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Two UCLA Baseball Commits Selected in First Round of 2016 MLB Draft

Outfielder Mickey Moniak was selected with the first overall pick by the Philadelphia Phillies and outfielder Blake Rutherford was selected 18th overall by the New York Yankees.


Usually, when a pro sports draft occurs, we like to cheer for our Bruins as they get to fulfill their dreams. Unfortunately, the MLB Draft has a tendency to be a little different than the NFL and NBA drafts because, in addtion to selecting college players, teams can also pick high school students who then are forced to make a decision of whether they want to play pro ball right away or spend at least three years going to college.

This year's MLB draft is becoming one of those bittersweet drafts for that very reason.

With the first pick in this year's draft, the Philadelphia Phillies selected UCLA commit Mickey Moniak, an outfielder from La Costa Canyon HS in San Diego.

Then, with the 18th pick in this year's draft, the New York Yankees selected Blake Rutherford from Chaminade Prep in West Hills.

And, like that, two-thirds of the Bruins' future outfield could be off to the pros. While both of these guys may just be finishing high school this month, they each will have to make a decision that is bound to affect the rest of their lives in a relatively short period of time.

They could choose to stick with their commitment to UCLA and enroll in the Fall. They could opt to sign with the Phillies or Yanks, respectively. Or, they could, instead, opt to enroll at a community college and be eligible for next year's draft in the hopes of being picked in the first round again next year by a different team.

If Rutherford choose to attend UCLA, it wouldn't be the first time a Bruin commit has turned down the 27-time champions. Gerrit Cole did just that himself in 2008 and went on to lead the Bruins to the 2010 College World Series before, ultimately, losing to South Carolina in the championship series.

But, Moniak's decision will likely be tougher. He was the first pick overall. So, it will be difficult to justify the decision by hoping he gets picked any higher. But, he was the Phillies, the all-time losingest team in baseball.

The MLB Draft has just started what is a three-day affair. There are eight current Bruins who could be selected by the 30 MLB teams. Let's hope that we'll be able to celebrate some of those UCLA Bruins moving on to the next level rather than lamenting the fact that the future Bruins who committed to Coach Savage's program are opting for a payday over an education.

Go Bruins!