LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – What could have been. The New Mexico State baseball program had their season cut short due to COVID-19 and it likely spells the end of a career for infielder Nick Gonzales.
Gonzales was in the midst of a historic season. The Arizona native was hitting .448 with 12 home runs and 36 runs batted in through the first 16 games of the season. He was on pace to hit 50 home runs, which would have broken the current NCAA record (48).
“We felt like we had the best hitter in the country here and we only got a month of it,” said New Mexico State play-by-play announcer Adam Young. “I don’t think we’ll ever see a player like that again.”
Gonzales is widely considered a top five pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. In some mock drafts, he is going as early as No. 4 overall to the Kansas City Royals.
“He’s a legitimate top five pick and one of, if not, the best hitters in the country,” said Young. “Getting the chance to watch him on an everyday basis for a month was awesome, but we thought we had a couple more months left.”
While the NCAA continues to work out the specifics regarding spring sport student-athletes getting another year of eligibility back, Gonzales is back at home in Arizona training for the MLB Draft. However, depending who you talk to, this year’s draft might not happen. That seems unlikely, but in the very least, we could see it pushed back from its usual date in June. It leaves the sport and Gonzales in limbo while we all wait out the coronavirus pandemic.