July 13, 2021 – Competing in the inaugural season of the MLB Draft League, the West Virginia Black Bears had seven of their players selected in the 2021 MLB Draft. Along with LHP Mitchell Bratt (5th round, Texas) and RHP Michael Hobbs (10th round, LA Dodgers) being selected on Monday,
July 13, 2021 – Competing in the inaugural season of the MLB Draft League, the West Virginia Black Bears had seven of their players selected in the 2021 MLB Draft. Along with LHP Mitchell Bratt (5th round, Texas) and RHP Michael Hobbs (10th round, LA Dodgers) being selected on Monday, five more Black Bears players were drafted on the third and final day of the Draft on Tuesday.
The seven total players selected are the second-most among all MLB Draft League Teams. Drafted on Tuesday were RHP Kobe Robinson (13th Round (400), San Diego), C Tucker Mitchell (14th Round (404), Texas), OF Garrett Spain (15th Round (452), Toronto), RHP Madison Jeffrey (15th Round (462), LA Dodgers) and RHP Carlos Lomeli (17th round (493), Pittsburgh).
The Texas Rangers (Bratt, Mitchell) and Los Angeles Dodgers (Hobbs, Jeffrey) each selected a pair of Black Bears players in the draft. The seven selections represent nearly 20% of the Black Bears roster being drafted by Big League clubs.
Kobe Robinson, who made 10 appearances for the Black Bears, threw 20 strikeouts in 11.1 innings. In his last appearance, Robinson struck out the side with a fastball that clocked in at 99 mph against the Frederick Keys.
Catcher Tucker Mitchell saw his draft stock rise during the month of June. His grand slam against the Frederick Keys on June 23 was the first for a Black Bear at Monongalia County Ballpark. Mitchell entered the draft with a .292 BA, 31 hits, 23 RBI and three home runs through 28 games played with West Virginia. In his time at SCF Manatee-Sarasota, Mitchell had a .382 BA in 52 games with nine home runs and was also NJCAA All-American (2nd Team). Mitchell joins Mitchell Bratt, the 5th round pick for the Rangers.
One of the most consistent hitters in the league, OF Garrett Spain led the team in hits (36) and tied for second in the league for doubles (11). Spain, a redshirt sophomore from Austin Peay, was batting .327 through 26 games for the Black Bears with 19 RBI. A standout for Austin Peay’s baseball team, he was named first-team Ohio Valley Conference in 2020 and 2019 OVC Freshman of the year.
Former West Virginia University pitcher Madison Jeffrey put up 16 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched for the Black Bears. In his three years at West Virginia University, Jeffrey had a 5.79 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 37.1 total innings.
In his short stint with West Virginia, Carlos Lomeli made an impact out of the bullpen. The senior from St. Mary’s College of California recorded a 1.12 ERA with 11 strikeouts through eight innings pitched. Lomeli allowed only one earned run with no walks in his three appearances. Along with 10th round pick Michael Hobbs, Lomeli is the second St. Mary’s College player taken from the Black Bears.
The MLB Draft League saw a total of 39 players selected – 26 pitchers and 13 position players. All MLB Draft League teams resume their seasons on July 15, with the Black Bears taking on the State College Spikes at Monongalia County Ballpark in a 2-game series before finishing the weekend at home against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.