The 2019 MLB Draft concluded yesterday with seven more Bruins being selected. That brought the total of Bruins drafted to thirteen, which is a new record for the baseball program. The previous record was twelve which had occurred in both 2006 and 2000.
After Jeremy Ydens was taken in the eighth round on Tuesday, no Bruin heard his name called until redshirt junior Justin Hooper was picked in the 14th round with the 409th overall pick by the Kansas City Royals, despite the fact that Hooper only pitched 2⁄3 of an inning all season after being hurt last year.
A pair of Bruin sluggers were next. Junior Jack Stronach was selected in the 21st round by the San Diego Padres and senior Jake Pries was picked in the 24th round by the New York Yankees. The Minnesota Twins used their 25th round pick for senior reliever Nate Hadley and they used their 39th round pick for senior Jake Hirayabashi.
There were also two Bruins whose selections seem a little odd. In the 26th round, the Los Angeles Angels picked pitcher Kyle Molnar, who has pitched just one inning for the Bruins since 2017 due to injury issues. It was certainly one of the oddest selections of the draft. The final Bruin selected was Ty Haselman. While Haselman played in 14 games in 2018, he isn’t on UCLA’s roster this year. That could be for any of a host of reasons including injury. Haselman was taken in the 40th and final round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Haselman’s father, former Bruin Bill Haselman, is a roving instructor in the Dodgers’ organization. So, it’s unclear if this was done as a courtesy to Haselman or not.
Several UCLA signees were also selected on the last day of the draft. Michael Curialle, an infielder from JSerra Catholic HS in Aliso Viejo was taken in the 31st round by the Colorado Rockies. Then, in the 38th round, the Rockies also selected catcher Darius Perry. That means four of UCLA’s nine signees were draft this year.
Ten of UCLA’s thirteen current players were underclassmen. These ten players and the four signees who were drafted will have to decide by July 15 if they are going to sign with their respective clubs or if they will play for UCLA next season. Anyone selected after the 10th round isn’t looking at a big signing bonus. So, that should help make the decision to play in Westwood next year easier for those guys, but only Pries, Hadley and Hirayabashi are seniors who don’t have that option.
Surely, some of the 14 non-seniors who were selected will opt to play college ball next season, either in the hopes of finishing their studies and getting their UCLA diploma or, in the case of the four signees, starting their UCLA education.
We’ll keep an eye on who signs and who doesn’t. In the meantime, congratulations to all the current and possible future Bruins who were chosen.