The UCLA Bruins baseball team is going into an elimination game tonight, but at least one Bruin knew his fate before the game began. That’s because UCLA 1B Michael Toglia was taken with the 23rd pick of the first round by the Colorado Rockies, becoming the first Bruin taken in the 2019 MLB Draft.
Toglia has had a productive season for the Bruins, putting up a .314/.387/.614 slash line with 14 home runs and 56 RBIs. As one of the leaders for the #1 baseball team in the country, Toglia already had a pretty high draft stock that has only risen in recent weeks as the draft got closer, especially with a great outing in the Oregon series with a host of MLB scouts in attendance.
Word that Michael Toglia wasn't going to get past the compensation round began to pick up steam last week. A red-hot finish to the regular season, including a big series against Oregon and flamethrower Ryne Nelson in front of major decision-makers, sent his stock soaring late— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) June 4, 2019
Toglia’s best assets include a sneaky athleticism that can play him at both 1st base, where he projects to stick or even at a corner outfield spot along with a bat that would project well wherever he ends up. His patience at the plate should also translate well at the next level.
Interestingly enough, our sister site Purple Row notes in their article on Toglia being drafted that Fangraphs projected the Rockies to take Toglia, but in the second round. My guess is that the big chatter that Toglia gained in the last few weeks caused the Rockies to pull the trigger earlier with the hope that the first round money will help convince Toglia to sign because, as a junior, Toglia can still choose to return to UCLA for his senior year.
Congratulations to Michael Toglia on being drafted!