The University of New Mexico and rival New Mexico State don’t figure to be hit too hard in this week’s Major League Baseball draft.
Both could lose a big mound presence, however.
NMSU ace Kyle Bradish is likely to be the state’s top collegiate draft pick after a standout season in Las Cruces. A 6-foot-4 junior right-hander, Bradish took a 9-3 record into Saturday’s NCAA Regional start against Kent State. He posted a 2.79 ERA with just 68 hits allowed and 131 strikeouts in 932/3 innings.
Baseball America ranks Bradish as its No. 129 draft-eligible player, and he did nothing to hurt his prospects Saturday. Bradish worked 7
1/3 strong innings, allowing four hits, five walks and striking out nine against Kent State. He left with a runner on first and NMSU leading 1-0 but did not figure in the decision as the Golden Flashes rallied for a 2-1 victory. (See page D5.)
UNM also figures to lose a prominent right-hander in closer Christian Tripp. The 6-7 junior posted a 2-3 record with eight saves in 2018 with a 2.33 ERA. He struck out 29, walked 11 and surrendered 23 hits in 27 innings. Tripp is No. 460 on Baseball America’s draft list.
“I know he worked out for Houston and Texas after the season,” UNM coach Ray Birmingham said. “Scouts like his size, velocity potential and he doesn’t have a lot of miles on his arm.”
Tripp is likely to be the only current Lobo drafted, but the Aggies could have some late-round picks. Junior first baseman Caleb Henderson (.342 average, 10 home runs, 64 RBIs) and junior outfielder Tristen Carranza (.330, nine homers, 53 RBIs) have attracted attention, and lefty pitcher Jonathan Groff (11-3, 2.83 ERA) put together a solid senior season for NMSU.
HIGH SCHOOL: If there are any prep stars in New Mexico besides Manzano’s Mitchell Parker likely to be drafted next week, they are Piedra Vista’s Chase Silseth and Las Cruces High’s Tristin Lively.
Both are hard-throwing right-handed pitchers. Silseth (6 feet and 200 pounds) earlier this week was named the Gatorade New Mexico Player of the Year. He, like Parker, has signed with the University of Tennessee. It will have to be a solid financial offer for Silseth to turn pro immediately, his father Chad said this week.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Lively signed with New Mexico. Lively recently attended the Perfect Game pre-draft showcase event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – he was the only New Mexican at the event other than Parker.