In a pretty loaded group of newcomers for the Arizona Wildcats, the guy with the highest expectations was probably 11th-round MLB Draft pick Nick Quintana.
Well, after choosing Arizona over signing with the Red Sox, Quintana lived up to the hype in the first series of the year.
After putting up an 8-for-14 weekend, Quintana was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Tuesday.
In addition to his eight hits, Quintana drew six walks (9th in the nation), giving him an obscene on-base percentage of .700 for his collegiate career, the highest mark in the conference.
Combine that with his team-leading .857 slugging percentage, and you get an astronomical OPS of 1.557.
“To have a day like I did was fun,” Quintana said on Saturday after recording the first five-hit game by an Arizona freshman since Trevor Crowe in 2003. “I don’t want to think too much. I don’t want to think about getting my foot down on time. I just wanna have nothing going on there and pretty much seeing the ball and hitting it.”
Quintana is the 65th player to win the Pac-12’s weekly award. He, along with JJ Matijevic, are tied for third in the nation with four doubles.
“Past experiences,” he said about not having any freshman nerves early on. “Playing in front of big crowds, stuff like that. Kind of ignoring the noise and push that to the side and do my thing. For me it’s just staying relaxed and doing as best I can to help my team win.”
Luke Heimlich of Oregon State was named the conference’s Pitcher of the Week.
Quintana and the rest of the Wildcats are back in action on Thursday when they host the first of a four-game series against McNeese State. That game is scheduled to start at 6 PM MT at Hi Corbett.