Oct. 10, 2008
DURHAM, N.C. - The UCLA baseball program's incoming group of eight players has been rated the seventh-best recruiting class in the nation, according to Baseball America. Under fifth-year head coach John Savage, the Bruins' last four classes have been ranked No. 5, No. 13, No. 7 and No. 7, respectively, by Baseball America.
"We are very excited about this group of players," Savage said. "This class should have a tremendous impact on the future of UCLA baseball. The young pitchers are as talented as any pitchers going to college in the country. The position players will also be major contributors. With our early-season schedule, our young players will be tested right away. We have a lot of confidence that they will be able to handle this tremendous challenge."
Two weeks ago, UCLA's recruiting class was hailed as the sixth-best class in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
The group features two AFLAC All-Americans (Chris Amezquita and Gerrit Cole) and three players named to the Los Angeles Times High School All-Star Team (Cole, Trevor Bauer and Tyler Rahmatulla). Cole was selected in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees (28th overall). Amezquita and Rahmatulla are expected to compete for playing time on the left side of the infield. Bauer, a talented right-handed pitcher who has signed a grant-in-aid to enroll at UCLA in January, plans to graduate from Hart High School in December.
Steve Rodriguez, a left-handed hitting catcher from St. John Bosco High School, earned all-league honors as the team's backstop all four seasons. Adrian Williams, a switch-hitting middle infielder from Canyon Springs High School, earned defensive MVP and Gold Glove honors each of four years with the varsity squad. Chase Brewer, a 6-foot-4-inch right-handed pitcher, went 9-1 as a senior at Chaparral High School, leading his team to the 2008 Arizona Class 4-A State Championship. Alex Weber-Shapiro, a two-year letterwinner at Claremont McKenna, registered a 38-game hit streak with the Stags and led the team in batting average (.464) as a sophomore.
Baseball America's list of top-25 recruiting classes includes five Pac-10 programs - Arizona State (1), UCLA (7), Oregon (10), Stanford (18) and USC (22). UCLA's recruiting class has been rated the highest of the six California college programs in Baseball America's top-25 list.
UCLA began fall workouts Monday, Oct. 6, and will conclude its fall schedule with the annual Blue-Gold World Series (Nov. 17-22).
Baseball America's Recruiting Class Rankings
|15||Cal State Fullerton|