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Four Bruin Alums Make Baseball America Top Prospect Lists

Jan 15, 2021
Garrett Mitchell (photo: Scott Chandler)

A quartet of recent UCLA draftees were featured prominently in Baseball America's 2021 report on the top-10 prospects for every MLB team, a series which wrapped up on Friday morning.

Right-handed pitcher James Kaprielian (Oakland), outfielder Garrett Mitchell (Milwaukee), infielder Chase Strumpf (Chicago Cubs), and first baseman Michael Toglia (Colorado) all made the top-10 rankings for their respective organizations, and the latter three were highlighted as having at least one of the "best tools" among all players in their clubs' prospect pools.

Kaprielian was listed as the No. 10 prospect in the Oakland system, and the No. 3 pitching prospect. A three-year star on the mound for UCLA from 2013-15, Kaprielian made his long-awaited MLB debut in 2020 after battling injuries over the majority of his professional career.

Mitchell received the highest acclaim of any Bruin in BA's report, placing at No. 2 in Milwaukee's rankings. He was also cited as the fastest baserunner, best athlete, and best defensive outfielder in the Brewers' system. Baseball America projects him to patrol center field at American Family Field by 2024. Mitchell was selected in the first round, No. 20 overall, in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft after slashing .327/.393/.478 over a superlative three-year career in Westwood.

Strumpf landed at No. 9 on the Cubs' prospect rankings, and was noted as having the best hit tool in their system. An All-American in 2018 and an All-Pac-12 choice in 2019 at UCLA, Strumpf finished his collegiate career with a .409 on-base percentage and .507 slugging percentage.

The cleanup hitter on UCLA's 2019 squad that won a school-record 52 games, Toglia was ranked as the No. 4 prospect in Colorado's pool. He was also listed as the best power hitter in their system, and was projected to be their starting first baseman by 2024. The Gig Harbor, Wash. native slashed .307/.410/.573 over a three-year college career before being picked No. 23 overall in the 2019 draft by the Rockies. Paired with Mitchell's selection in 2020, the duo represents the first time in UCLA history that a position player has been drafted in the first round in back-to-back years.

Stay tuned to @UCLABaseball on Twitter for all team updates.

Baseball America 2021 MLB Prospect Lists Report

  • Garrett Mitchell (MIL) – No. 2 prospect, fastest baserunner, best athlete, best defensive outfielder, projected 2024 starter (CF)
  • Michael Toglia (COL) – No. 4 prospect, best power hitter, projected 2024 starter (1B)
  • Chase Strumpf (CHC) – No. 9 prospect, best hitter for average
  • James Kaprielian (OAK) – No. 10 prospect