June 6, 2011
Transcription of UCLA baseball head coach John Savage on a conference call with local and national media Monday night after Gerrit Cole was selected first overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates and Trevor Bauer, third overall, by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
on his reaction to Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer's early first-round selection
I'm really proud of these two guys. It's a credit to their hard work and to them staying healthy. We couldn't be any more proud of both of those guys to be able to start their professional careers.
on the advantage of them to come to college
"I want to think there's development involved, in terms of both on and off the field. You're talking about maturity and how to deal with the game, about how to deal with playing in such a tough conference, a good schedule, and the ups and downs of college baseball. The trip to Omaha. Everybody saw how talented both of those guys were. Going to school can be very beneficial for players. I just think it's a credit to Gerrit and Trevor that they withstood everything thrown their way. It's a credit to our program that we were able to support those guys. There was a lot competition, and I think that they fed off each other. Sometimes it doesn't work. But I think in this case, I think it did. For both of them to come out of college, to be the first and third pick, I don't think that you can argue against it. They both performed and played off each other in a good way."
on when he knew Gerrit Cole could be the top overall pick in 2011
"Really from day one. It's such a power arm with power stuff. I think the difference between Gerrit then and Gerrit now is just he knows how to deal with the nuances of the game. The in-between starts, conditioning, bullpens, throwing sessions, watching video. All the things and hard work conditioning-wise that goes into being a complete pitcher. They're both pretty young guys. They've been in college for three years. They're both very young, and they're about to start their professional careers. We knew Gerrit was special from day one and felt very special to be able to hold on to him."
on Trevor Bauer's success
"The guy was so durable. He had several swing-and-miss pitches during that time. [Tim] Linceum has really helped this guy, and you watch the video today on MLB and its [delivery is] very, very similar. So I think with Lincecum's success in college, for one, at Washington and then being in professional baseball really helped Trevor and people started believing in Trevor. Baseball is a game of samples. You notice, `What did this guy look like?' or `I haven't seen this delivery before.' It's a good clean arm or a good swing and who does it remind you of, and Trevor has just progressed into being the most complete pitcher that I've had in terms of having five or six pitches. He's got a very, very clean arm. He believes in momentum and direction, but at the end of the day, his arm works as good as anybody's. His performances were just off the charts. He performed against anybody anywhere. You just can't look away. The guy is so good and he performs so well that you cannot deny that. His velocity jumped - he was up to 96 to 97, and last year he was at 92. His stuff all got better, and he just had one of the best college careers and years, as matched up with anybody who has ever done it."
on Trevor Bauer's pitching and conditioning philosophies
"We sat down when we recruited him. He was very clear on his vision and with what he wanted to do. We're very understanding of his conditioning and throwing program. He does our bullpen program. I call the pitches for him just like I do for Gerrit Cole. He's a great teammate. He's a great learner. He's open to a lot of different things. He has his vision and he knows himself as well as any young guy. You're getting a very, very complete guy who knows his delivery and how to sequence pitches. He's as good as I have seen. There were some adjustments. People thought he was quirky and weird and different. He's as competitive as you will see, and this guy is a baseball player. He knows what he wants to do, and he did it this year."
on Gerrit and Trevor's disappointment of losing the NCAA Regional on Sunday night
"To be honest, they were crushed. They were very upset. They're very team-oriented guys. That's why I think they'll be team professionals. They cared very much about the program. They were down. They're still down even though it's the moment of their lives today. In the back of their minds, I know they feel like we could have made another run to get to Omaha, and they felt that they were crushed that we didn't move on. That's another thing about going to college. You learn about the team. You need teammates and you need defense and other pitchers around you and a bullpen. They know the bigger picture better now."
on being spoiled for three years by having these two pitchers
"You can't take anything for granted. Any start or any season. They're special guys. Everybody knows that. Cole and Bauer, the combination is as good a combination as you'll see in college, maybe ever. That's why we are bringing guys along. They were good examples of how to compete and how to go about their business. Guys sign three-year and four-year contracts in college. We know when they're going to come in, and we know when they are going to leave. This is not a shock. I'm just happy it turned out as well for both of them as it did."