Baseball News

Colorado Rockies first-round draft pick Michael Toglia excited to hit in thin-air paradise: ‘Coors Field … fits my game’

You could say Michael Toglia was destined to become part of the Colorado Rockies organization.

The Arizona native was selected by the Rockies in the 35th round in the 2016 MLB Draft coming out of Gig Harbor High School, but Toglia opted to go to college at UCLA.

And on Monday, the Bruins’ two-time all-Pac 12 first baseman was picked again by Colorado, this time 23rd overall in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft.

But on Tuesday, Toglia set the record straight — those were the second and third times he was drafted by that team.

“Technically it was three times,” he said on a conference call Tuesday with local media. “Gig Harbor Little League had a draft when I was 10, (and I was) picked by the Rockies.”

It doesn’t happen often that the same organization drafts you more than once, but in this case, it did.

“I think that’s pretty cool. It’s kind of unique,” Toglia said. “I think the Rockies are going to be a great fit for me. Coors Field is a hitter’s ballpark. That fits my game.”

On Monday night, Toglia could not host a draft party. His top-ranked Bruins were involved in a do-or-die playoff baseball game against Loyola Marymount.

After they had taken infield practice before the game, Toglia came to the dugout where teammates were huddled around watching MLB Draft coverage on the laptop.

The Colorado spot came up, and Toglia knew it was his time.

“I mouthed something to my dad (Angelo),” Toglia said. “He gave me the wiggle-hand wave. I heard everyone cheer, looked up and I got picked.”

An hour later, he made two errors in the first inning at first base.

“I haven’t done that all year,” Toglia said. “I had to really get my mind right.”

UCLA went on to win 6-3 at Jackie Robinson Stadium to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.

Not to mention, Toglia has contributed mightily to the Bruins’ cause. The 6-foot-5 switch-hitting slugger has a career-high 16 home runs and 61 RBI in his junior season.

And now he has a major-league home.

“It’s something I’ve been telling my friends and family for a long time, to want to get drafted in the first round and play in the major leagues,” Toglia said. “To make a significant step toward that goal, it’s really exciting and motivating.”

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