Former Bellingham Bells infielder Matt McLain is one of four West Coast League alumni ranked among the Top 100 MLB Draft Prospects for 2021, according to MLB.com. McLain, a UCLA standout, is listed as the Draft’s No. 3 overall prospect.
Other WCL alumni featured on the list include catcher Noah Cardenas (No. 62), right-handed pitcher Nick Nastrini (81) and righty pitcher Grant Holman (97); all four draft prospects shined as West Coast Leaguers in 2018.
With the Bells that summer, McLain earned the WCL’s Top Prospect Award. Also that summer, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected McLain with the 25th overall pick in the draft, but instead of signing a professional contract he enrolled at UCLA and continued his baseball career there.
Cardenas earned second-team All League honors as a member of the Portland Pickles in 2018. A defensive standout, Cardenas has started for UCLA since his freshman season.
Nastrini and Holman were teammates of McClain’s with Bellingham in 2018. Nastrini has flourished for UCLA after earning first-team All League honors with the Bells. Holman, who spent time as a two-way player for both Bellingham and in college with California-Berkeley, was included on the Top 100 list for his upside on the mound.
About the West Coast League: The West Coast League is the West’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Encompassing Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and now Alberta, the WCL showcases pro prospects from major conferences around the nation. Every summer, the league features unparalleled fan and player experiences, with North America’s best baseball weather. Last year’s MLB amateur draft began with former Corvallis Knight Adley Rutschman selected with the overall No. 1 pick by the Baltimore Orioles. Also in 2019, 317 WCL alums were active in affiliated professional baseball, including 45 in the major leagues, while overall attendance in the West Coast League increased to nearly half a million fans.