Big Spring native finds success in Arizona

Drew Williams
Sports Editor

For baseball fans, the Major League Baseball draft is a holiday. It’s an annual celebration of the new players that fans hope will lead their team to a World Series title. For Big Spring’s Joel De La Garza however, future drafts won’t be able to match the excitement the 2016 draft brought.
Joel’s son, Paxton De La Garza, was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks June 11 in the 33rd round of the MLB draft after hitting .333 with nine home runs, 46 RBIs, and a team-high 18 doubles for Angelo State University. The Diamondbacks started scouting De La Garza in high school, when he attended Lubbock Coronado until his graduation in 2012.
“They recruited him pretty good,” De La Garza said. “The Diamondbacks actually tried to draft him out of high school, but he decided that college was the best route.”
A shortstop in college, Paxton De La Garza is now playing a variety of positions in rookie ball for Arizona.
“No telling if they’ll move him up at this point. He’s playing every day though. He’s playing shortstop, second base, and third base, and he’s actually leading the team in batting average right now,” De La Garza said.
Paxton De La Garza is hitting .318 with a home run and 13 RBIs in the Arizona League as he starts his professional career. His first career home run came on July 2 off Matt Cain, a name all too familiar to Texas baseball fans. Cain, who has a perfect game under his belt to go along with three All Star selections and two World Series titles, including the 2010 series against the Texas Rangers, was making a rehab start for the San Francisco Giants when De La Garza hit an opposite field home run to give his team a 1-0 lead.

For more on this story, pick up Sunday's edition of the Big Spring Herald.