Gonzaga Bulldogs right-handed pitcher Gabriel Hughes officially became the highest drafted Zag in program history on Sunday, when the Colorado Rockies selected him at No. 10 overall.
Hughes breaks a record set previously by Marco Gonzales, who was taken 19th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2013 MLB draft.
Hughes will now report to one of Colorado’s minor league affiliates, with his most likely destination being their High-A ballclub….the Spokane Indians. It’s unclear if Colorado will have him throw any innings this summer, but many college pitchers get shut down after they are drafted and Hughes threw nearly 100 innings last year so that is likely what will happen.
It could result in Hughes throwing in Spokane in 2023, however, a very cool first professional setting for the Meridian, Idaho native.
Hughes posted a 3.21 ERA for Gonzaga as the team’s Friday starter this past season. He had 138 strikeouts, good for ninth in the entire country, and helped lead Gonzaga to one of their most successful seasons in program history.
Colorado is notoriously difficult for pitchers because of the high altitude, but Hughes will get a chance to help curb the team’s reputation by being a successful first round pitcher selection for the Rockies – something they haven’t seen in a very long time.
Hughes is the first of multiple Zags who will hear their name called during the MLB draft, including fellow right-handed pitchers Tristan Vrieling, William Kempner, and Michael Spellacy.
Andy hosts the Locked on Zags and Locked on College Basketball podcasts, and serves Locked On in a marketing/digital content creator role as well. He lives just outside Portland with his wife Jenna and dog, Tillie.