With MLB’s annual Rule 4 amateur draft set for this Wednesday and Thursday, West Coast League alumni Garrett Mitchell, Jeremy Wu-Yelland, and Holden Powell all have their sights set on being tabbed in the draft’s five rounds.
Mitchell, a UCLA outfielder, played for the West Coast League’s Walla Walla Sweets in 2017. In his first game with the Sweets, Mitchell made a big splash with a double, a triple, and a home run in Walla Walla’s 7-0 win over the Gresham GreyWolves. A year ago, Mitchell became the 18th player in UCLA history to join Team USA. This spring, in UCLA’s pandemic-abbreviated season, Mitchell posted a sterling .355/.425/.484 batting line, and struck out just three times in 15 games.
Mitchell’s UCLA teammate Holden Powell, a right-handed pitcher, might also hear his name called on Draft Day. Powell opened the 2017 West Coast League season in Bellingham’s starting rotation, and opened his collegiate summer career with four straight wins and a 1.31 ERA. With UCLA, Powell pitched out of the bullpen. In 2019, Powell racked up 17 saves and was named the NCBWA Stopper of the Year as college baseball’s top reliever, also garnering unanimous All-American honors. This spring with UCLA, appeared in 8 games without allowing a run, and struck out 20 batters in just 9 innings.
Like Powell, the University of Hawaii’s Jeremy Wu-Yelland has found college stardom as a relief pitcher. A left-hander, Wu-Yelland pitched for the WCL’s Wenatchee AppleSox in 2018, and struck out 29 batters in 19 innings, with a brilliant 1.44 ERA. This spring with Hawaii, Wu-Yelland, a Spokane, Washington native, gave up just one earned run in 13 innings pitched.
Other West Coast League players regarded as draft prospects include the University of Oregon RHP Kenyon Yovan (Cowlitz Black Bears, 2016), UCLA RHP Zach Pettway (Bellingham, 2017), Eastern Kentucky catcher A. J. Lewis (Victoria HarbourCats, 2018) and Cal Baptist infielder Harrison Spohn (Victoria, 2018 and ’19).
Please visit the West Coast League’s website later this week for more draft news.
Click below to see the previous year-by-year list of WCL alums taken in the MLB Draft.
About the West Coast League: The West Coast League (WCL) is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi River. Situated in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, the WCL showcases pro prospects from major conferences around the nation. Every summer, the league features unparalleled fan and player experiences, with the best summer weather in North America. Ninety alums and current players of WCL teams were selected in the 2019 MLB Draft, including No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman. In 2019, 317 WCL alums appeared or were active in affiliated professional baseball, including 45 in the major leagues, such as 2019 MLB All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber; outfielder Mitch Haniger, hurler James Paxton; slugger Rhys Hoskins; and rising star pitchers Marco Gonzales and Matt Boyd. In 2019, overall member attendance increased to 497,050.