On Monday night, the Red Sox selected University of Arizona infielder Cameron Cannon with the No. 43 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. This year’s draft was the first instance where Boston did not own a selection before the second round since 2004, when the team drafted another Grand Canyon State product — Dustin Pedroia at No. 65 — out of Arizona State University.
This is also the first time the Red Sox have selected a batter out of college with their first pick since they drafted Andrew Benintendi in 2015.
According to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox defined Cannon as a shortstop in announcing his selection, but the team is not sure if the 21-year-old will settle in at another position. Nevertheless, his success with the bat in a great baseball conference like the the Pac-12 bodes well for him to progress quickly within the organization.
Scout on Red Sox top pick: “Cameron Cannon will be a very quick mover. Polished bat. Fenway fans will see him and know him sooner than later.”
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 4, 2019
“We like a lot about him,” Red Sox VP of amateur scouting Mike Rikard said via the Globe. “He’s a very good hitter. We like his swing path. He does things as far as controlling the strike zone and limiting his strikeouts that we value. He’s got good power now and we think there may be more evolving power he has a chance to grow into as he continues to mature as a hitter.”
Here are 6 things to know about the Red Sox’ first selection of 2019 Draft:
He went to high school in Glendale, Ariz.
Cannon was an Honor Roll student and three-year letter-winner at Mountain Ridge High School. As a senior in 2016, he was named First-Team All-State. In 69 career high school games, he batted .364 (.412 as a junior) with 49 runs scored, 51 runs batted in, 11 doubles and eight home runs. Cannon eventually ranked No. 285 on Perfect Game’s Top 400 Incoming Freshmen.
He was also selected in the 2016 MLB Draft
Following his senior season, Cannon was selected by his home-state Arizona Diamondbacks in the 21st round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Instead of signing, he opted to honor his college commitment and attend the University of Arizona.
His brother was drafted in 2010.
Cannon’s half-brother, Tanner Murphy, was selected in the 22nd round of the MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles nine years ago but never made it to the big leagues. Cannon first learned how to play baseball with his brother on a sand volleyball court in an apartment complex in Peoria, Ariz. The two of them would rake the sand, use baby powder to make foul lines, and then gather other kids from the apartment complex to play games. Hitting the ball over the net was a home run.
He was named a Collegiate Baseball second-team All-American, and led the nation in doubles.
Cannon had an excellent senior season with the Wildcats, slashing .397/.478/.651 with eight homers to go along with 29 doubles, which led all of Division 1. He recorded four hits in a game on three separate occasions this season and posted three doubles in one contest against UMass Lowell on Feb. 16. Cannon also earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Conference team. In 147 collegiate games, Cannon batted .347.
He played for Falmouth in the Cape League last summer.
In 42 games with Falmouth in 2018, Cannon hit .263, led the team in runs batted in with 28, and was named a Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star. Cannon recorded six RBIs, a home run, and a double in a three-hit performance against Cotuit on July 5.
He is one of three University of Arizona players selected by the Red Sox since 2016.
Boston has been stockpiling Wildcats over the past few seasons. Cannon is the third Arizona player selected by the Red Sox in recent years, joining left-handed pitching prospect Rio Gomez and third baseman Bobby Dalbec.