Feb. 29, 2008
DURHAM, N.C. - Three high school baseball players who have signed National Letters of Intent to play at UCLA next season - Gerrit Cole, Cutter Dykstra and Clark Murphy - have earned preseason All-America honors from Baseball America, the national baseball publication announced this week.
Cole and Dykstra captured preseason first-team All-America honors, and Murphy was named a third-team All-America selection. The three high school standouts will enroll at UCLA in the fall of 2008.
Cole, a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher from Santa Ana, Calif., enters his senior season at Orange Lutheran High School, a program recently tabbed the No. 7 preseason high school team in southern California by the Los Angeles Times. As a junior last spring, Cole posted a 3-0 record and 0.97 ERA in 29 innings, recording two saves and 39 strikeouts while allowing just 12 hits. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound pitcher was rated the fifth-best prospect in the 2008 class at the World Wood Bat Association fall championships by Baseball America. Cole was ranked as the No. 3 prospect at Perfect Game's National Showcase in Cincinnati last June.
Dykstra, a middle infielder from Thousand Oaks, Calif., will compete in his fourth season on the varsity baseball team at Westlake High School, a program recently rated the No. 11 preseason high school team in southern California by the Los Angeles Times. As a junior in 2007, Dykstra hit at a .337 clip, collecting three home runs, six doubles, 16 RBI, 18 runs and 14 stolen bases in 26 games. The 6-foot, 170-pound infielder reached base safely in 20 of Westlake's 26 games, recording at least one hit in 17 contests. Dykstra, who played two seasons at Westlake High with current Bruin Jeff Rapoport, was rated the No. 20 prospect in the 2008 class at the World Wood Bat Association fall championships by Baseball America.
Murphy, a first baseman from Fallbrook, Calif., enters his third season playing varsity baseball at Fallbrook Union High School. An AFLAC All-America selection in 2007, Murphy hit .346 with seven home runs while splitting time between first base and right field. As a sophomore in 2006, Murphy posted a .352 average with seven home runs, hitting in the clean-up spot for a team that lost in the CIF San Diego Section Division I Championship game against Poway (Calif.) High School. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound slugger was tabbed the No. 10 prospect in the 2008 class at the World Wood Bat Fall Championships in Jupiter, Fla.