TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona Wildcats had six players drafted Tuesday in the first ten rounds of the Major League Baseball Draft for the first time in program history.
The Wildcats previously (1986, 2008 and 2012) had five players taken in the top 10 rounds, which stood as the program best until Tuesday. Arizona had one player taken in the fifth through eighth rounds and then an additional pick in the 10th round.
Alfonso Rivas was first to go when he was selected in the fourth round by the Oakland Athletics. The junior first baseman was taken 113th overall and became the first Wildcat to be drafted by Oakland since Trent Gilbert in 2014.
Rivas, a two-time All-Pac-12 selection, and a second-team All-America pick as a sophomore, led Arizona in hitting this season with a .342 average. He had 15 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 52 RBI. He started all 56 games for the Wildcats this season. Tuesday marked the first time in his career Rivas had been drafted.
Junior right-handed pitcher Cody Deason went one round later in the fifth round when he was selected by the Houston Astros with the 162nd overall pick. Deason, a two-time honorable mention All-Pac-12 pick, was Arizona's Friday night starter all season this year and went 6-5 with a 2.87 ERA. He struck out 84 batters in 91 innings and finished in the top ten in the league in ERA, opposing batting average, innings pitched and strikeouts.
Fellow junior right-hander Michael Flynn followed in the sixth round. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the 174th overall pick. It's the second straight year the Pirates took a Wildcat in the top seven rounds. Pittsburgh selected outfielder Jared Oliva last year.
Flynn appeared in 15 games for the Wildcats this season, drawing 13 starting assignments. He tied for the team lead in wins with six, going 6-5 with a 4.89 ERA in 73 2/3 innings, striking out 72.
The Cats then saw catcher Cesar Salazar get selected in the eighth round by the Astros with the 222nd overall pick. The Astros selected two Wildcats in the same draft for the first time since selecting T.J. Steele and Jon Gaston in the 2008 draft. Houston also selected JJ Matijevic in the second round last year.
Like Rivas, Salazar was a two-time All-Pac-12 selection. He hit .339 in 53 games with 11 doubles, four home runs and 42 RBI. He led the team with a .432 on-base percentage and threw out 16 of 28 potential base stealers.
Senior right-handed pitcher Tylor Megill went in the eighth round. He was the 230th overall pick to the New York Mets. Megill appeared in 19 games for Arizona this year and led the team with six saves. He posted a 4.73 ERA and struck out 38 batters in 32 1/3 innings. It was the first time the Mets drafted a Wildcat since selecting Cole Frenzel in the seventh round of the 2011 draft.
Senior outfielder Cal Stevenson was the final Wildcat off the board Tuesday. Stevenson went in the 10th round to the Toronto Blue Jays with the 296th overall pick. Stevenson led the league in runs scored and walks as a junior in 2017. This year, he started 47 games and batted .293 with 47 runs scored. He led the team with six triples and drove in 26. The Blue Jays last selected a Wildcat in 2011 when they took Andy Burns in the 11th round.