It’s a proud moment for the UBC Thunderbirds baseball program and for graduating senior Mitchell Robinson who has been selected by the New York Yankees in the 21st round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Entry Draft.
“It just feels amazing, I can’t really put it into words,” said the Surrey, B.C. native shortly after seeing his name on the draft board. “I’ve worked a long time for it, it validates that hard work does pay off and it just feels really good and I’m really excited.”
The 6’3”, 200 pound third baseman led the Thunderbirds with a .361 batting average through 52 regular season, non-conference, and playoff games in 2017-18. Robinson was also named to the All-NAIA West team and won a Cascade Collegiate Conference golden glove award with a .926 fielding percentage.
“To see a great player like Mitchell, and an even better person, get a chance to go to an organization like the New York Yankees and have a shot to chase their dreams is hard to put into words, but obviously I’m really happy for him,” said UBC head coach Chris Pritchett. “He continued to work hard on his play at third base, he earned this. Denis Boucher, the Yankees scout in Canada, saw that and pushed for him and wanted to give him a shot. I think Mitchell’s going to be a good pro and he’ll be a great Yankee.”
“I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Yankee organization, they’re first class, they do everything right and I’m just fortunate to get an opportunity with them,” added Robinson, who gives plenty of credit to the Thunderbirds program for helping him get to this point in his career. “It’s incredible, we have the best facilities, the coaches are first class, you can’t ask for anything better.”
Robinson becomes the 22nd player since UBC’s program began in 1997 to be selected in the MLB Draft and the first since Curtis Taylor and Alex Webb were selected in 2016.
“This one is extra special,” said Pritchett of the route Robinson took to get to where he is today. “Mitchell de-committed from a senior division I school to come to UBC for the chance to get a first-rate education and also have his name one day called at the draft. To know that he has a degree from UBC and can still chase that dream of professional baseball, I think it’s really important for all the kids coming in as our recruits to understand this is a real possibility here, that there’s a chance to pursue both those dreams at once.”