June 10, 2009
LOS ANGELES - Six UCLA ballplayers were selected on the second day of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft (rounds 4-30). Junior corner infielder Casey Haerther headlined the group as a fifth-round selection by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (171st overall pick).
Junior left-hander Gavin Brooks was selected by the New York Yankees (ninth round, 285th overall), and junior right-hander Charles Brewer was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks (12th round, 366th overall). Senior left-hander Brendan Lafferty was chosen by the Kansas City Royals (18th round, 542nd overall), and senior first baseman Cody Decker was drafted by the San Diego Padres (22nd round, 654th overall). Junior outfielder Gabe Cohen rounded out the group as a 29th-round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays (889th overall).
Haerther, a native of Chatsworth, Calif., has batted .305 with 22 home runs, 34 doubles, 109 RBI and 88 runs in 147 career games (134 starts) the past three seasons. He has twice earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors (2008, 2009) and was named an All-Tournament Team selection at the 2008 NCAA Fullerton Regional. In 2008, Haerther finished second on the team in batting average (.324) and first in home runs (12) and RBI (52).
Brooks, a left-hander from Vista, Calif., was a starting pitcher for the Bruins as a freshman (2007) and sophomore (2008), before emerging as the team's closer in 2009. The left-hander from Vista, Calif., went 12-10 in two seasons as a starting pitcher before totaling a team-best eight saves this spring. In three years, Brooks has posted a 4.71 ERA, compiling 196 strikeouts in 218.0 innings.
Brewer, a resident of Paradise Valley, Ariz., has gone 12-10 with a 4.88 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 39 games (27 starts) in three years at UCLA. A fixture in the starting rotation the last two seasons, Brewer earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 accolades in 2008 and 2009. He led UCLA's staff with a 9-4 record in 2008 and went 3-5 with a 4.52 ERA in 2009.
Lafferty made 94 career pitching appearances, the third-highest total in program history, over four seasons at UCLA. Hailing from Riverside, Calif., Lafferty earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 accolades as a junior in 2008. That spring, he led UCLA with 33 appearances (all in relief), going 4-3 with a 3.74 ERA in 67.1 innings.
Decker, a first baseman from Santa Monica, Calif., was a two-time All-Pac-10 selection (2007, 2009), having concluded his four-year UCLA career tied for seventh on the school's career home runs list with 47 round-trippers (tied with Ryan McGuire). He posted a .288 career batting average, having logged career totals with 153 RBI, 118 runs and 178 hits. As a senior in 2009, he led UCLA in home runs (21), RBI (53), runs (55), slugging percentage (.683), walks (36) and total bases (136).
Cohen has batted .283 with 24 home runs, 23 doubles, 93 RBI and 87 runs in 139 career games (129 starts) the past three years. He earned Pac-10 Co-Newcomer of the Year honors in 2007, having recorded a .345 batting average with 10 home runs, 12 doubles and 36 RBI in 56 games. Cohen belted nine homers and totaled 29 RBI as a sophomore in 2008 and batted .274 with five home runs, seven doubles and 28 RBI as a junior in 2009.
The 2009 MLB Draft concludes Thursday with rounds 31-50. Day three begins at 8:30 a.m. (PT), and each draft selection can be followed live online at mlb.com (MLB DraftTracker).