New Recruits Join UCLA Baseball

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The 2015 Major League Baseball season may have just finished, but it’s time to start looking forward to the beginning of UCLA Baseball’s 2016 season.

Ten freshman arrived on campus last month and will look to join John Savage‘s squad and help build on last year’s fantastic-and-then-disappointing season, in which the Bruins entered the postseason as the number one overall seed in the nation but failed to emerge from the Los Angeles regional.

RELATED: UCLA Baseball Falls to Maryland in CWS Regional, Ends Season

The class overall is ranked sixth in the nation by Collegiate Baseball and third in the nation by both Baseball America and It contains five pitchers, two infielders, two outfielders, and a first baseman, and draws exclusively from California with one coming from the Bay Area and the other nine from the Southland.

On the Bump

James Kaprielian Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

First, here are the five pitchers, who will have big shoes to fill, replacing draftees James Kaprielian, David Berg, Cody Poteet, and Grant Watson.

  • Brian Gadsby is a 6’2″ right-handed pitcher out of La Crescenta. He also played quarterback for Crescenta Valley HS, and Savage cites that leadership experience as a strength that Gadsby brings to the Bruins’ staff.
  • Justin Hooper is a big, 6’5″ lefty out of Concord, where he pitched for De La Salle HS. He was rated the third-best recruiting prospect in the country and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in June. As expected, he opted to honor his commitment to UCLA.
  • Kyle Molnar is a 6’2″ right-hander from Aliso Viejo. Rated a top 25 national recruit, he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals but decided to enroll at UCLA. Savage praised his fastball and change-up pitches.
  • Jonathan Olsen is a 6’2″ righty from Rancho Cucamonga. Savage specifically called out his curveball as a weapon and said he expects Olsen to be have an immediate impact on the 2016 squad.
  • Jack Ralston, 6’4″ out of Valencia, has a strong fastball and a number of improving secondary pitches. Coming from Hart HS, Ralston follows the footsteps of former Bruin great and current Cleveland Indians starter Trevor Bauer.

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