The 2020 MLB Draft had its time to shine on Wednesday evening, airing live on MLB Network and ESPN with multiple streaming options as well. The draft went through virtually with the first round on Wednesday, and your UCLA Bruins were surprisingly well represented.
We all knew Garrett Mitchell was going to be selected, it was just a matter of when. He was taken with the 20th overall pick by the Milwaukee Brewers, marking the second time he’s been drafted after hearing his name called in the 14th round of the 2017 draft but opting to attend UCLA for the last three years instead.
That decision paid off, handsomely, as he’ll now be paid first-round money and have a much better shot at making the majors faster after honing in on his skills while at UCLA.
UCLA head coach John Savage spoke about Mitchell’s selection after his pick was announced:
“We are very proud of Garrett and extremely happy for him and his family on being selected in the first round of the MLB draft,” said Savage. “The Brewers are getting a player that can have tremendous impact on both sides of the ball. Garrett can change the game in so many ways.”
Mitchell broke out in 2019 with a UCLA record 12 triples, earning All-American honors in the process. The 2020 season was shaping up to be something special for him and the Bruins as a whole but was shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. He still was a preseason unanimous All-American and had just three strikeouts in 73 at-bats before the season was cancelled.
This is now the second straight MLB draft that a Bruin was selected in the first round after Michael Toglia was taken with the 23rd overall pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2019.
Mitchell is the highest draft pick from the Bruins since 2000 when Chase Utley was taken with the 15th pick by Philadelphia.
More coming up on this story as well but UCLA commit Tyler Soderstrom, a catcher from Turlock High School, was selected with the 26th pick to the Oakland Athletics, signifying now that we’ll have to wait out this decision for him to either go pro or come to UCLA. The first round selection certainly gives pause to what Soderstrom will decide and one wonders whether or not he’d have to make this decision if the MLB draft was its usual length and he could have been taken further down.
Either way, congratulations to both guys for their selection — and we’ll miss you Garrett! Go Brewers!