Jay Johnson corrals top-10 recruiting class for Arizona baseball

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Stan Liu / Arizona Athletics | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona baseball head coach Jay Johnson waves to a crowd upon his arrival back to Tucson after winning the NCAA Super Regionals in Starkville, Mississippi. Johnson and the baseball team was just one win shy of its fifth national championship. 

In only his second year at the helm of the Arizona Wildcats baseball team, head coach Jay Johnson has managed to bring in a top-10 recruiting class for the 2016-2017 season. 

Last week, the incoming class was ranked No. 10 in the nation by the publication Baseball America. The ranking came two weeks after the class was named No. 4 in the country by Collegiate Baseball.

The class is highlighted by six players who were taken in this year’s MLB Draft in June. Four players were selected out of high school, while two were taken from junior colleges. All the players selected turned down professional contracts to attend the UA and play for Johnson.

The highest drafted player, infielder Nick Quintana, was selected in the 11th round by the Boston Red Sox. Quintana, the No. 28 player in the 2016 class, according to the site PerfectGame.org, is widely believed to start right away in the infield following the departures of second baseman Cody Ramer and third baseman Bobby Dalbec.

     Related: College World Series Finals: Arizona falls to Coastal Carolina 4-3, falls short of NCAA championship

The class features another infielder drafted out of high school in Cameron Cannon who was taken in the 21st round by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Cannon, ranked the No. 66 middle infielder in the 2016 class by Perfect Game.org, hit .353/.450/.658 with six home runs, 21 RBIs, 24 runs and eight stolen bases for Mountain Ridge in Glendale, Arizona, last season.

Related: Baseball America top-25 recruiting rankings

Outfielder Matthew Frazier (38th round, Oakland Athletics) and pitcher Shane Martinez (39th round, Athletics) make up the rest of the high school players drafted in this year’s recruiting class.

The remaining two players to be drafted, outfielder Cal Stevenson and catcher Cory Voss, are junior college transfers. Stevenson was taken in the 36th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers while Voss had his name called in the 37th round by the Washington Nationals.

The entire class of 16 consists of seven high school players, eight junior college transfers and one Division I transfer. The lone DI transfer is Jason Seever, who will have to sit out this year after transferring from Santa Clara University. The Wildcats are in the midst of their fall scrimmage schedule featuring 18 games which will run until Nov. 20.


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