SECAUCUS, N.J.—With the 16th overall pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball draft, their highest draft pick since 1993, the New York Yankees selected Armenian-American right-handed pitcher James Kaprielian of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
In his three seasons with the UCLA Bruins, Kaprielian, 21, posted a 17-10 record with a 2.06 Earned Run Average (ERA), and helped lead UCLA to a national championship in his freshman season as a reliever.
Kaprielian had a 33-3 with a 0.96 ERA in high school and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 40th round of the 2012 draft. At the time, Kaprielian decided to attend UCLA instead of playing professionally.
While still in high school, Kaprielian spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the support of the Irvine Armenian community. “There’s a small Irvine community and when they hear about me or read about me, they give me a call,” he said, in the 2012 interview. “There’s definitely a lot of support from the Armenian community.”
Watch Kaprielian’s prospect video.