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MLB draft action heats up on final day

Baseball: Three local products, as well as a handful of Angelenos, are drafted by MLB teams.

June 06, 2012|By Gabriel Rizk, gabriel.rizk@latimes.com

Alonzo Gonzalez and Chad Nacapoy have spent the last couple weeks as teammates on the Glendale Angelenos.

Someday, quite possibly in the near future, they could find themselves on opposite sides of an American League East Division battle.

Gonzalez, a left-handed pitcher out of Glendale Community College, was selected in the 18th round with the 565th overall pick of the 2012 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays before Nacapoy (Crescenta Valley High, 2007) was scooped up 20 rounds later by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 1,172nd overall selection. Finally in the 40th and final round, St. Francis High standout David Olmedo-Barrera was snatched up by the Oakland Athletics.

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Gonzalez, who went 7-2 last season with a 2.59 earned-run average in helping Glendale college reach the postseason for the second year in a row, said he had been in contact with the Blue Jays and the St. Louis Cardinals during the second day of the draft on Tuesday when the second through 15th rounds were conducted. He said the Blue Jays told him he could go anywhere from the 11th to the 16th round.

"When that didn't happen yesterday I was kind of let down, but I knew there was another day," said Gonzalez, who said he got a call from Toronto's area scout at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to tell him that his name was coming up on the board. "I told [the Blue Jays] being a professional baseball player was what I wanted to do. After that, I put some water on my face, woke myself up and turned on the live draft coverage on my computer.

"Soon after I got my name called. I've been waiting for this for so long."

After Gonzalez irons out contractual issues, the first step will reporting to a minicamp in Florida, then obtaining a passport and taking a physical before a stint in either the Appalachian League or Single-A short season in Vancouver.

"I have to wait for my advisor to come back — he's in China right now — for us to discuss the pros and cons and what would be the best decision for me," Gonzalez said. "He's going to let me know what the contract entails pretty thoroughly, but as soon as possible I'll be heading out to Florida.

"I've been to Florida before, but when they told me they want to get me on a plane on Saturday, it was a little shocking. I knew it was going to happen quick, but I didn't know it was going to happen that quick."

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