Wesely picked in MLB Draft
by Bob Brownne
Jun 11, 2013 | 5443 views | 3 3 comments | 134 134 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During his four years as a pitcher for Tracy High School, Jonah Wesely had a goal of making the major leagues.

On Saturday, June 8, Wesely accomplished that goal by being selected in the 11th round of the MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Angels.

By next week, Wesely plans to be wearing an Angels uniform and playing for the organization’s rookie class team, the Tempe Angels in Arizona.

The team opens its 56-game season in the Arizona league on Thursday, June 20, against the home team, Mesa Cubs.

Wesely, 18, said the draft was tense and he and his family followed the first and second rounds on Thursday, June 6, the third through 10th rounds on Friday, June 7. But that all passed when he heard his name called on Saturday morning.

“When they finally called my name, it was a pretty exciting moment for all of us here,” said Wesely, who spoke at his Tracy home on Monday, June 10.

The 6-foot-2, left-handed pitcher, is now part of the Angels effort to reload their rosters with new pitchers. Out of the team’s first 11 picks, 10 are pitchers. In all the Angels drafted 22 pitchers, including six left-handed pitchers, plus three catchers, six infielders and eight outfielders.

Wesely expected to be picked by the third round based on scouting reports. That scenario would make it easy for Wesely to pass-up a full baseball scholarship at the University of California, Los Angeles.

But as the first few rounds passed, the waiting became more intense and the choice more difficult.

“After the fourth round passed and fifth round passed, teams started to believe I wasn’t signable,” Wesely said.

His parents, Stephen and Jamie Wesely, wanted to see if pro teams would offer him a better deal than a college scholarship.

“The UCLA scholarship is huge for our family and it’s huge for what it could do for Jonah,” Jamie Wesely said. “I was clear with the scouts that after a certain round I would want him to go to school.”

At the end of the 10th round on Friday, the Angels made a good offer, and Wesley liked his potential to move up in the organization, but there were still more phone calls and negotiations to come. Nearly 20 teams had shown interest in the lefty.

“After the second day, I had numerous teams calling me trying to work out a deal,” he said. “I had a strong feeling it was going to be the Angels on the next day.”

The Angels would be the 21st team to make a pick in the 11th round on Saturday, which made for another nerve-racking morning for the 2013 Tracy High graduate and his family.

“We were actually a little worried that if someone else had taken him, perhaps they were not willing to make us the deal that the Angels would,” Stephen Wesely said.

As of Tuesday, June 11, Jonah Wesely and the Angels were working out the details of his contract, with team representatives set to visit the family on Thursday to complete the deal and deliver a plane ticket for his flight to Arizona on Friday, June 14.

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.
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June 12, 2013
I personally think Jonah should have gone to UCLA to further his maturation process. I am an area scout who watched Jonah pitch numerous times and I also played minor league baseball after being drafted in college. The professional game is a tremendous test on a player's discipline and maturity. In college your coach ensures you attend class, maintain your diet, and progress in the weight room and on the field. In pro ball, especially the low-level minors, you don't have to be at the field until 3-4 o'clock for a 7pm game. After the game players on their own until 3-4 the next day. A lot of time to kill and do stupid things. I am just sayin', being an 11th round selection he is in the middle of the pack come reporting time to spring training. Although his size didn't project to increase much, his strength and knowledge of the game would have greatly benefitted from the college game. I would not trade a day of my college career.

That being said, I wish you the best Johah. Read The Mental Game of Baseball book by Ken Ravizza and take it everywhere with you, it is the Bible of Baseball.
June 11, 2013
Good for you Jonah. I hope you get a ring up to the show soon. God speed.
June 11, 2013
As I'm sure most people who follow sports know, making the jump from HS to the pro's is tough so I sincerely wish good luck to Jonah if that's his chosen path.

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