Nov. 9, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Former UCLA baseball player Brant Rustich has been rated the sixth-best prospect in the New York Mets organization by Baseball America, the national magazine announced Friday. Rustich, a hard-throwing 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher from El Cajon, Calif., logged a 2.13 ERA and a 2-0 record in 12.2 innings over the summer for the Brooklyn Cyclones (class A).
Rustich earned a promotion to Brooklyn after having pitched in five games (two starts) for the Kingsport Mets (rookie league). While in Brooklyn, Rustich made 10 relief appearances, totaling 11 strikeouts and one walk while limiting opponents to a .095 batting average. In Kingsport, the right-hander logged a 0.87 ERA and 1-0 record, registering 10 strikeouts and one walk in 10.1 innings.
In four seasons at UCLA, Rustich posted a 6.10 ERA and a 9-11 record in 124.0 innings. Rustich missed all but three weeks of the 2006 season with a finger injury and received a medical redshirt that spring.
As a senior in 2007, the right-handed reliever recorded 28 strikeouts in 29.2 innings, limiting opponents to a .265 average in 20 appearances (one start). Rustich finished the season with a 6.67 ERA and 3-2 record after having been selected by the New York Mets in the second round of the MLB Draft ( 93rd overall selection).
Baseball America also tabbed Rustich with the "best fastball" in the New York Mets' farm system. Following the 2007 minor league baseball season, Baseball America rated Rustich the 20th best prospect from the New York Penn League.