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Nearly 40 players with Arizona ties taken in MLB draft

The state of Arizona was well-represented in Major League Baseball’s three-day, 40-round 2014 First-Year Player Draft, which concluded Saturday.

Three players from Arizona high schools — Cole Tucker (Mountain Pointe HS), Ryan Castellani (Brophy College Preparatory) and Alex Verdugo (Sahuaro HS) — went in the draft’s first two rounds to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively.

The University of Arizona saw three players go in this year’s draft: Pitcher James Farris, ninth round, Chicago Cubs; second baseman Trent Gilbert, 15th round, Oakland; and pitcher Tyler Parmenter, 21st round, Cincinnati.

Arizona State University also produced three MLB prospects: Shortstop Drew Stankiewicz, 11th round, Philadelphia; first baseman Nathaniel Causey, 19th round, Colorado; and pitcher David Graybill, 33rd round, New York Yankees.

Four players from Central Arizona College got their names called by MLB teams: Pitcher Brock Dykxhoorn, sixth round, Houston; pitcher Nicco Blank, 25th round, New York Mets; pitcher Jared Koenig, 35th round, Chicago White Sox; and catcher David Petrino, 39th round, Chicago Cubs.

Grand Canyon University produced two pitching prospects: Brandon Bonilla (yes, son of Bobby Bonilla), 25th round, Baltimore; and Jorge Perez, 30th round, New York Yankees.

Additionally, three players from local community colleges were selected in the draft: Pima CC saw pitcher Cole Plouck go in the 16th round to Washington and right fielder James Lynch taken in the 39th round by Toronto, while Glendale CC had third baseman Vance Vizcaino go in the 29th round to Kansas City.

The Arizona Diamondbacks took two players with Arizona ties: First baseman Kevin Cron in the 16th round out of Texas Christian University and outfielder Gerard Hernandez in the 21st round out of Pinnacle High School. Cron is a graduate of Mountain Pointe HS in Tempe and was originally drafted in the third round by Seattle in 2011, but he chose to pursue his academic career at TCU instead.

In total, 38 players with Arizona ties went in the Thursday-Saturday draft, including 13 prospects straight out of high school.