Logan White, the Vice President of Amateur Scouting for the Los Angeles Dodgers, lives in Ahwatukee. So it should be no surprise that there was such an Arizona-to-L.A. pipeline in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
The Dodgers had 40 picks in the draft, and eight of them (20 percent) came from Arizona high schools or colleges, including five on the final day of the draft. Los Angeles took current ASU and former Phoenix Arcadia second baseman James McDonald in the 18th, Scottsdale Notre Dame Prep catcher Ryan Scott in the 30th and Glendale Community College outfielder James Lynch in the 36th. The club also took two players from Chandler Seton Catholic in pitcher M.J. Villegas (23rd) and outfielder Matt Haggerty (40th).
Scott’s selection was a big boost for the Notre Dame star who helped lead the Saints to their first state baseball title in school history. Considered by many as one of the top high school catchers in the state, the 6-1 Scott had trouble finding college opportunities.
He was offered in the early signing period by the University of San Diego and UNLV, but declined hoping for bigger offers. Nothing came. His fallback was to play at the junior college level with Arizona Western, although he picked up an offer from Arkansas State last week.
Being drafted gives him another option when before they seemed so limited. Having a good friend in Cody Bellinger in the system with him – Bellinger was drafted in the fourth round out of Chandler Hamilton, and will sign with the team – doesn’t hurt.
“That would actually be awesome,” Scott said. “It’d be something I’d really like. Right after it all happened I got a phone call from Cody and he just started asking me what I’m going to do.”
Scott has played against two more potential organizational mates in Villegas and Haggerty, as the Saints downed top-seeded Seton Catholic in the elimination round of the Division II state baseball playoffs this year.
Villegas and Haggerty are just the third and fourth players ever to be drafted out of Seton Catholic, following Ethan Springston (2011) and James Vaughn (1970).
“We’re pretty excited about it,” Seton Catholic coach Marty Maier said.
Villegas is only committed to Scottsdale Community College and might be a candidate to sign, but Haggerty has a full ride to Grand Canyon and might be a tough sell.
In total, 15 Arizona high school players were selected over the draft’s 40 rounds, including 10 on the final day. The other Day 3 high school selections were Mesa Westwood pitcher Hever Bueno (17th, New York Yankees), Show Low pitcher Zach Winn (22nd, Texas Rangers), Phoenix Desert Vista pitcher Tyler Viza (32nd, Philadelphia Phillies), Cave Creek Cactus Shadows pitcher Joe Wise (33rd, Cleveland Indians), Gilbert Mesquite second baseman Brad Holland (34th, Detroit Tigers), Oro Valley Ironwood Ridge outfielder Jake Matthews (38th, Kansas City Royals) and Phoenix Horizon outfielder Jon Nunnally Jr. (38th, Toronto Blue Jays).