A pair of UCLA juniors, Jon Olsen and Daniel Amaral, were selected in the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft today. Olsen was selected in the 12th round with the 364th pick by the Minnesota Twins and Amaral was selected in the 14th round with the 414th pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Olsen, a right handed pitcher, missed most of UCLA’s 2018 season due to injury, starting only six games for the Bruins. Olsen was named a Preseason All American this year and, had he stayed healthy, would have been a much higher pick and likely would have foregone his final year of eligibility to go pro.
As it stands, Olsen will have a decision to make.
As is the case with all players selected outside the first ten rounds, Olsen does not have a “slot value” and, as such, teams are not required to compensate him any particular amount. The final slot value for the last pick of the 10th round is $136,800, meaning that Olsen’s value is lower than that.
Amaral, UCLA’s center fielder, had a solid season for the Bruins in 2018, hitting .289 and stealing 14 bases. Amaral hit over .300 for most of the year, but his average tailed off a bit in the latter stages of the season. Amaral was great with the glove as well, throwing out five base runners and playing an error-free season.
Daniel has quite the UCLA baseball pedigree. He is the son of former MLBer and UCLA Baseball Bruin-for-life, Rich Amaral. Daniel’s brother, Beau, also played in the outfield at UCLA under John Savage from 2010 to 2012.
Like Olsen, Amaral does not have a slot value where he was selected in the draft and, as such, he also has a decision to make regarding his future.
Congratulations are in order for both Jon and Daniel but, in my opinion, both should return for their senior seasons and try to improve their draft stock for 2019.
As of the time of the writing of this article, two other Bruins eligible for the draft, junior Justin Hooper (who missed the season due to injury) and junior Kyle Molnar (who missed all of 2017 and only made one appearance this season) have not been selected. Hopefully, both will return for the Bruins in 2019.