Aug. 5, 2005
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Heading into the dog days of the professional baseball season, there are currently 19 former UCLA baseball players competing among the minor league ranks. With ages ranging from 30-year old Nick Theodorou to 22-year old Chris Denove, Bruins of the past are scattered in leagues from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Clinton, Iowa.
Leading the way among former Bruins in the minors is Casey Janssen (`01-`04), who has made the impressive leap from A to High A to AA within the span of two months for the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Janssen began the 2005 campaign with the Lansing Lugnuts, where he was 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA before being promoted to the Dunedin Blue Jays. With Dundedin, Janssen was 6-1 with a 2.26 ERA and nearly a 5 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. On July 8, Janssen was called up to AA with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and has since gone 1-1 with a 1.40 ERA. Janssen was 22-15 with a 4.34 ERA during his three-year career at UCLA.
Josh Karp, a member of the Bruins from 1999 to 2001, has been showcasing his pitching talents within the Washington National organization and has posted some equally impressive numbers. Despite being moved from AAA New Orleans to AA Harrisburg mid-season, Karp has totaled a 3-4 record and a 3.00 ERA between the two leagues. He has struck out 52 batters and walked just 25.
The Bruins are also represented by eight former players currently in the majors. Garrett Atkins (Colorado), Eric Byrnes (Baltimore), Jeff Conine (Florida), Troy Glaus (Arizona), Adam Melhuse (Oakland), Dave Roberts (San Diego), Chase Utley (Philadelphia) and Eric Valent (New York Mets) make up the big league crop of Bruins. To note, Valent was optioned to AAA Norfolk on June 7 and has remained there since.
For a complete list of Bruins in the majors and minors, click here.