Arizona Wildcats teammates Cameron Cannon and Nick Quintana were selected within five picks of each other in Monday night's MLB draft.
The Boston Red Sox picked Cannon, a middle infielder, with the second pick of the second round, No. 43 overall. Quintana, a third baseman, went to the Detroit Tigers with the 47th pick. It marked the earliest a UA player had been selected since 2015, when the Pittsburgh Pirates took Kevin Newman 19th overall.
Cannon and Quintana were both taken more than 30 spots higher than their MLB.com projections of 77th and 79th, respectively. Baseball America listed Cannon as the No. 94 overall prospect; Quintana was 81st.
The Red Sox did not have a first-round pick this year, the result of going over the MLB luxury tax threshold a year ago. Cameron batted .397 as a UA junior and finished with an NCAA-high 29 doubles. The recommended slot value of the No. 43 pick is $1.73 million.
"Many scouts look at Cannon as a classic grinder, which is always an endearing trait for Red Sox fans," Ian Browne of RedSox.com wrote.
Cannon joins a Red Sox organization that's familiar with Wildcats. Infielder Bobby Dalbec, a former UA slugger, was a fourth-round pick of the club in 2016 and has developed into the No. 3 prospect in the organization, according to MLB.com. Monday marked the second time Cannon had been drafted; the Diamondbacks took him in the 21st round of the 2016 draft, but he opted to attend the UA instead.
Boston actually selected Quintana in the 11th round of the 2016 draft, but he opted for college. He had a promising freshman season at the UA, bating .293 with six home runs. As a junior, Quintana put it all together. He notched career highs in homers (15), RBIs (77) and all three triple-slash rates (.342/.462/.626). His averaged dipped below .280 only once after the first series of the season. Quintana projects to make $1.58 million, slightly less than Cannon, if he signs for the recommended slot value. Quintana is the first Wildcat drafted by the Tigers since 2008, when Detroit took Marana's Ryan Perry in the first round. Perry made his big-league debut the following season, and went on to make 156 career appearances.
A handful of other UA players could also be taken in the draft, which continues through Wednesday. Coach Jay Johnson will also track high school players who have committed to the Wildcats for the 2020 season. Right-hander Andrew Dalquist of Redondo Beach, California, is Arizona’s highest-rated prospect. Righty Jose Dicochea of Sahuarita High School, catcher-first baseman Will Bartlett of IMG Academy and right-hander Dawson Netz of Pasadena, California, are also ranked among the top 375 prospects in the draft.
Dalquist was not selected Monday despite being ranked the No. 65 overall prospect by MLB.com. That could help Arizona's chances of keeping him.
Cannon and Quintana's selection capped a banner first day for the Pac-12, which produced four first-rounders — including three players taken the draft's top 10. Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman was taken No. 1 overall by the Baltimore Orioles, while Cal first baseman Andrew Vaughn went third to the White Sox and Arizona State outfielder Hunter Bishop was taken 10th by the Giants. A fourth player, UCLA first baseman Michael Toglia, went 23rd overall by the Rockies. Cannon and Quintana were two of six Pac-12 players taken in the second round.