Before Jay Johnson ever came to Arizona, he was most known for his recruiting prowess that included being able to lure Kris Bryant to the University of San Diego.
But just like in the previous three years, Johnson is facing some potential devastating losses when it comes to signees opting to turn pro instead of heading to Tucson. On Tuesday the Wildcats saw three members of their 11th-ranked class get selected in the 2019 MLB Draft.
It started early, when the Chicago White Sox took right-handed pitcher Andrew Dalquist in the second round. The day ended with two more potential future Wildcats getting picked: righty Jose Dicochea, from nearby Sahuarita, was an eighth-round pick of the Oakland Athletics while catcher William Bartlett went in the ninth round to the Cleveland Indians.
Dalquist appears to have already made his mind up, having tweeted out “can’t wait to get started” not long after the White Sox took him with the 85th pick, which comes with an approximate bonus value of $755,300. Chicago could potentially offer him more to sign if they save money on other draft slots, such as with fellow Wildcat Avery Weems in the sixth round. The senior pitcher has less leverage than high school players and college juniors because he can’t return to school.
The bonus money allotted for eighth- and ninth-round picks isn’t as high. Dicochea’s slot is valued at $161,400 while Bartlett’s slot is worth $150,300.
Arizona has had at least one incoming freshman signed away each year under Johnson, and last year it lost a pair of recruits who were first-round picks. Several more could get drafted on Wednesday, when the final 30 rounds are held, though the majority of those prep players head to college.