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MLB Draft: Four Mountain West prospects make Baseball America’s top 500

This year’s list is as notable for the names that are missing as the ones that made the cut.

2014 MLB Draft Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Major League Baseball draft begins next Monday, and Baseball America just released its annual list of the top 500 prospects. How does the Mountain West stack up?

MLB Draft 2017.csv

MWC rank Overall rank Name Team Position
MWC rank Overall rank Name Team Position
1 87 Luis Gonzalez New Mexico OF/LHP
2 228 Ricky Tyler Thomas Fresno State LHP
3 357 Carl Stajduhar New Mexico 1B
4 459 Alan Trejo San Diego State 2B/RHP
Mountain West prospects

Leading the way is New Mexico’s Luis Gonzalez, a second-team all-conference selection in 2016 who followed up that .381/.470/.575 campaign by hitting .361/.500/.589 as a junior this season. He twice finished third among UNM hitters in total bases — 12th in the MWC this spring — but his calling card might be his patience at the plate: Gonzalez’s 58 walks ranked fifth in the NCAA.

Fresno State’s Thomas took a few more lumps in 2017 than he did as a sophomore, but he still racked up 100 strikeouts for the second year in a row and held hitters to a .245 batting average. As a junior, he could elect to return to the Bulldogs, potentially play his way to becoming one of the top collegiate left-handers in the nation and reinforce his command: His strikeout-to-walk ratio fell from 6.7-to-1 to 1.9-to-1 this year.

Stajduhar, a three-time all-MW choice and the 2016 conference player of the year, has been an offensive force: He’s hit 44 home runs in 179 games for New Mexico and finished his career by slashing .350/.453/.650 as a senior. He may be somewhat limited defensively, having made 11 errors at third base in each of the last two seasons, but the bat should give him an opportunity at the next level.

Trejo has made a name for himself as a steady defender at both middle infield positions, a catalyst atop the Aztecs’ lineup and, on occasion, a contributor on the mound. In 2017, he hit .332/.402/.440 and managed a 2.89 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 18 23 innings for San Diego State.

Interestingly, however, none of the conference’s athletes of the year — San Diego State shortstop Danny Sheehan, New Mexico first baseman Jack Zoellner and San Diego State right-hander Brent Seeburger — made the cut. Neither, too, did either of Air Force’s powerful bats, Adam Groesbeck and Bradley Haslam, though in at least one case the road ahead is already clear.

Chances are most, if not all, will get a phone call at some point, but we’ll have to wait until next week to find out.