MLB draft action heats up on final day

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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.

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."

Gonzalez was coming off his freshman year at GCC, but for Nacapoy, who finished up his senior year at Cal State L.A. in the spring, there was no going back. The former Falcon said he was contemplating a free-agent route to the big leagues or an independent league stint before he finally got the news from Cal State L.A. teammate Daniel Duran that he had been taken with just two rounds left to go.

"I was getting nervous. ...[Duran] said look at the draft board and right when I looked was when my name popped up," said Nacapoy, a catcher, who batted .361 with two home runs and eight runs batted in in 24 games this season. "It was surreal. I had to stare at it to make sure it was me."

Nacapoy said the Rays' area scout had brought him in for a workout recently at Cal Poly Pomona. Nacapoy said he's now waiting for a call from the Rays to find out where his journey to the pros will begin.

"They were interested in me and said since I was a senior I would probably go in the later rounds," Nacapoy said of his communications with Tampa Bay prior to the draft. "I told them, 'Just take me and I'll go, just give me an opportunity and I'll take it.'"

St. Francis High's David Olmedo-Barrera was also drafted Wednesday in the 40th and final round at No. 1,219 by the Oakland Athletics.

"Honestly, I am really just so honored to be drafted," said Olmedo-Barrera, who just finished his senior year with the Golden Knights. "I guess it's kind of like my dream to always play professional baseball and to be drafted is a really huge honor. Being paid to play a game is very surreal. My family and I are really excited."

Olmedo-Barrera earned first-team All-Mission League honors this year at St. Francis with a team-high .410 (32 for 78) batting average, 15 runs scored, nine stolen bases, five RBI, five doubles and two triples with team-highs in on-base (.466) and slugging (.526) percentages.

The news he'd been drafted came as a surprise to Olmedo-Barrera, who wasn't even following the draft Wednesday and now has a decision to make after he'd previously planned on playing for Cal State Fullerton next season.

"Obviously, there is negotiating now," Olmedo-Barrera said. "We are going to sit down and talk with an agent and see what happens and what they offer. Hopefully, whatever I decide will be the best decision. We want to listen to what they have to say. … I just want to make the best decision for myself and my family."

Three other Angelenos were selected on Wednesday in right-hander Steven Gallardo (19th round, Cardinals) and outfielders Matt Young (20th round, Cardinals) and Randall Fant (29th round, Cleveland Indians), bringing the total number of Angelenos drafted to six after right-handed pitcher Alex Muren was taken in the 12th round by the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.

"Any time you can get drafted, it's a damn good day," Angelenos Coach Tony Riviera said. "I think every one of those guys has to go out and sign. Playing professional baseball is what their goal was."

Riveria said that, to his knowledge, each player was contacted by their respective team for an informal agreement to sign before being drafted.

The draft was not without some notable snubs.

Crescenta Valley High standout pitcher and slugging outfielder Troy Mulcahey was hoping to go early on Tuesday, but ended up being passed over entirely.

Troy's father Dan said the fact that his son didn't get drafted on Tuesday likely played a role in his not being picked Wednesday either.

"On all the forms we had filled out, we had told [teams] that if he wasn't drafted on the second day, he was just going to go to a junior college," Dan Mulcahey said. "That may have steered people away, I don't know.

"I don't know what their thinking is. I'm going to talk to Troy's advisor a little later and we'll see what's going on that way."

While Dan Mulcahey said Glendale college is an option, he maintained that Troy will likely choose a regional junior college that can offer him the most innings.

"That was the problem this year [in high school]," Dan Mulcahey said. "He didn't get enough innings pitched. There were too many questions around him. They didn't know if he was hurt or what."

Hoover and GCC alum Sako Chapjian, a current Angeleno, was hoping to improve on his draft position from last year, when he was taken in the 45th round by the Atlanta Braves.

Despite an extra year of seasoning at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Chapjian was passed by completely this year.

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