Former Gonzaga Bulldogs right-handed pitcher Gabriel Hughes officially put pen to paper on Wednesday, inking a contract with the Colorado Rockies after they selected him No. 10 overall in the first round of the 2022 MLB draft.
Hughes became the highest drafted Zag in school history following the selection, breaking the record set by Marco Gonzales in 2013 when he was taken 19th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals. Gonzales has gone on to have a very successful big league career in the rotation for the hometown Seattle Mariners, a fate Hughes no doubt hopes will follow him in Colorado.
Hughes signed for $4 million dollars, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com, which is lower than the slot value of $4.98 million.
“Pure happiness,” Hughes said of the emotions of draft night. “I started crying, my parents started crying. I was just really happy. My family supported us through it all, it was a really special moment to be surrounded by them.”
Hughes transitioned away from both hitting and pitching to focus solely on the mound this past season with the Zags, and it paid off handsomely as he pitched on Friday’s every week and posted a 3.21 ERA with 138 strikeouts in 98 innings while helping lead Gonzaga to another super regional appearance.
Now he’ll start his professional career in Arizona with the Rockies Salt River complex, although it’s unclear if Colorado will have Hughes participate in any games this season considering the amount of innings already on his arm from Gonzaga’s regular season.
Whenever he does see the field next, it could be in Spokane with the Indians – the High-A affiliate for the Rockies – something for local baseball fans to keep an eye on as the season gets underway at Avista Stadium.
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.