With the MLB Draft beginning today, Go Joe Bruin looks at where UCLA Baseball’s Canning Griffin might go.
UCLA Baseball has had recent success sending talent to the major leagues. Trevor Bauer, Gerrit Cole and James Kaprielian all went in the first round of the MLB draft and Griffin Canning could be joining them soon. Real soon. Like today soon.
Canning, a 6’1” 180 pound right-hander, completes his time with UCLA baseball sporting a 2.99 career ERA. He is also one of only six pitchers in UCLA history to finish their Bruin career with over 300 strikeouts. In addition, Canning was a Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist and a third-team All-American performer.
What does all this mean to major league teams? According to Bleacher Report’s Jacob Shafer, Canning could go to the New York Mets at number 20.
With the injuries and inconsistencies that have beset their once-vaunted starting rotation, look for the Mets to take an arm in the first round. The hard-throwing Canning, who posted a 2.34 ERA for the Bruins in 2017 and possesses a plus changeup, would be a solid get here if he’s available.
However, there might have been some issues with Canning’s medical. According to Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, something in his MRI is causing teams to hesitate.
According to sources from multiple teams, Canning’s MRI returned some potential issues. Such reports are not uncommon and it will be up to each team’s medical staff to interpret the results, but as of Friday night, some teams had already decided to pass on Canning, while others are waiting to hear back from their doctors on how to proceed.
This explains why ESPN expert Keith Law’s latest mock draft does not have Canning going in the first round. Law had originally criticized UCLA for overusing Canning in 2015
UCLA freshman RHP Griffin Canning, a potential high pick in 2017, has now thrown 178 pitches over seven calendar days. He’s just 18 yrs old.
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) March 14, 2015
UCLA baseball coach John Savage disagreed with Law’s assessment and pointed to his extensive experience working with pitchers as a defense for his handling of Canning.
Hopefully, the MRI does not stop teams from picking Canning in the first round and he can live up to his immense potential.