June 7, 2006
Los Angeles - UCLA seniors Sean Smith, Chris Jensen and Daniel Miltenberger, and juniors Brian Schroeder and Eric Taylor, Jr. were selected on the second day of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft on Wednesday, tying the UCLA school record for players selected in the MLB Draft with 12 after seven Bruins were selected on Tuesday.
Smith was a 21st-round selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Jensen was selected in the 22nd-round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Miltenberger was a 46th-round pick by the Cleveland Indians, Taylor, Jr. was taken in the 30th-round by the Houston Astros, and Schroeder was selected in the 33rd-round by the St. Louis Cardinals.
UCLA tied its school record mark of 12 players selected in the MLB Draft, a feat that was a NCAA record in 2000.
"It is a great feeling as a coach to know that the players from our program have a chance to go beyond their college experience and play professional baseball," UCLA head coach John Savage said. "I think it is a great incentive for our younger players to work hard and dedicate themselves to this program to have a chance to play professional baseball down the road."
"Here at UCLA we are all about player development, and this is just a reward for all of the hard work our players put into this program," Savage said.
Smith, from Culver City, Calif., had an outstanding senior season with UCLA as one of the best defensive second basemen in the nation. Smith hit .271 (48-177) at the plate with a career-high six home runs, 18 doubles, 32 RBI, and 33 runs scored. He finished the year with a UCLA infield-best .986 fielding percentage, recording only three errors in 50 games.
"I was surprised that I got drafted so high," Smith said. "I'm just really excited that I get to keep playing baseball."
Smith ends his career at UCLA with a .283 (72-254) batting average in 77 games in a Bruin uniform.
"Sean played as well as any second baseman in the country this season," Savage said. "He is a `Gold Glove' second baseman and he deserves a chance to play at the next level."
Jensen, from San Diego, Calif., ends his career at UCLA with an impressive senior campaign. The fifth-year Bruin batted .325 (76-234) with six home runs and team bests of 36 RBI and 45 runs scored, playing in all 58 games for UCLA in right field.
"This is exactly what I was hoping for when I came back this year," Jensen said. "This was a big reason why I came back a fifth year was to get an opportunity to play professionally, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out."
Jensen was a 2006 All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention selection, a 2006 Pac-10 All-Academic First-Team Team member, and a 2006 CoSIDA District 8 First-Team Academic All-America selection. He finishes his career at UCLA as a .319 (163-511) hitter in 152 collegiate games.
"Chris had a very productive year, and he was the staple of our lineup everyday," Savage said. "It was great to see him play a full season and stay healthy. He is a senior who definitely deserves a shot, and it is great to see him get drafted."
Taylor, Jr., from Laguna Niguel, Calif., put up solid numbers as the Bruin utility player this season. Taylor, Jr. led the team with a .370 (17-46) batting average, posting three home runs, 10 RBI and nine runs scored in 26 games.
"It is great to see so many guys on our team drafted," Taylor, Jr. said. "Our team was really successful this year and that rewarded us individually. I was actually in class when I heard about it and I was really pumped up to find out."
Taylor, Jr. played first base, third base, and catcher for the Bruins this season.
"Eric is an exceptional athlete who is very versatile and who adapted to his role as a utility player very well this season," Savage said. "He can play anywhere on the field, and the Astros saw that ability."
Schroeder, from El Cajon, Calif., posted strong numbers this season as a midweek starter and a relief pitcher for UCLA. The left-handed hurler earned a 4-2 record with a 5.40 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 40.0 innings of work on the season.
"It was a nice feeling to see my name, it is something that I've worked hard at for a long time," Schroeder said. "Just to get that opportunity to play baseball at the next level and have fun means a lot."
Schroeder was named the 2005 Co-Pitcher of the Year in 2005, as he posted a 4-6 record with a 4.77 ERA and 48 strikeouts as a sophomore.
"Brian was a big key for us in 2005, he came back this year and had some really good starts for us on Tuesdays and contributed greatly out of the bullpen," Savage said. "He is very effective against right-handed hitters, and I think that will be a big asset for him down the line."
Miltenberger, from Mission Viejo Calif., was a four-year letter winner at UCLA, and totaled five wins in his career with 35 strikeouts in 37 appearances and 54.2 innings pitched as a Bruin.
"It feels great to get drafted," Miltenberger said. "It is nice to see that my hard work didn't go unnoticed. Someone noticed and saw something they liked in me and I'm very excited that I get a shot to continue playing the game I love."
The right-handed thrower went 3-2 in 2004, earning his first career win against UC Santa Barbara. He earned a 2-1 record in 2005, striking out 13 batters in 14 appearances.
"Daniel is a player who has a lot of potential," Savage said. "He throws hard with a good curveball, and he has a lot of experience pitching four years here at UCLA."
Two of UCLA's Fall signees were also selected in the MLB Draft. Charles Brewer (Chaparral HS), RHP from Paradise Valley, Ariz., was selected in the 18th-round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Casey Haerther (Chaminade HS), first baseman from Chatsworth, Calif., was picked by the San Diego Padres in the 34th round.
Seven Bruins were drafted on Tuesday, the first day of the 2006 MLB Draft. LHP Dave Huff was selected by the Cleveland Indians with the 39th overall pick in the supplemental first round, RHP Hector Ambriz was selected in the fifth round with the 147th overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and RHP Josh Roenicke was a 10th-round pick (294th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds. RHP Brant Rustich was selected in the 13th round (401st overall) by the Cleveland Indians, infielder Brett McMillan was picked in the 14th round (421st overall) by the Washington Nationals, and LHP Paul Oseguera was picked by the San Francisco Giants in the 16th round (476th overall). Former UCLA outfielder Jarrad Page was selected in the 7th round (222nd pick) by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Bruins in the 2006 MLB Draft
Dave Huff, 1st Round Supplemental (39th overall), Cleveland Indians
Hector Ambriz, 5th Round, Arizona Diamondbacks
Jarrad Page, 7th Round, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Josh Roenicke, 10th Round, Cincinnati Reds
Brant Rustich, 13th Round, Cleveland Indians
Brett McMillan, 14th Round, Washington Nationals
Paul Oseguera, 16th Round, San Francisco Giants
Sean Smith, 21st Round, Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Jensen, 22nd Round, Los Angeles Dodgers
Eric Taylor, Jr., 30th Round, Houston Astros
Brian Schroeder, 33rd Round, St. Louis Cardinals
Daniel Miltenberger, 46th Round, Cleveland Indians