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Two more UA baseball players selected on second day of MLB draft

TUCSON –  Arizona Wildcats outfielder Matt Fraizer and left-handed pitcher Avery Weems were both selected on the second day of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday.  Here’s more on how the MLB draft affects the Wildcat baseball team (from our Tuesday sportscast):

Fraizer was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round (95th overall), while Weems was picked by the Chicago White Sox in the sixth round (170h overall). They were the Wildcats third and fourth players off the board, respectively.

With Fraizer’s selection, the Wildcats have now had three players drafted in the first three rounds of the MLB Draft for just the second time in program history, and the first since 1985. The drafting of Weems gave the Wildcats 14 top-10 round selections since head coach Jay Johnson took over the program in 2016, the second-most in the Pac-12 over that span, tied with Oregon State and one fewer than Stanford.’

Fraizer is the ninth Arizona player to ever be drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the first since Michael Flynn in 2018. Fraizer joins former Wildcats Kevin Newman, Jared Oliva, Flynn, and Ryan Haug in the Pirates organization. Pittsburgh has now selected five Arizona players across the last five MLB Drafts.

Fraizer played in 19 games with the Wildcats as a junior in 2019 before being sidelined due to injury. In his limited time this year, Fraizer posted an astounding .412 (35-for-85) batting average with 20 runs scored, six doubles, two triples, one home run, 28 RBI, a .565 slugging percentage, and a .452 on-base percentage. At the time of his injury, he led the Wildcats with 28 RBI, which matched his previous single-season high.

Over the course of three seasons in Tucson, Fraizer saw time in 106 games with 77 starts for the Cats. He notched a career batting average of .300 while tallying 57 runs scored and 60 RBI.

Weems is the eighth player all-time to be selected by the Chicago White Sox, and the first since Travis Moniot in 2018.

The senior from Flagstaff pitched two seasons for the Wildcats, leading the team both years in appearances. In 2019 he worked 61.2 innings across 27 appearances (eight starts) with 47 strikeouts. He logged his first career complete game on May 13 against Sam Houston State, allowing just three earned runs and striking out a career-high eight batters in his 9.0 frames. The southpaw posted 10 outings without allowing an earned run and struck out multiple batters 11 times.

During his time with Arizona, Weems made 53 appearances and 17 starts for the Cats. He registered a career ERA of 6.46 and struck out 86 batters.

More Arizona players are expected to be selected during the final day of the MLB Draft. Rounds 11-40 are set for Wednesday beginning at 9 a.m. MST. Continued coverage of the draft can be found online at ArizonaWildcats.com or on Twitter @ArizonaBaseball.

Paul Cicala

Paul Cicala

Paul Cicala is a 2-time winner of the prestigious"Edward R. Murrow Award" for his reporting/anchoring in news & sports. Paul Cicala has also been nominated for multiple EMMY's. Cicala has won the "Best Sportscaster" category in Tucson the last 3 years (voted on by readers of "Tucson Weekly"). Cicala is a native Tucsonan who specialized in border stories during his earlier career as a news reporter in this market, and now concentrates mainly on sports stories (with an occasional special report and/or feature story on life in Tucson & the Sonoran Desert).
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