NEW YORK, NY -- The Dodgers on Saturday selected shortstop Osvaldo ("Ivan") Vela out of Oklahoma Baptist University with their 21st round selection in the MLB Draft, pick No. 639 overall.
The 6'3, 205-pound Vela hit .347 in his junior season in 2014 and made second-team NAIA All-American. The left-handed batter led Oklahoma Baptist with 87 hits, and had 22 doubles and seven home runs.
Vela played high school ball at El Camino Real in Woodland Hills, then played two years at College of the Canyons junior college in Santa Calrita. He grew up a Dodgers fan.
"It was exciting. I've been working all my life to get to this point. It's a great feeling," Vela said in a press release from the school. "They're my favorite team. Now to be a part of this organization, it's beyond great. It's fantastic."
Oklahoma Baptist associate head coach Chris Kilmas praised his shortstop.
"We are thrilled for Ivan and his family," Kilmas said. "We are thankful for the time and hard work that he invested in Oklahoma Baptist University. Though we will miss him wearing a Bison uniform next year, we couldn't be more proud of him."
Here is video of Vela from over three years ago:
Fun fact: Vela's college bio lists his favorite quote as "Every strike brings me closer to the next home run."