Former UCLA baseball players Garett Claypool and Niko Gallego have begun their respective minor league careers. Claypool, a senior in 2010 who was selected in the 11th round of June's MLB Draft by the Philadlephia Phillies, has gone 2-0 in two relief appearances with the Williamsport Crosscutters (New York-Penn League).
Claypool surrendered one run and two hits in his professional debut on July 9, earning the victory in a 4-3 win for Williamsport. The right-hander from West Hills, Calif., tossed three scoreless innings of one-hit ball on July 12, recording four strikeouts and no walks to notch his second victory in as many relief appearances.
Gallego, a junior in 2010 who was selected in the 27th round of the MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, made his professional debut on Wednesday night for the Visalia Rawhide (high-A, California League). Inserted as a defensive replacement at shortstop in the seventh inning, Gallego struck out in his only plate appearance of the game. Having signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, Gallego has forfeited his final year of eligibility at UCLA.
In the June 2010 MLB Draft, UCLA had 11 players selected (tied with Auburn for the most draft selections of any college baseball program in 2010). Gallego and Claypool are the only players who have signed with their respective professional organizations.