Baseball America


Matt McLain didn’t have the freshman season at UCLA that he would have wanted or that most expected he would.

Expectations were high for McLain after he spurned the D-backs as a first-round pick in 2018 and chose to stick to his college commitment at UCLA. But instead of imposing his will from Day One, he struggled, hitting .204/.276/.355 in his first season.

“There were for sure struggles there, as everyone saw,” McLain said. “That was the first time that I’ve really struggled at the plate like that in my life.”

Context matters, though, and this wasn’t just a freshman struggling to make the transition up to high-level Division I

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