MLB mock draft: Nick Gonzales, Carson Tucker Arizona's next first round MLB draft picks?
In 2018, two former Arizona high school baseball players went in the first round of the MLB draft.
That feat might be replicated in the 2020 MLB draft.
Former Vail Cienega standout Nick Gonzales, who shined during his collegiate career at New Mexico State, is projected to be a Top 5 pick in several MLB mock draft projections for the first round of the 2020 MLB draft on June 10.
He's joined in some mock draft projections by former Phoenix Mountain Pointe High standout Carson Tucker, who had his senior season of high school baseball cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2018, Glendale Mountain Ridge's Matthew Liberatore and Phoenix Sandra Day O'Connor's Nolan Gorman were taken in the first round of the MLB draft.
Liberatore was drafted by the Rays at No. 16 overall. Gorman went three picks later to the Cardinals at No. 19.
MORE:Arizonans who have been first round MLB draft picks
Check out some 2020 MLB draft projections for Nick Gonzales and Carson Tucker.
Nick Gonzales in 2020 MLB mock drafts:
Prospects365.com: Nick Gonzales goes to Kansas City Royals at No. 4
Ian Smith writes: "And here we have it, the third second baseman drafted in the top-5 in the last 20 years as New Mexico State’s Nick Gonzales heads to Kansas City. Earlier this week, I wrote a feature explaining why Gonzales has the potential to be a top-5 pick, and it’s clear to see after watching tape on the former walk-on-turned-All-American why that’s the case. Just look at the video game numbers he posted in just 16 games in 2020: 82 PA, .448/.610/.1.155, 12 HR, 36 RBI, 21:10 BB:K. Granted it was in a very favorable hitting environment and against mid-level competition, but those are numbers you can’t ignore. An average arm and glove, but a high IQ and motor plus favorable positioning save his defensive profile. Some think Gonzales won’t be able to stick at second base long term, but I see his make up and work ethic being able to keep the elite hit tool he carries at the keystone. A no nonsense approach at the plate combined with a swing that wastes absolutely zero effort makes the package at the plate hard to beat as a college bat. Royals fans can get excited thinking about a middle infield duo of Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Gonzales for years to come."
Bleacher Report: Nick Gonzales lands with Seattle Mariners at No. 6
CBS Sports: Nick Gonzales picked by Baltimore Orioles at No. 2
Mike Axisa writes: "When he ran drafts for the Astros, O's GM Mike Elias had great success manipulating his team's bonus pool. Houston pioneered the practice of cutting underslot deals with high picks and using the savings on later picks. They signed Carlos Correa below slot with the No. 1 pick in 2012, and used the leftover bonus pool money to pay Lance McCullers Jr. with the No. 41 pick. The Orioles have the largest bonus pool and an extra pick this year, and I think it's possible they'll go underslot with the No. 2 pick, and use the savings on a top talent that falls to their extra pick (No. 30 overall). Gonzales is no slouch -- he is widely expected to go in the top 4-5 picks this year -- but, among the top draft prospects, he may be most likely to take an underslot deal ($6.5 million?) at No. 2. Gonzales put up absurd numbers this spring -- he hit .448/.610/1.155 with 12 homers in 16 games -- though he plays at altitude and in a not great conference. More importantly, he demolished elite competition in the wood bat Cape Cod League last summer (.351/.451/.630). Gonzales is not a standout defender but he projects to be solid at second base. Keston Hiura is the obvious parallel."
MLB.com: Nick Gonzales selected by Toronto Blue Jays at No. 5
It writes: "His huge performance on the Cape made teams feel comfortable his production wasn’t just a product of his hitting-friendly environment in New Mexico."
Mymlbdraft.com: Nick Gonzales chosen by Kansas City Royals at No. 4
MORE:MLB mock draft: Spencer Torkelson Arizona State baseball's next No. 1 MLB draft pick?
Baseball Prospect Journal: Nick Gonzales goes to Seattle Mariners at No. 6
Dan Zielinski III writes: "Nick Gonzales has thrived offensively throughout his collegiate career. He hit five home runs in a game this season and finished the year batting .448 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs in 58 at-bats. He’s played at 3,900 feet above sea level at New Mexico State, but his success last summer in the Cape Cod League has quieted some of the critics. He played shortstop this spring but profiles as an offensive-minded second baseman in pro ball."
Prospectslive.com: Nick Gonzales land with Toronto Blue Jays at No. 5
It writes: "While Zac Veen is an option here, it’s hard to go against Nick Gonzales. Already considered a top pick before the college season started, Gonzales did nothing but mash and finished the shortened season with a ridiculous 1.765 OPS. In fact, since the start of his college career, all Gonzales has done is mash. Gonzales has some skeptics because of his small frame, weaker competition, and an extreme hitter’s environment, but his performance is pretty undeniable at this point. While being a below-average 2B in the field hurts his stock a bit, Gonzales has a chance to be a 60+ hit, 55 power type prospect. I know Joe hates the Keston Hiura comps, but I think it’s the closest we can get for Gonzales, although I do think Hiura ends up having a bit more power. In a draft where many believe there is a clear top four, the Blue Jays would be thrilled to end up with Nick Gonzales."
Perfect Game: Nick Gonzales selected by Toronto Blue Jays at No. 5
Brian Sakowski and Vincent Cervino write: "If you told Blue Jays fans that the top of their lineup on Opening Day in 2024 would include Nick Gonzales at second base, Bo Bichette at shortstop and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at third base, they’d likely be ecstatic. Gonzales also has a claim to being the best hitter in the draft and has put up monster numbers at hitter-friendly New Mexico State, but his performance on the Cape should assuage some small school concerns."
Carson Tucker in 2020 MLB mock drafts:
MLB.com: Carson Tucker selected by New York Yankees at No. 28
It writes: "Because he lives in Arizona he was seen a lot before the shutdown during Spring Training, so he could sneak in here, following in brother Cole’s footsteps."
Perfect Game: Carson Tucker chosen by Baltimore Orioles at No. 30
Brian Sakowski and Vincent Cervino write: "With the Orioles grabbing Lacy with the second overall pick, we liked the idea of pairing him with a high-upside prep bat. Tucker has flown up boards in the early going, looking seriously more physical and his tools have exploded. Now a plus runner with projection to stay at short as well as serious power, he’s got tremendous upside."
Fansided: Tucker would be intriguing pick for New York Yankees
Aaron Somers writes: "Athletic shortstops are always valuable to a team. There is nothing to suggest that Tucker can’t stick at shortstop long term, but the possibility of potentially moving him elsewhere on the diamond is likelier with a more versatile background. If this projection comes to be, it would mark the second year in a row that the Yankees select a shortstop in the draft’s first round. Last year they selected Anthony Volpe out of a New Jersey high school?"
MLB.com: Carson Tucker could be a big-league caliber shortstop
It writes: “While more reserved than Cole, Carson has the chance to join his brother as a big league caliber shortstop. At the plate, the right-handed hitter displays excellent bat control and bat speed over power, though he showed added strength this season. He’s often content to push the ball the other way and to the right center field gap, though the ball does jump off his bat. He began showing he can turn on balls and drive them to his pull side more consistently, helping his profile.”
To see photos of the 37 first-round MLB draft picks from Arizona, including the year they were drafted, position they were drafted and their college and high school, click here.