The UCLA Bruins baseball team is set up for success after the Garrett Mitchell era has now come to a close. While Mitchell is widely seen as one of the top prospects for the 2020 MLB Draft, some younger Bruins have taken the mantle, so to speak, and are ready to explode for even more success in the years to come.
One of those players who shined this past year in the coronavirus-shortened season was second baseman Michael Curialle.
He shined so bright, actually, that he was named a freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Announced this week, Curialle was selected to the team alongside seven other players to represent his position.
He exploded onto the scene with a home run as his first every college hit back in UCLA’s opening series of the season against UC Riverside. Over the course of 40 at-bats in his true freshman season, Curialle batted .325 from the plate and knocked two home runs and two doubles. He batted in nine RBIs and had a seven-game RBI streak to start his career.
Behind his help (and that of some stacked players elsewhere), the Bruins reached No. 4 nationally, a 13-2 record and were riding high with a solid group of young and experienced players before COVID-19 cut the season short.
Curialle became the first Bruins infielder to earn Freshman All-American status since Brandon Crawford did so in 2006.
Congratulations, Michael! Even bigger things are on the horizon.