currently tearing it up for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Somebody will take a chance on him.

Projection: Rounds 10-20

Evan Williams, Phoenix Horizon, OF

Great gap hitter with speed in the outfield, covers lots of ground. He has the intangibles that makes him an intriguing player.

Projection: Rounds 12-20

Drew Swift, Hamilton, SS

This  was a great senior class by Hamilton, and Swift is right up there with his glove and steady bat. 

Projection: Rounds 12-20

Blake Paugh, Chaparral, OF

This  Arizona signee has plus power. He is 6-2, 205. Lots of tools that should see him go in the draft.

Projection: Rounds 12-20

Trey Dillard, Scottsdale Desert Mountain, P

This 6-2 right-hander has touched 90 mph on radar guns. He also has an impressive slider that has scouts keeping him on their radar. 

Projection: Rounds 12-22

Colby Davis, Chaparral, P

A 6-8 right-handed power pitcher, Davis has the measurables that teams like. He is still 17 and continuing to make strides. Ten major league teams have had him fill out questionairres. 

Projection: Rounds 12-25

Gage Workman, Chandler Basha, INF

The 6-3, 17-year-old reclassified to graduate a year early. He has the bat,  glove and speed that scouts like.

Projection: Rounds 13-25

Nick Brueser, Hamilton, 1B

He won the Junior Home Run Derby title at Petco Park in San Diego last summer during the MLB All-Star festivities. He has power, hits for average and plays outstanding defense. But he’s got Stanford, and it’s going to take a huge offer to pull him away from that. “I haven’t gone to any draft workouts and I really want to go to Stanford before being drafted,” he said.

Projection: Either first two rounds or not drafted at all

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at [email protected] or 602-316-8827. Follow him at


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