Deason, Rivas named top 2018 MLB draft prospects

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Logan Cook | The Daily Wildcat Arizona's pitcher Cody Deason throws a pitch from the mound.

After a year in which they both received Pac-12 honors, pitcher Cody Deason and outfielder Alfonso Rivas III were both named to D1baseball.com’s college baseball top 100 prospects. 

Deason came in at No. 70 on the list, a junior right-handed pitcher who is a versatile thrower. In his freshman season Deason made 21 appearances and finished with a 3.73 ERA and a 1-2 record in 31 ⅓ innings. He also finished with 25 strikeouts and only nine walks while holding batters to a .234 batting average. Arizona also used Deason during the postseason and had solid outings. According to Arizona Athletics, he pitched four innings and only allowed one run. The right-hander finished the season with at least one strike out in 15 of his 21 appearances. 

In his sophomore season, Deason continued to show improvement. He pitched more innings and also began making an impact as a starter in the rotation. He started 10 games and finished with a 5-3 record. He also showed he could continue to pitch out of the bullpen by notching two saves during the season. Deason pitched in 53 ⅔ innings and had a 3.86 ERA. He had a 49 to 19 strikeout to walk ratio and allowed just 56 hits. Out of his 22 appearances, Arizona went on to win 17 of those games. As a result, Deason received an all Pac-12 honorable mention selection for his work during the 2017 season.  

Alfonso Rivas was No. 78 on the list and is a junior outfielder who had a great freshman season and an even better sophomore year. In his first year, Rivas played 55 games while starting 47 of them. He finished the season with a .247 batting average with 26 RBIs and one home run. 

Rivas also proved his versatility as a player and made 16 relief appearances, pitching a total of 18 innings. On the mound, he had a 3.50 ERA with a 2-1 record and three saves according to Arizona Athletics. While pitching in the postseason Rivas was near unhittable. He had two saves without allowing a run over 1 ⅔ innings while striking out three. 

Rivas followed that up with another breakout season. He took home several awards including a First-team all Pac-12 selection, second-team All-America (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association) and second-team All-West Region (American Baseball Coaches Association). 

Rivas had a conference best .483 OBP which was also 13th in the country. He had a .371 batting average which was best for third in the conference and finished with 63 RBIs which was the most for an Arizona underclassman since 2003. Rivas also finished the season with more walks (39) than strikeouts (36) at the plate. While on the mound he threw 11 ⅓ innings with seven strikeouts. 

Both players played in the Cape Cod league over summer and be key players to watch for Arizona baseball in 2018.


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