ASU's Amion, Gonzalez headed to the pros following MLB Draft - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ASU's Amion, Gonzalez headed to the pros following MLB Draft

Richard Amion and Richard Gonzalez (Source: David Campbell/ASU Athletics) Richard Amion and Richard Gonzalez (Source: David Campbell/ASU Athletics)

Alabama State University center fielder Richard Amion and catcher Richard Gonzalez were selected on day three of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft.

Amion was selected in the 18th round by the San Francisco Giants, while Gonzalez was selected in the 29th round by the Houston Astros.

"Amion is one of the hardest working players I've working players I've ever coached," Alabama State head baseball coach Mervyl Melendez said. "For him to realize one of his goals is a great accomplishment. He was a difference maker for our program, putting up great numbers."

Amion (5-11, 185, Jr., Cutler Bay, Fla.), a 2014 first-team All-SWAC selection, set career highs in  batting average (.336 – second on the team) and home runs (four) with 27 RBI. He was 10th in the SWAC in average, first in runs scored (66), second in both hits (71) and walks (37), third in on-base percentage (.452), and tied for fifth in stolen bases (17), reaching base in 51 of 54 games this season. Amion led the Hornets with 25 multi-hit games, including a career-high four hits at Jackson St. (3/22 – game 2) and a five-RBI game at a Samford (3/18/14). For his career, Amion hit .299 with five triples, six home runs, 86 RBI and 87 stolen bases.

"Today my dream of playing professional baseball has come true," said Amion, who started 156 of his 161 games as a Hornet. "I want to thank Coaches Melendez, (Jose) Vazquez, (Drew) Clark, and (Matt) Crane for shaping me into the player I am today. Without them I would not have matured as a man on and off the field. I am grateful for everything ASU has done for me. I am excited about embarking on the next chapter of my life. Go Hornets!"

Gonzalez (5-10, 205, Jr., Caguas, PR) was a three-time All-SWAC selection, earning first team honors this past season in hitting .270 with a career-high four home runs and 33 RBI. He was fifth in the SWAC in runs scored (48), and had 47 hits, including eight doubles and two triples. Gonzalez had a .406 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage, and stole seven bases. He had nine multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games this season. Defensively, he threw out 16 runners trying to steal this season and had a .982 fielding percentage. For his career, Gonzalez hit .303 with 27 doubles, nine triples, five home runs and 100 RBI, and threw out 70 runners attempting to steal.

"Vince has been our workhorse the last three years," Melendez said of Gonzalez, who started all but one of his 162 games in a Hornet uniform. "He has led our team on and off the field and we're excited he's getting this opportunity. He will be a great professional player. His defensive skills are as good as they come, and he was a great offensive player for us."

Gonzalez hit .270 or above all three seasons, highlighted by a career-best .348 average in 2013.

"I want to thank the coaching staff because they made be better, not just as a player, but as a person," Gonzalez said. "I want to thank all my teammates as well. The Hornets are my family, and without them I wouldn't have been able to accomplish this."

The duo joins seventh-round draft pick SS Emmanuel Marrero in giving the Hornets three players in the 2014 MLB Draft class. Arguably the most decorated trio in program history, ASU baseball won 89 games over the past three seasons, including notable victories over #4-ranked Miami, Auburn, Troy and South Alabama during that time.


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