One week after becoming the first Fordham Prep player ever drafted, senior shortstop Andrew Velazquez signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks at the team’s Spring Training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz. Tuesday afternoon.
Velazquez, a five-tool, switch-hitting shortstop, was selected by Arizona in the seventh round. The 17-year-old was the first New York City player drafted this year and highest draft pick in the CHSAA in a decade.
He signed a National Letter of Intent with Virginia Tech, but Velazquez instead will begin his professional baseball career.
Velazquez, who was on the cover of MSG Varsity The Magazine’s Spring issue, concluded his storied high school career Friday night as the Rams fell to archrival Iona Prep in the CHSAA Class AA championship game at Kaiser Stadium.
Velazquez batted .482 this season with 17 RBIs and 33 runs for Fordham Prep. Arizona scout Todd Donovan watched him play five times and was more impressed each time.
“Players sometimes play extremely anxious, other guys seem to be playing lazy, but there was just something about Andrew that gave me the feeling that the game was easy to him,” Donovan said last week. “Considering he was a middle of the field defender with tools that currently play in the Major Leagues, I felt he was somebody I had to follow closely.”
Donovan was also impressed with Velazquez’s mentality when it came to playing professionally.
“Bottom line, he loves to play the game of baseball and he wants to play.”
That starts immediately for Velazquez, who will stay in Scottsdale for a minicamp and play with the AZL D-backs, Arizona’s Rookie League affiliate.
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