Sept. 17, 2007
LOS ANGELES - During the 2007 season, 17 former Bruins competed in the minor leagues, including four players from UCLA's 2007 squad. Hector Ambriz, Josh Arhart, Dave Johnson, Paul Oseguera, Brant Rustich and Matt Thayer each helped lead their teams to postseason contention.
Former Bruin Ben Francisco made his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians in early May. While his duration with the big-league club lasted no more than two days, Francisco was called back to Cleveland at the end of June and made a tremendous splash. Eight days into his second stint with the major league team, the slugging outfielder hit a walk-off home run in his first major league start to break a 1-1 tie and lead the Indians to victory before a jubilant Jacobs Field crowd. Nursing a 4.5 game lead in the American League Central Division, the Indians look to play deep into October this fall.
Three pitchers from UCLA's 2006 squad had solid seasons for their respective minor league ballclubs. Right-hander Hector Ambriz logged a 10-8 record in 150.0 innings and earned the victory in each of his two playoff starts - one win coming against the San Jose Giants and former teammate Paul Oseguera. Right-hander Josh Roenicke, who emerged as the closer for the Billings Mustangs (Rookie) in 2006, succeed as the closer for the Sarasota Reds (A) before his mid-summer promotion to the Chattanooga Lookouts (AA). Roenicke totaled 24 saves in 46 relief appearances between both clubs. Oseguera finished 10-6 in 157.2 innings for San Jose, who won the 2007 California League Championship.
Two pitchers from the Bruins' 2007 team made a splash in their respective short-season leagues. Right-hander Tyson Brummett registered a 3.40 ERA and 5-5 record in 76.2 innings after having led the Bruins with 138.0 innings in the spring. Right-hander Brant Rustich earned a mid-season promotion to the Brooklyn Cyclones. The New York Mets' second-round draft selection posted a 0.87 ERA and struck out 10 hitters in 10.1 innings to lead Brooklyn to the New York-Penn League Championship Series.
Visalia Oaks (A - Arizona Diamondbacks)
Made 26 starts and two relief appearances...totaled a 4.08 ERA and 10-8 record in 150.0 innings (second most on staff) as a starting pitcher for Visalia...registered 133 strikeouts and 50 walks...limited hitters to a .241 average...earned the victory in each of his two playoff starts.
Montgomery Biscuits (AA - Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
Played in 50 games for Montgomery, logging a .216 batting average with 10 doubles, two home runs, 17 RBI and 18 walks...helped lead the Biscuits to their second consecutive Southern League title...hit 2-for-6 in three games with the Princeton Devil Rays (Rookie).
Princeton Devil Rays (Rookie - Tampa Bay Devil Rays)
Made 12 relief appearances...recorded a 4.60 ERA in 15.2 innings for Princeton...limited opponents to a .226 average...surrendered 17 walks and recorded eight strikeouts.
Williamsport Crosscutters (A - Philadelphia Phillies)
Pitched in 15 games, making 12 starts for Williamsport...compiled a 3.40 ERA and 5-5 record...pitched one complete game; totaled 55 strikeouts and issued just 14 walks...opponents hit at a .240 clip...surrendered just two home runs in 76.2 innings.
Buffalo Bisons (AAA - Cleveland Indians)
Played in 95 games for Buffalo and served three stints with the Cleveland Indians...tallied a .318 average, 27 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs, 60 runs, 51 RBI and 22 stolen bases...recorded a .382 on-base percentage and .496 slugging percentage.
Kinston Indians (A - Cleveland Indians)
Made 11 starts before being sidelined with an injury in late May...registered a 2.72 ERA and 4-2 record...totaled 46 strikeouts and 15 walks in 59.2 innings...posted a .251 opponent average
Huntsville Stars (AA - Milwaukee Brewers)
Made 26 relief appearances for Huntsville...recorded a 4.75 ERA and 1-1 record in 41.2 innings...totaled 46 strikeouts and 18 walks and collected four saves...limited opponents to a .236 average...began the season pitching for the Brevard County Manatees (A); registered a 2.36 ERA in 19 relief appearances...totaled 26 strikeouts and six walks in 26.2 innings.
Potomac Nationals (A - Washington Nationals)
Played in 69 games for Potomac after seeing action in 51 games for the Hagerstown Suns (A)...hit .257 with four home runs, 14 doubles, 36 RBI and 33 runs for Potomac...registered a .266 average with five home runs, 12 doubles, 21 RBI and 27 runs for Hagerstown.
AZL Angels (R - Los Angeles Angels)
Played in 44 games for the Arizona League Angels...named the Arizona League Player of the Year, leading the league with a .362 average...also recorded 10 triples, four doubles, 33 RBI and 40 runs...drew 19 walks, stole 12 bases and registered a .440 on-base percentage...posted a staggering .532 on-base percentage against left-handed pitchers.
San Jose Giants (A - San Francisco Giants)
Made 26 starts and one relief appearance for San Jose...registered a 3.54 ERA and 10-6 record in 157.2 innings (second most on staff)...collected 132 walks and issued 32 walks...limited opponents to a .247 average and pitched one complete game...helped lead San Jose to the California League's Northern Division Title.
Signed a free-agent contract with the Billings Mustangs (Rookie Pioneer League) in mid-August 2007...played in nine games, recording one hit, three walks and one RBI.
Chattanooga Lookouts (AA - Cincinnati Reds)
Made 19 relief appearances and totaled eight saves and a 1-1 mark for the Chattanooga Lookouts ...totaled 15 strikeouts and issued just six walks in 19.0 innings; posted a .185 opponent batting average...was promoted midway through the season to Chattanooga from Sarasota; made 27 relief appearances and tallied 16 saves and a 2-1 record in 27.2 innings for Sarasota...recorded 41 strikeouts and 15 walks.
Brooklyn Cyclones (A - New York Mets)
Made 10 relief appearances for Brooklyn...totaled a 2.13 ERA and 2-0 record in 12.2 innings; recorded 11 strikeouts and one walk, holding opponents to a .095 batting average... helped lead Brooklyn to the New York-Penn League Championship Series...promoted midway through the summer to Brooklyn from Kingston; made three relief appearances and two starts for Kingston, recording a 0.87 ERA, 1-0 record, 10 strikeouts and one walk in 10.1 innings.
Winston-Salem Warthogs (A - Chicago White Sox)
Played in 18 games for Winston-Salem...logged a .250 average, totaling three doubles, seven RBI and seven runs...elevated to Winston Salem (high-A) from Kannapolis midway through the season; tallied a .223 average with two home runs, four doubles 13 RBI with Kannapolis.
Eric Taylor, Jr.
Lexington Legends (A - Houston Astros)
Played in 110 games for Lexington...recorded a .261 average, totaling 13 home runs, 21 doubles, 60 runs and 54 RBI...logged a .354 on-base percentage and a .406 slugging percentage...finished third on the club with 108 hits and 13 home runs.
Clearwater Threshers (A - Philadelphia Phillies)
Played in 82 games for Clearwater...registered a .278 average, collecting one home run, one triple, 10 doubles, 53 runs and 30 RBI...totaled a .373 on-base percentage...helped lead Clearwater to the Florida State League Championship...also played in two games for the Gulf Coast League (GCL) Phillies, hitting 2-for-6 with four runs and one double.
Inland Empire 66ers (A - Los Angeles Dodgers)
Made 25 appearances for Inland Empire...recorded a 1.09 ERA, 14 saves and a 1-0 record in 33.0 innings...tallied 30 strikeouts and five walks, posting a .210 opponent average.