Former Blue Waver James Kaprielian
James Kaprielian became the first former Blue Wave player ever to be taken in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft with the 16th selection this year by the New York Yankees.
The right-handed ace for the UCLA bruins was 10-4 this season with a 2.03 ERA after 106 2/3 innings, registering 114 K's and 33 walks.
He was a member of UCLA's CWS championship team in 2013 and came out of the bullpen to pitch in the championship series. He also pitched for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team in 2013.
"Kaprielian, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound junior, has been rated by scouts to be a safe bet to develop into a mind-rotation starter at teh big league level," Yankee.com blog writer Bryan Hoch noted. "The 21-year-old works with an 89-92 MPH fastball as a starter, and his best pitch is his changeup. He also features a solid slider and a curveball."
Kaprielian is a Tustin resident and graduated from Beckman High School, where he anchored the schools CIF championship team in 2011. He played for Coach Rich Pohle's Blue Wave 15U, 16U Mickey Mantle and 18U Connie Mack teams.
"James was always one of the hardest working players we ever had and very serious about his game from the first time he played with us," Blue Wave President and LEGIT CEO Steve Kruse said. "We want to congratulate him and wish him the best as a New York Yankee."
Kaprielian is the first Blue Wave alum to be taken in the first round of the MLB draft, with Padres catcher Austin Hedges (JSerra) drafted in the 2nd round in 2011, RHP Andrew Thurman (UCI) 2nd round 2013 by Huston Astros, and 3rd round pick Wyatt Strahan (USC RHP) in 2014 by the Huston Astros.
Overall, more than 350 former Blue Wave players have played at the college level and more than three dozen have been drafted by the pros.