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Arizona’s Austin Wells taken by Yankees in first round of 2020 MLB Draft

austin-wells-arizona-wildcats-new-york-yankees-2020-mlb-draft-first-round Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics

For the first time in five years, the Arizona Wildcats have produced a first-round draft pick.

Sophomore catcher Austin Wells was selected by New York Yankees with the 28th pick of the 2020 MLB Draft on Wednesday, becoming the first UA product to go in the first round since Kevin Newman went 19th overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2015.

The No. 28 pick comes with a signing bonus slot value of $2.49 million.

Wells, who was draft-eligible because he turns 21 within 45 days of the end of the draft, was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2019 and earned Second Team All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball for the abbreviated 2020 season, which ended in mid-March for Arizona after only 15 games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 71 career games with Arizona, the left-handed hitting Wells batted .351 with seven home runs, 74 RBI, a .560 slugging percentage and a 1.036 OPS, walking 63 times against 57 strikeouts. He hit .353 as a freshman and was at .375 in 2020 with two homers and 14 RBI.

It’s the second time the Yankees have picked Wells, who took him in the 35th round in 2018.