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ASU Baseball: Gage Canning selected in fifth round of MLB Draft by Washington Nationals

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Another Sun Devil on his way to professional baseball.

Andrew Palla/House of Sparky

Arizona State junior outfielder Gage Canning was selected by the Washington Nationals in the fifth round of the 2018 MLB Draft, pick No. 161 overall.

Canning, a Ramona, Calif. native, was one of the few bright spots around the program amidst the Sun Devils’ back-to-back losing seasons.

He was all Pac-12 Conference First team in 2018, and was also on the All-Defensive team.

The junior left-handed hitter was a consistent bat for Tracy Smith’s team, hitting .327 during his Sun Devil career, Canning led the 2018 ASU starters in fielding percentage at .993.

Canning was the first Sun Devil selected in this year’s draft. He came out the gates swinging the bat as his batting average hovered around .400 for the majority of the season. He also put together a 17-game hitting streak during his junior season.

Canning was able to utilize the large outfield gaps at Phoenix Muni in 2018, as he hit 17 doubles and 11 triples that led the NCAA at the top of the Sun Devil batting order.

“What more does he have to prove?” ASU head cosch Tracy Smith said about Canning ahead of the California series. “I think he’s going to be taken in a high enough round that it’ll make sense for him (to sign with an MLB team).”

Returning outfielders sophomore Hunter Bishop and freshman Hunter Jump will be expected to replace Canning’s production in the outfield. Freshman Spencer Torkelson also spent some time in the outfield in 2018, but his glove plays better at first base.