UCLA pitcher James Kaprielian drafted No. 16 overall by Yankees

James Kaprielian was taken by the New York Yankees as No. 16 overall in the MLB Draft, becoming the first UCLA baseball player to go in the first round since 2011.

On Monday, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound pitcher joined a club last entered by Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, fellow right-handers who starred for the Bruins before going No. 1 and 3 overall four years ago. Cole actually helped convince Kaprielian to sign with UCLA.

UCLA coach John Savage said he noticed Kaprielian’s curveball the first time he saw him pitch as a high school sophomore, as well as a “good, physical, projectable body.” Continue reading

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Yankees draft UCLA signee Gosuke Katoh in second round

Rancho Bernardo’s Gosuke Katoh was drafted by the New York Yankees in the second round yesterday, 66th overall. An All-American second baseman, he doesn’t carry a big bat but is lauded for his defensive skills.

From what he told the Pomerado News, it’s unlikely that he’ll end up in blue and gold:

“I was sitting on the couch waiting around and I wasn’t expecting my name to be called, but then my advisor gave me a quick call and told me I was going to get picked in two picks and it was the Yankees,” Katoh said of the moment leading up to his selection. “I couldn’t talk for a minute because I was really shocked and I didn’t believe him at first. I then put the phone down and looked up at the TV and they said ‘with the 66th pick, the Yankees select Gosuke Katoh’ and I couldn’t believe it.”

Katoh, who signed a scholarship to UCLA earlier this year, seems to have his heart set on joining the Yankees instead of the Bruins. The signing bonus where Katoh was taken is usually around $780,000.

“If everything works out like it should with no road bumps, then I should be a Yankee by next week,” he said.

Of course, a Yankees draftee opting for UCLA isn’t unprecedented.

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