UCLA Baseball Signs Josh Karp, One of The Nation's Top High School Pitchers

Nov. 20, 1997

One month after Collegiate Baseball awarded its annual recruiting title to UCLA, head coach Gary Adams has put UCLA in the lead for the award next season. The UCLA baseball program has received a letter of intent from Josh Karp, regarded by many scouts as the top high school pitcher in the nation. Karp, a hard-throwing righthanded pitcher, is currently a senior at Bothell High School in Bothell, Washington.

"We're happy to have another first class out-of-state pitcher in the mold of Chad Cislak," stated head coach Gary Adams. Cislak, a first-team High School All-American in 1997, is a member of this year's top-ranked freshman class and became the first out-of-state full-scholarship player to put on a UCLA baseball uniform. Adams is hoping Karp will become the second. "Karp is a player who can help us win the national championship. He will make an impact his first year," stated Adams.

Karp took recruiting trips to UCLA and Stanford and deciding on a school was a tough decision for him. "Stanford is a great school, but UCLA was the best fit for me. UCLA has a good balance between academics and athletics. The coaches are quality people. The campus is beautiful," stated Karp. Karp will have a difficult choice to make next year when he decides between UCLA and professional baseball, but he has stressed the importance of an education. "Academics is important to me. Both of my parents are teachers and my grandfather was the superintendent of the North Shore school district," said Karp. Adams stated, "We realize professional baseball will be an option for Josh, but we know he is an outstanding student and wants an outstanding education."

This season, Karp, who is coached by Tom Robinson, will be flocked by scouts watching his fastball, which has been clocked at 93 miles per hour and his good curveball and changeup. Karp also plays basketball and golf but elected not to play basketball this season so he could focus on baseball. He had primarily been a shortstop but now is concentrating on pitching. He blossomed this summer while pitching for the Washington Bankers in the Connie Mack League and posted an 11-2 record.

If Karp attends UCLA, he will join a talented group of young players. Adams has done a great job of getting the players he has signed to a letter of intent to come to school. In fact, ten of this year's freshmen were drafted in 1997, including Cislak in the 17th round by the Dodgers, shortstop Chase Utley in the second round by the Dodgers, infielder Garrett Atkins in the 10th round by the Mets and lefthanded pitcher Ryan Carter in the 14th round by the Pirates. Overall, 18 players on UCLA's roster for the 1998 season have been drafted in the past.

It is not surprising that so many players have chosen UCLA over professional baseball because of the six players drafted in the top 25 rounds in 1997 from UCLA, all six were either drafted in a lower round out of high school or not drafted at all.

                Draft Position          Draft PositionPlayer          Out Of UCLA in 1997     Out Of High SchoolTroy Glaus      First (Third pick)      SecondJim Parque      First                   50thEric Byrnes     Fourth                  37thTom Jacquez     Sixth                   Not DraftedJon Heinrichs   Ninth                   Not DraftedPeter Zamora    20th                    25th