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Angels draft NMSU’s Bradish

Kyle Bradish’s collegiate baseball career may have ended on a down note, but the disappointment didn’t last long.

A 6-foot-4 junior right-handed pitcher, Bradish became New Mexico State University’s highest-ever draft pick when the Los Angeles Angels selected him in round four of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday. Bradish was chosen with pick 121, which carries an approximate value of $455,700, according to mlb.com.

Following Bradish’s selection, NMSU coach Brian Green said, “Another special day in putting the finishing touches on a special season for Aggie baseball. Congrats to Kyle and the Bradish family. Absolutely tremendous people and Kyle has beyond earned this opportunity.”

Bradish compiled a 25-8 overall record during his three seasons in Las Cruces with 311 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .220 batting average over 272.0 innings of work. The Goodyear, Ariz. native spent the majority of his time as the Aggies’ ace, starting on Friday nights.

In his final season, Bradish was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference first team, as well as the All-WAC Tournament Team and NCAA Lubbock All-Regional Team. The pitcher also set a single-season record for strikeouts at NMSU with 140, which shattered the previous record of 107 set by Albert Montoya in 1991.

During his sophomore campaign, Bradish earned All-WAC first-team honors after pacing the team and finishing second in the conference with 89 strikeouts. The right-hander also tied for the team and conference lead in wins with eight and limited opponents to a league-low .202 batting average.

Bradish established himself early by being named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2016, becoming the first pitcher to earn the honor in NMSU program history. He led NMSU in wins with eight and punch outs totaling 82.

This is the third year in a row an Aggie has been taken in the first six rounds of the MLB draft. Bradish joins former teammates Marcel Renteria (drafted in the sixth round by the New York Mets in 2017) and Daniel Johnson (taken during the fifth round by the Washington Nationals in 2016). Six NMSU players have now been drafted in the first 10 rounds of the MLB draft in school history.

“We look forward to seeing Kyle continue his march towards reaching the big leagues and we thank him for his talents, his work ethic and his commitment to leadership and the growth of New Mexico State baseball,” Green said.

Bradish was the only player with New Mexico collegiate or high school ties drafted in rounds 3-10 on Tuesday. Manzano left-handed pitcher Mitchell Parker and University of New Mexico right-hander Christian Tripp could be early selections today as rounds 11-40 are held to conclude the 2018 draft.

Three Mountain West players were picked in the first two days of the draft: UNLV outfielder Kyle Isbel (3rd round, Kansas City); Fresno State right-handed pitcher Edgar Gonzalez (6th round, St. Louis); UNLV left-handed pitcher Alan Strong (10th round, Tampa Bay).

In other draft news …

■ The Detroit Tigers selected Texas second baseman Kody Clemens, son of seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, to lead off the second day of the draft.

The younger Clemens was the Big 12 player of the year and has helped the Longhorns to the NCAA Tournament super regionals. He is hitting a team-leading .346 with 21 home runs and 68 RBIs as one of college baseball’s top sluggers.

The Tigers took Clemens 79th overall. Detroit selected Auburn right-hander Casey Mize with the No. 1 overall pick on Monday night.

Kody Clemens was a 35th-round selection of Houston out of high school but surpassed his two older brothers, Koby (Astros, 2005) and Kacy (Blue Jays, 2017), who were eighth-round picks in previous drafts.

Roger Clemens still has draft-day bragging rights on his sons. He was the 19th overall pick by Boston in 1983.

■ Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley said he’s excited quarterback Kyler Murray will remain with the Sooners in the fall, despite the Oakland A’s drafting the outfielder ninth in the Major League Baseball Draft on Monday.

Riley congratulated Murray in a statement Tuesday and said he’s “looking forward to getting him back around our team this summer.” Riley said the two had previously discussed Murray’s baseball prospects and he expected Murray to stay at Oklahoma.

Murray said Monday night that he told the A’s he will put baseball off despite being selected in a position with a slot value of $4,761,500. The speedy Murray played outfield for the Sooners and hit .296 with 10 homers, 13 doubles and three triples in 189 at-bats this season.

Murray backed up Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield last season. He completed 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns and ran 14 times for 142 yards. He started against West Virginia and played the first series after Mayfield was benched for sideline antics against Kansas the previous week. He competed with Austin Kendall in the spring.

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