When you have the No. 3 overall pick, it’s never too soon to take a quick peek into this year’s MLB draft. This year’s draft class is loaded with excellent hitting prospects, but is relatively weak on the pitching side.
Draft Prospects You Should Know is a new series that features prospects who the White Sox could pursue in this year’s draft. As the June draft nears, we’ll return to many of these athletes and provide updates on whether their stocks are rising (or falling).
Age listed as of Day One of the Draft (June 3).
University of Arizona
Second Baseman/Third Baseman
Baseball America 81
MLB Unranked in Top 50
Cameron Cannon, a native of Chandler, Ariz., was drafted in the 21st round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016 but ultimately decided to honor his verbal commitment with the University of Arizona. After a solid freshman campaign in which he didn’t receive a plethora of playing time, he elevated his performance last year with the Wildcats. Cannon has continued his improvement this year, at least through March 9. Here are his results in his first three seasons:
2017: 35 G, 84 AB, .274/.384/.345, 4 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 7 RBIs, 0-for-2 SB, 9 BB (8.7%), 9 K (8.7%)
2018: 56 G, 215 AB, .321/.427/.549, 21 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 50 RBIs, 7-for-10 SB, 37 BB (14.1%), 22 K (8.4%)
2019: 13 G, 52 AB, .423/.531/.692, 8 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBIs, 0-for-0 SB, 9 BB (14.1%), 5 K (7.8%)
Offensively, Cannon has a quick and short swing, and because he tends to open his front side early when looking to pull, he’s best when working the middle of the field. He’s able to find a way to pull the inside pitches and hit them hard, while finding a way to keep them in fair territory, as you’ll see in the videos below. Cannon has average running speed, and likely won’t be a significant threat on the basepaths at the professional level.
While drafted as a shortstop, Cannon actually has played more collegiate ball at second base and playing mostly the hot corner in the Cape Cod League. Cannon (5´11´´, 196 pounds) fields the ball cleanly out front, with soft and sure hands, a quick transfer and release, throws accurately, and has an above-average arm (as his surname would imply). Here’s an example of Cannon’s arm and defensive ability at second base:
Cannon had a mediocre performance at the plate in the Cape Cod League last year, slashing just .263/.298/.338 in 160 at-bats. As a result, his stock had plummeted a bit. However, if Cannon continues the pace he’s set so far this year, he should be drafted within the first three rounds. If the White Sox think he can handle the hot corner, they could consider Cannon with their third round pick.
Because the White Sox, especially during the past three years, have valued players with the plate discipline that Cannon possesses, it’s conceivable he could be on the team’s radar. His closest comp in the White Sox organization may be super-utility infielder Zach Remillard, but Cannon may have even better plate discipline.
Previously, on Draft Prospects You Should Know
Matt Cronin, University of Arkansas LHRP
Jason Hodges, Marist (Ill.) H.S. OF-1B
Jack Leiter, Delbarton (N.J.) H.S. RHSP
Matt Wallner, Southern Miss University OF
Tyler Dyson, University of Florida RHSP
Rece Hinds, IMG Baseball Academy (Fla.) 3B
Daniel Espino, Georgia Premier Academy RHSP
Quinn Priester, Cary-Grove (Ill.) H.S. RHSP