Los Angeles - UCLA juniors Dave Huff, Hector Ambriz, Paul Oseguera and Brant Rustich, seniors Josh Roenicke and Brett McMillan, and former Bruin Jarrad Page were selected on the first day of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday.
Huff was selected by the Cleveland Indians with the 39th overall pick in the supplemental first round, Ambriz was selected in the fifth round with the 147th overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Roenicke was a 10th-round pick (294th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds. Rustich was selected in the 13th round (401st overall) by the Cleveland Indians, McMillan was picked in the 14th round (421st overall) by the Washington Nationals, and Oseguera was picked by the San Francisco Giants in the 16th round (476th overall). Page was selected in the 7th round (222nd pick) by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
"Our coaching staff is very proud of the players who were selected in the draft," UCLA head coach John Savage said. "This is just proof of all the hard work those players put in this year. It is a compliment to the team and the success the team had this season."
"I think a lot of the players fed off each other and it is a great building block for the future. It shows our younger players the reward of the hard work of those players that were draft eligible," Savage said.
Huff, from Huntington Beach, Calif., becomes the first Bruin selected in the first round of the MLB Draft since UCLA pitcher Josh Karp was selected by the Montreal Expos in 2001. The lefty-pitcher was the first player chosen by the Cleveland Indians organization in the draft.
"It is an honor to be selected so high in the draft," Huff said. "It was unbelievable this morning watching the draft online and seeing my name up there. It is an incredible feeling to know that I am the first pick of an organization."
Huff was a workhorse for the UCLA pitching staff this year, and was a First Team All-Pac-10 selection. In eight Pac-10 starts, Huff has tossed 68.1 innings, with a 4-1 record, a 2.77 ERA, and 49 strikeouts. Huff went nine or more innings in four-straight Pac-10 outings, and five of his first six Pac-10 starts. On the season, Huff finished with a 7-4 record, a 2.98 ERA, three complete-game victories, and 100 strikeouts in 129.2 innings pitched. During the regular season, Huff ranked second overall in the Pac-10 in innings pitched, third in strikeouts, and fifth in ERA.
"Dave pitched as well as any Saturday pitcher in the country all year long," Savage said. "He was exceptional for us, especially in the way he pitched for our team late into games. We are very happy for Dave and his family. It is an honor to be selected in the first round, and we wish him the best of luck in his future."
Huff was a 31st-round selection by the Anaheim Angels in 2003, and a 19th-round selection by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2005.
Ambriz, from Placentia, Calif., was a First Team All-Pac-10 selection, and an All-Malibu Regional Team member. Ambriz, a right-handed pitcher, finished the year with an 8-7 record, a 3.65 ERA, two complete-game wins, two saves, and 97 strikeouts in 113.1 innings pitched. He also batted .313 (46-147) with five home runs, 34 RBI, and 29 runs scored as UCLA's designated hitter.
"It feels great to be picked so high in the draft by Arizona," Ambriz said. "It is a dream come true. I was very excited to find out that I was selected. It is good to know that all of the hard work for the last 18 years of my life has finally paid off."
Ambriz was a 28th-round selection by the Chicago White Sox in 2002.
"Hector is very deserving of being selected in the first five rounds," Savage said. "We think Arizona got a very valuable player in that round in Hector. He was our Friday night pitcher all year long, and competed and succeeded against some of the best players in the country. Hector will be a good professional player and we look forward to seeing him in a Diamondbacks uniform in the future."
Roenicke, from Nevada City, Calif., earns his first MLB Draft selection after a solid season as the Bruins' center fielder and right-handed relief pitcher.
"It is a relief to find out that I was selected," Roenicke said. "I didn't throw too many innings this year, so I am very excited to know that I pitched well enough to get selected and I'm looking forward to having fun playing professionally. I was hoping to make a career out of baseball, so this is definitely a dream come true for me that I will get an opportunity to play professional baseball."
Roenicke posted a 2-3 record with a 3.46 ERA, a team-best four saves, and 13 strikeouts in 13.0 innings pitched. He also batted .248 (39-157) on the season with a home run, 23 RBI and 18 runs scored.
"The draft is all about potential and athleticism, and that certainly fits Josh as a player," Savage said. "He played as well as anyone in the nation in center field this year, and it just goes to show you how athletic he is that he got drafted as a pitcher in the 10th round. Josh has an electric arm and could really develop into a great big-league reliever in the future."
Rustich, from El Cajon, Calif., saw limited action this year because of an injury, but posted solid numbers when he played in the beginning of the season. The right-handed pitcher earned a 1-0 record with two saves, a 1.50 ERA, and 10 strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work. He posted a 3-0 record with a 1.39 ERA, a save, and 30 strikeouts in 32.1 innings of work for the Orleans Cardinals of the Cape Cod League last summer.
"It was a great feeling to get selected considering I only threw six innings this year," Rustich said. "It shows me that teams like my ability and my potential."
Rustich was a 46th-round selection by the Minnesota Twins in 2003.
"Brant being selected just goes to show the ability he has a pitcher," Savage said. "Brant had a tough season this year because of an injury, but when he does pitch, his talent on the mound is easily seen."
McMillan, from Shingle Springs, Calif., was selected by the Washington Nationals for the second-straight season. McMillan was a 36th-round pick by the Nationals in 2005, and a 21st-round selection by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2002.
"This is a great way to cap off a successful year," McMillan said. "It was great to see a lot of my teammates get drafted. It is fun to celebrate that. I'm just very thankful that I get a chance to get drafted and I am looking forward to getting out and chasing after my dream."
"I was kind of watching the draft by myself, and I couldn't help but let out a little yell when I saw my name. It feels really good to get picked," McMillan said.
The veteran infielder hit .259 (29-112) with six home runs, 23 RBI, and 18 runs scored this season. He finishes his four-year career at UCLA with a .276 (204-738) career average, 27 home runs, 129 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 213 games played.
"Brett was a four-year player who put his time into the program, and his commitment and contributions to UCLA as a player have paid off," Savage said. "It is nice to see a player get rewarded for coming back for his senior year and getting an opportunity to play professional baseball."
Osegura, from Encinitas, Calif., earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention accolades this season for his outstanding work out of the UCLA bullpen.
"I'm very excited to get this opportunity," Oseguera said. "I'm also very happy for my teammates as well that they got drafted after they worked so hard this year. I am speechless just to get selected. Just for any team to believe in me enough to pick me is a great feeling."
Oseguera, a left-handed pitcher, posted a 1.66 ERA with a 3-1 record and two saves with 47 strikeouts in 48.2 innings of work this season. Opponents only hit .234 against Oseguera in 29 games. He was also a 47th-round pick by the Texas Rangers in 2002.
"Paul getting selected is a great story," Savage said. "With all of the medial history he has had, and his ability to bounce back is truly remarkable. He was a main contributor to our postseason team and that is a credit to his perseverance and his hard work."
Page, from San Leandro, Calif., was a two-year letterwinner in baseball, and a four-year letterwinner in football at UCLA. Page played outfield for the Bruins in 2004 and 2005, posting a .233 (28-120) batting average with three home runs, 19 RBI, and six stolen bases in 2004, and a home run, nine RBI and four stolen bases in 2005. He was also a 7th-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2006 NFL Draft.
"We are very happy for Jarrad," Savage said. "He is a special two sport athlete. It is rare that a player is selected in both the NFL and MLB drafts, but Jarrad is talented enough to earn both selections."
The 2006 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft will continue on Wednesday, June 7 at 10 a.m.
Follow the draft live tomorrow at, MLB.com, as more UCLA Bruins are expected to be selected.