June 19, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Three juniors from the 2008 UCLA baseball team - Tim Murphy, Jermaine Curtis and Ryan Babineau - have signed minor league contracts and will forgo their senior seasons. Each player was selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft two weeks ago and will begin their pro careers playing for their respective organization's single-A ballclub (short-season).
Murphy, selected in the third round by the Texas Rangers (89th overall selection), will pitch for the Spokane Indians (Northwest League). Murphy, a left-handed pitcher from Vista, Calif., logged a 3.34 ERA, the lowest mark on the Bruins' staff and the fourth-best ERA among all Pac-10 pitchers. Murphy's team-leading totals of 111 strikeouts and 102.1 innings currently rank first and second, respectively, in the Pac-10 Conference.
Curtis, chosen in the fifth round by the St. Louis Cardinals (155th overall selection), will begin playing minor league baseball for the Batavia Muckdogs (New York-Penn League). Curtis started all 60 games at third base for UCLA in 2008, posting a .306 batting average and .426 on-base percentage. Curtis was named an All-Pac-10 selection in 2007 and earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 accolades in 2006 and 2008.
Babineau, drafted in the 17th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks (528th overall selection), will compete as a catcher for the Yakima Bears (Northwest League). In 2008, Babineau registered a .247 batting average, playing in 44 games and making 40 starts (34 at catcher, six at designated hitter). An All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection in 2007, Babineau belted five home runs and tallied a career-high 37 RBI as a sophomore that spring.
Additionally, two high school seniors who signed National Letters of Intent to enroll and play baseball at UCLA for the 2009 season have inked minor league deals and will forgo their collegiate eligibility. Cutter Dykstra and Tyler Chatwood, both selected in the second round by the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, respectively, have agreed to terms with their major league clubs.
The deadline for signing a player selected in the First-Year Player Draft is Friday, August 15.