College coach blames MLB Draft for distracting players in key game, suggests change

first_imgA few innings later, Bruins second baseman Chase Strumpf’s father informed him he’d been picked by the Cubs in the second round. Strumpf promptly made an error on a routine play.“I was trying so hard to not think about [getting drafted] that I was starting to think about it a little bit and got distracted,” Strumpf told the Times.UCLA went on to win the game and advances to host Michigan in a best-of-three super regional beginning Friday. The winner heads to the eight-team College World Series in Omaha later this month.While Savage certainly appreciates the rewards the draft can bring his players, he thinks having it on game day is a distraction. On Monday, when the No. 1 Bruins faced Loyola Marymount in an NCAA regional final, first baseman Michael Toglia made two errors in the first inning, about an hour after learning the Rockies had picked him in the first round.“Wow, Mike’s drafted, then he makes two errors and we’re thinking, ‘What the hell’s going on here?’” Savage said (via the Los Angeles Times). “Was that the reason? It’s hard to say, but it happened.” Related News “(The draft) can change the culture and environment in our clubhouse,” Savage said. “Some guys are thrilled, some are disappointed, some wonder why somebody else was drafted higher than they were.”Savage suggested that MLB could move the draft to midweek, after the super regionals, so it would not fall on game day. For now, Savage will just have to live with the distraction. It’s not the first time he’s faced the issue.“It’s really a tough time for college coaches,” Savage told the Times. “But we’ve dealt with it before and we’ll deal with it now.” UCLA baseball coach John Savage understands what the MLB Draft can mean for his players. In his 15 seasons there, he’s had 105 players drafted — including a UCLA-record 13 in the most recent draft. And 17 of his former players, including pitchers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, have gone on to play in the majors.But Savage saw this week how distracting the draft can be to his team — especially when the draft occurs on game day.center_img What Didi Gregorius’ 2019 debut means for the Yankees Craig Kimbrel focused on being ‘best that I can’ with Cubslast_img

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