Bruins Wrap 2021 MLB Draft with NCAA-High 10 Selections
LOS ANGELES – UCLA had five more players selected Tuesday on the final day of the 2021 MLB First-Year Player Draft, bringing the program's three-day total to 10 picks.
The Bruins ended the 2021 draft with the most picks of any school in the country, and by far the most of any program in the west (Pac-12 rival Arizona was next, with seven).
In addition, UCLA's 10 picks represent a new program record for the first 20 rounds of any draft. The previous record-holder was the 2000 squad, which saw 12 players selected overall including nine in the first 20 rounds.
Tuesday's picks included junior RHP Jesse Bergin (Miami, 11th rd.), junior RHP Sean Mullen (Tampa Bay, 11th rd.), senior RHP Adrian Chaidez (Houston, 15th rd.), junior INF Mikey Perez (Minnesota, 15th rd.), and senior RHP Zach Pettway (Cleveland, 16th rd.).
UCLA had one commit selected on Tuesday, as left-hander Gage Jump (JSerra Catholic HS) went in the 18th round to San Diego.
Over the past 17 years under head coach John Savage, UCLA has now had 117 MLB draftees, including 46 inside the top-10 rounds.
The 2021 draft was one for the record books in several ways for UCLA. Besides having the most picks of any school in the country, the Bruins also made program history by producing a first-rounder (Matt McLain, Cincinnati, No. 17 overall) for the third straight year for the first time in school history. It was the sixth time in program history that UCLA had double-digit draft picks, and the first under the current 20-round format (all previous occurrences came in drafts with at least 40 rounds).
Bergin was the first Bruin off the board on Tuesday, going in the 11th round to Miami (No. 329 overall). The Studio City, Calif. native was a three-year member of the weekend rotation at UCLA, going 15-4 with a 3.91 ERA and exactly a strikeout per inning (168 Ks in 168 innings) during his Bruin career. He won the first 10 decisions of his college career, earning Freshman All-America honors as UCLA's Sunday starter in 2019 (5-0, 4.43 ERA), pitching lights-out during the shortened 2020 season (4-0, 1.27 ERA), and earning a Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention in 2021 (6-4, 4.18 ERA).
Mullen went just 12 picks after Bergin (No. 341 overall) in the 11th round to Tampa Bay. The Bakersfield, Calif. native broke out as a junior in 2021, earning All-Region and All-Pac-12 honors after finishing the year with a 9-1 record and 3.39 ERA. Mullen tied for the Pac-12 lead in wins, and his 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings ratio ranked fifth among Pac-12 hurlers. The Bakersfield, Calif. native didn't allow an earned run in his first 22 1/3 innings as a starter at UCLA, and ultimately was an undefeated 8-0 with a 2.48 ERA in games he started as a Bruin. Mullen is just the fourth Bruin all-time to be drafted by the Rays.
Chaidez, the No. 448 overall pick, was Houston's 15th round selection after a standout senior season out of the UCLA bullpen. The South Gate, Calif. native earned All-Pac-12 accolades going 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA and a 13.2 K/9 ratio, limited his opponents to a .128 batting average against, and had a 0.52 ERA in league play. He had long stretches where he was nearly unhittable – he didn't allow a single run during the month of May, and gave up a hit in just one of 18 appearances during a stretch from Feb. 27 to May 7.
Perez, the No. 459 overall pick, had a solid year for UCLA in 2021. The lone Bruin to start all 57 of the team's games, he drew starts at every infield position besides first base. He showed a penchant for power over the course of the year, leading the team in home runs (11), three-RBI games (six), and four-RBI games (two). For his career, Perez slashed .243/.366/.443 over 68 games.
Pettway was the No. 486 overall selection of the draft, going to Cleveland in the 16th round. The Long Beach, Calif. native is the 10th Bruin all-time to be selected by Cleveland, and the first since Adam Plutko in 2013. Pettway was a mainstay during a four-year run in the UCLA rotation, pitching to a 3.77 ERA over 45 appearances. He picked up a slew of accolades in a Bruin uniform, as he received Freshman All-America honors in 2018 (8-4, 3.35 ERA), was named the Pac-12's Most Outstanding Pitcher by D1Baseball in 2020 (3-0, 1.05 ERA, 29-1 K-BB ratio), and was a Senior CLASS Award finalist and Tom Hansen Medal Winner as a senior in 2021.
UCLA went 37-20 as a team in 2021, reaching the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed and finishing the season ranked No. 24 in the country.
Stay tuned to @UCLABaseball on Twitter for all team updates.
UCLA Baseball's 2021 MLB Draftees (10)
|Matt McLain (SS)||1||17||Cincinnati Reds|
|JT Schwartz (1B)||4||111||New York Mets|
|Nick Nastrini (RHP)||4||131||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Kevin Kendall (SS)||7||202||New York Mets|
|Noah Cardenas (C)||8||249||Minnesota Twins|
|Jesse Bergin (RHP)||11||329||Miami Marlins|
|Sean Mullen (RHP)||11||341||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Adrian Chaidez (RHP)||15||448||Houston Astros|
|Mikey Perez (SS)||15||459||Minnesota Twins|
|Zach Pettway (RHP)||16||486||Cleveland Indians|
⚾️MOST PLAYERS DRAFTED⚾️
Final #MLBDraft Tally:
— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) July 13, 2021