Reds first-round pick, Matt McLain, shines in High-A debut

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 02: Matt McLain #1 of the UCLA Bruins. (Photo by Andy Bao/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 02: Matt McLain #1 of the UCLA Bruins. (Photo by Andy Bao/Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Reds 2021 first-round draft pick Matt McLain has spent the first month of his time in the organization at the team’s practice complex in Arizona. McLain got his first taste of professional baseball on Wednesday night at Jackson Field in Lansing, Michigan and the UCLA product made the most of his debut with the Dayton Dragons.

McLain, who started at shortstop for the Dragons, went 4-for-5 in his first game with a double, a home run, and five RBIs. Quite the showing from the 17th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft. The Dragons defeated the Lansing Lugnuts 12-4.

Reds draft pick Matt McLain went deep in his debut at High-A Dayton.

Fortune favored the Cincinnati Reds during last month’s draft when UCLA Bruins shortstop inexplicably dropped into their laps with the No. 17 pick. Many mock drafts and scouts assumed that McLain would be taken in the Top 10.

The Reds front office and talent evaluators jumped at the opportunity to select McLain, and if his first professional game is any indication of what fans can expect, Cincinnati could have a star in the making.

In his first at-bat, Matt McLain lined a single into the outfield. The 22-year-old was stranded at first base as teammate Ivan Johnson flied out to center field and Victor Ruiz grounded out to end the inning.

McLain took matters into his own hands during his at-bat in the top of the third inning. After Michael Siani reached second base with a double to left field, McLain lifted a 1-1 pitch deep into the left field seats.

McLain singled in his third trip to the plate in the fifth inning and then sent a bases-clearing double into center field. McLain struck out in his final at-bat, finishing the night 4-for-5 with five RBIs. McLain finished his college career at UCLA with 16 home runs and 85 RBIs.

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The Cincinnati Reds would appear to have a stellar young prospect on their hands. McLain went 3-for-7 in two games at the Arizona Complex League and is now off to a roaring start in High-A Dayton.