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2019 MLB Draft: Rockies select Mike Toglia with 23rd overall pick

The 20-year-old UCLA product brings plus defense at first base and impressive power potential.

Washington v UCLA Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

With the 23rd pick in the draft, the Rockies have selected first baseman Mike Toglia from UCLA in Los Angeles, California. In mock drafts, Toglia was projected to go 32nd overall by Baseball America. He was not projected to be selected within the first 32 picks by ESPN or within the top 34 by MLB.com.

The 20-year-old Toglia isn’t even the best first baseman in the Pac-12 — that honor belongs to Cal’s Andrew Vaughn — but he is a plus defender at the position and should be an impactful power hitter as a pro. Since he doesn’t even turn 21 until mid-August, teams may be optimistic that he has a bit more room to develop and get better than your typical third-year college player. The 6-foot-5, 226-pound frame that he’s really just begun to fill out over the last year or two provides reason to believe that he’ll develop more power as he progresses through pro ball — and he should definitely be able to tap into that power at an accelerated rate if and when he makes it to Coors Field.

Toglia has flashed real skills at the plate for two seasons now, following up a sophomore campaign during which he hit .336/.449/.588 with 11 homers by hitting .316/.390/.617 with 13 home runs during his junior season. His plate discipline does linger as somewhat of a concern — he has a 22.4% strikeout rate and a 14.2% walk rate over his three-year college career, and he posted career-worst numbers in those categories this season, striking out 23.3% of the time while walking at a 9.8% clip. He’s an interesting prospect as a right-handed hitting, power-dependent first baseman, and from an offensive standpoint he projects as a Pete Alonso or prime Mark Trumbo-type hitter at his ceiling. On defense, he projects as a potential Gold Glove-caliber first baseman, and while he doesn’t have quite the same athleticism as a Cody Bellinger or Mark Canha-type player who can handle center field if he’s not playing first base, he does have enough speed and range to move to an outfield corner if needed.