David Avitia – Catcher For the Grand Canyon University Antelopes
David Avitia is a catcher who competes for the Grand Canyon University Antelopes. This year he was selected in the 19th round by the Chicago Cubs.
He is renowned for his exceptional defensive abilities behind the plate. This season, he was one of the best defensive catchers in America; catching over 50% of his opponents’ stolen base attempts!
Early Life and Education
Avitia Salazar, a native of Tucson and son to Christina and David Salazar, hails from Sunnyside High School where his mother has a background in public relations and marketing while his dad works as a construction manager. After graduating Sunnyside High School in 2016, Avitia became part of Grand Canyon University’s baseball team.
One year ago, the 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher faced a difficult choice: sign a contract with the Chicago Cubs or stay home and compete at GCU. Thankfully, his parents are in town to watch him make history at Brazell Field in years ahead. While he has received numerous recruiting offers from Kansas state universities, he is determined not to miss out on opportunities such as winning a state championship at Alhambra or competing in college home run derbies.
On Thursday, Avitia, who played four years at Grand Canyon University as the primary catcher, signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Chicago Cubs. Throughout his time with GCU, he amassed more than 1,000 innings at bat.
He’s one of the nation’s top defensive catchers. In each of his last three seasons (35 of 69 attempts, 50.7%), he has stopped over half of opponents’ stolen base attempts and caught 39 out of 88 (44.3%) for his career.
He’s an articulate, confident and thoughtful young man who comes across as intelligent and a good leader. People in his community say he’s very helpful, caring and always puts his best effort forward.
Achievement and Honors
Avitia has earned many honors throughout his career. He was twice named Small Schools Player of the Year and was part of teams that won Arizona state titles in 2014 and 2016. Additionally, his defense has earned him praise from teammates; this year the Chicago Cubs selected his older brother Daniel in the 19th round to further cement their relationship.
As a high school senior, Avitia set several records at Antelope High. He earned a spot on MaxPreps Small Schools All-America team and was also selected for the National Small School All-American team. Avitia serves as an inspiring role model to his younger brothers by working hard and staying in practice. With so much success under his belt, he can serve as an example to others of what can be accomplished when students put effort into practice.
David Avitia is a Wichita Falls, Texas native who was arrested for alleged sexual assault of a minor in 2018. At that time, he was 19 years old and had been having sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl. If found guilty, David Avitia could face up to five years in prison as well as a fine.
He is a former catcher for Grand Canyon University, where he earned the title of MaxPreps Small School All-America after leading his team to an impressive College World Series appearance in 2017. As a hitter, his 50.7% catch rate was truly remarkable – an amazing statistic! This offseason, as an undrafted free agent, he signed with the Chicago Cubs on Thursday morning as their new catcher.