The 2018 MLB Draft kicks off tonight at 4pm PT with Round 1 and continues through Wednesday.
The MLB Draft differs from the NFL and NBA drafts because the MLB Draft not only includes current Bruins but it also includes high school players who may be committed to play for UCLA next year.
When a high school player opts to head to college, they are not eligible for the draft again until after they have completed their third year in college.
That means that there are a total of 14 current Bruins who are eligible for this year’s draft including senior Jake Bird, juniors Jon Olsen, Daniel Amaral, Jake Pries and Jake Hirayabashi and even redshirt sophomores Kyle Molnar and Jack Ralston.
Molnar appears to be considered as UCLA’s top MLB prospect this season but Molnar only threw one inning this season before Bruin coach John Savage and the medical staff shut him down for the year due to complications from Tommy John surgery. Baseball America lists Molnar as the 19th best prospect in Southern California.
Olsen could also potentially get drafted despite being injured this season, but how high either of these guys could go will likely be affected by their injuries, like Jake Bird was last year.
About half of UCLA’s 11-man recruiting class could get drafted as well. The guy likely to be selected highest is Matt McLain, a shortstop from Beckman HS in Tustin. McLain is ranked as the 54th best prospect by MLB.com Thankfully, none of the other commits are ranked in MLB.com’s Top 200.
The First Round and the Competitive Balance Round A will be televised by MLB Network while the entire draft will be streamed on MLB.com.
Best of luck to Jake Bird and all the current Bruins tonight and in the coming days.