Arizona Wildcats signees Matthew Liberatore and Nolan Gorman were selected in the first round of the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Monday.
Liberatore, a hard-throwing lefty from Glendale’s Mountain Ridge High School, was selected 16th overall by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Gorman, a third baseman from from Phoenix’s Sandra Day O’Connor, was selected just three picks later by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Now both have to decide whether they will attend the UA or sign with their respective teams and forgo their college eligibility.
They would be program-changing players for Arizona, but more than likely they will go pro.
The projected slot value for the No. 16 pick is roughly a $3.6 million signing bonus, while the slot value for the No. 19 pick is $3.2 million.
Turning down that type of money is highly improbable, though it is not unheard of. Gorman told azcentral that he hasn’t ruled out attending college.
Liberatore is expected to sign, but he was supposed to be selected a lot higher — Baseball America listed him as its No. 2 overall prospect — so maybe him falling in the draft will change the calculus of his decision.