If you weren’t a Yankees fan before, you may be this next baseball season. Maxwell residents, Kenny and Kathy Wells, watched June 10 as their grandson, Austin Wells, was drafted by the New York Yankees.
The Wells have been lifelong residents of Maxwell, where their son, Greg Wells, was a 1988 Maxwell High School graduate. Greg Wells attended Butte College before obtaining a scholarship to the University of Arizona to play baseball.
Baseball runs in the blood. Austin is the oldest son of Greg and Michelle Wells. He has two younger brothers, Carson Wells, who is committed to USC next year to play baseball, and Mason who will be a senior at Bishop Gorman.
Austin, a left-handed hitter and catcher, graduated from the Las Vegashigh school powerhouse that is Bishop Gorman, and the University of Arizona. Wells has a long list of earned honors and awards, including 2020 Pac-12 Spring Academic Honor Roll, Collegiate Baseball Second Team All American, and Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year.
“Kenny and I have watched Austin play baseball since he was a little boy with a wiffleball and bat,” said proud grandmother, Kathy Wells. “He has always had determination and a love for the game. As he got older, he developed a work ethic, a plan, and a dream. We are over the top proud of Austin! Love it when a dream comes true.”
Wells was first drafted by the Yankees in the 35th round of the 2018 draft, but he opted for college instead.
“We are very happy to get Austin Wells,” said Yankees vice president of amateur scouting, Damon Oppenheimer, on the day of the selection. “We thought he was one of the top hit-and-power combinations in the draft.”
Wells played in all 56 games for Arizona in 2019, batting a .353 with five homers and 60 RBI’s. This past season, which was cut short by the coronavirus, Wells batted .375 with two homers and 14 RBI’s, in 15 games. He was a draft-eligible sophomore because he will be 21 within 45 days of the draft.
“I’m a catcher,” Wells said Thursday, in a media conference call. “I want to be a catcher. And I know I’m definitely willing to do whatever it takes to get to the big leagues. So if it’s at another position, then I’ll just hit home runs at Yankee Stadium and play wherever they need me to!” ■