Cincinnati Reds shortstop Matt McLain (9) in the third inning of a baseball game Monday in Denver. (David Zalubowski/The Associated Press)

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Matt McLain (9) in the third inning of a baseball game Monday in Denver. (David Zalubowski/The Associated Press)

AREA SPORTS BRIEFS: WCL’s McLain debuts with Reds

  • Peninsula Daily News 
  • Thursday, May 18, 2023 1:30am
  • SportsPreps

LONGVIEW — Matt McLain, the first winner of the West Coast League’s Top Prospect Award has arrived in Major League Baseball.

McLain was tabbed in 2018 as the inaugural Top Prospect after his month-long stint with the Bellingham Bells. He made his Major League debut Monday night with the Cincinnati Reds, playing shortstop and batting second against the Colorado Rockies. McLain went 1-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and a walk in his Major League debut.

Before joining the Bells in July 2018, McLain was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 25th overall pick in MLB’s amateur draft. He opted against signing with Arizona, instead heading to UCLA that fall, where he starred for three seasons. In 2021, he became a first-round pick for the second time when the Reds selected him No. 17 overall.

In his stint with Bellingham, the versatile McLain mostly played second base. At UCLA, he played center field as a freshman before ultimately moving to shortstop, and he’s now projected as Cincinnati’s everyday shortstop for the foreseeable future.

“Matt’s tools were obviously impressive,” said Bob Miller, Bellingham’s head coach in 2018. “But his focus and intensity on the field were big separators. He certainly had some big hits and made some fantastic plays during his time in Bellingham, but his influence on the team and in the clubhouse were just as impactful.”

McLain became the 126th former WCL player, and the third this season, to reach the big leagues.

Spartans all-league

FORKS — The Forks boys soccer team got two players named to the Pacific 2B/Evergreen 1A League team.

Making the second team was senior midfielder Nova Raupp and named to the honorable mention team was senior midfielder Arturo Dominguez.

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