The UCLA Bruins will have their 84th all-time player reach the Major Leagues and make their debut when former Bruins star pitcher James Kaprielian eventually makes his 2020 season debut. Last week, Kaprielian was recalled by the Oakland Athletics to their active roster and marked the first time in his five-year professional career that he was called up to the big leagues.
He was a first-round pick back in 2015, selected with the 16th overall pick by the New York Yankees. Injuries, however, have limited his career to date and he’s pitched just 97 1⁄3 innings since 2015.
He was dealt to the Athletics organization in the famous Sonny Gray trade last year and went 4-3 in his time with the team last season across three levels of minor leagues.
Kaprielian was added to the 60-man player pool before the shortened 2020 MLB season began and should eventually make his debut for the surging A’s.
He was a star over his three-year career with UCLA, finishing with a career 2.06 ERA which still ranks sixth all time. He earned Freshman All-American honors in his debut season and finishing his All-American junior season before he went pro with a 10-4 record and 114 strikeouts when he helped UCLA earn the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
When he does make his debut, he’ll be the 84th Bruin all-time to make the Major Leagues and the 21st player that was coached by current UCLA coach John Savage.
He’ll add his name to a 52 consecutive year streak that has seen a player from every year since 1965 for the Bruins make the MLB as each season since ‘65 all the way to 2017, a player has made the majors.
Go get ‘em James!