NEW YORK - University of California San Diego redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Kyle Goodbrand was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 36th round of the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.
The product of Mission Viejo and 2013 graduate of Tesoro High School was the 1069th pick. Goodbrand just completed his first season at UC San Diego 10 days ago. He helped lead the Tritons to the NCAA Division II West Region title and an NCAA Championship national runner-up showing, both for the first time since 2010.
Goodbrand will have to decide in coming days between signing his first professional contract with the Rays, and returning to UCSD to use up his final season of collegiate eligibility. The deadline for that decision has not yet been made public by MLB.
Goodbrand earned All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) honorable mention, and was also picked to the CCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. He was at his best in the postseason, when he went 3-0 over his three starts and added a save in his lone relief appearance, while posting an impressive 1.08 ERA, with four runs allowed, three of them earned, and 18 strikeouts in 25.0 innings pitched.
Goodbrand took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in an elimination game at the CCAA Championship in Stockton on May 12 before surrendering a one-out single. He then tossed 6.2 strong frames with a season-high seven strikeouts against ninth-ranked host Azusa Pacific on May 20 to put UCSD in the West Regional finals. At the NCAA Championship in Grand Prairie, Texas, Goodbrand threw two scoreless innings for an elimination-game save against No. 14 Quincy (IL) on May 30. Facing elimination again two days later, he scattered five singles and four walks while fanning six in a complete-game shutout against No. 16 St. Thomas Aquinas (NY).
For the season, Goodbrand led the Tritons with his 2.32 ERA and miniscule .185 opponents' batting average. He went 6-0 with three saves, tied for the team lead. Ten of Goodbrand's 15 appearances were starting assignments, with 28 walks and just 48 hits against, and 52 strikeouts over 73.2 innings.
Goodbrand ranked fourth in the CCAA and 45th nationally in ERA, with his team-best 1.03 WHIP good enough for third in the league and 30th in Division II. He was second in the CCAA and 12th in the country at 5.86 hits allowed per nine innings.
The last UCSD player to be selected in an MLB draft was former All-American ace Justin Donatella in 2015, in the 15th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is now the No. 26 prospect in the D-backs' system.
Goodbrand spent his first three years out of high school at Arizona State University, Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College, respectively, before arriving in La Jolla. His older brother, Ryan, was the Tritons' ace in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
UC San Diego went 44-19 overall in 2017, achieving the second-most wins in program history, behind only the 54 from 2010, when the Tritons won their second consecutive West Region crown and also were national runners-up.