UCLA’s Gerrit Cole is top pick in baseball draft; teammate Trevor Bauer is third
UCLA pitchers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer talked on the telephone shortly after the start of Monday’s Major League Baseball first-year player draft.
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Cole first overall, and the Arizona Diamondbacks had just selected Bauer third.
So congratulations were in order.
“There wasn’t a lot of substance,” Cole said of their conversation, “because I think both of us were pretty much speechless.”
Cole, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior right-hander from Santa Ana, became the first Bruin to be chosen first overall in the June draft. First baseman Chris Chambliss was selected with the No. 1 pick in the January 1970 free-agent draft.
The last time two teammates from the same college were selected first and third was in 1978, when the Atlanta Braves chose Arizona State third baseman Bob Horner first and the New York Mets selected Hubie Brooks two picks later.
Cole and Bauer helped the Bruins reach the championship series of the 2010 College World Series, but UCLA fell short of a return trip to Omaha with two losses in an NCAA regional at home last weekend.
On Monday, they were two of 33 players selected in the first round. The compensation round, for teams that failed to sign 2010 first-round picks or lost Type A free agents, included 27 picks.
The Dodgers selected Stanford left-hander Chris Reed, who played at Reseda Cleveland High, with the 16th pick. The Angels chose Utah first baseman C.J. Cron with the 17th selection.
Florida State left-hander Sean Gilmartin, who played at Encino Crespi High, was selected 28th by the Atlanta Braves.
Compensation picks with Southland ties: Chino High outfielder Jacob Anderson, 35th by the Toronto Blue Jays; left-hander Henry Owens (Huntington Beach Edison High), 36th by the Boston Red Sox; shortstop Brandon Martin (Corona Santiago High, 38th by the Tampa Bay Rays), and third baseman Travis Harrison (Tustin High, 50th by the Minnesota Twins).
Cole, who attended Orange Lutheran High, was selected by the New York Yankees with the 28th pick in the 2008 draft. He opted to play college baseball, becoming the first high school player drafted in the first round to attend UCLA.
Cole was 6-8 with a 3.31 earned-run average this season. He gave up 103 hits, struck out 119 and walked 24 in 1141/3 innings.
“It wasn’t up to my standards,” Cole said.
But Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said team personnel were on hand for every one of Cole’s 16 starts this season, as well as preseason scrimmages. The Pirates liked Cole’s size, a fastball that reportedly has touched 100 mph, and his competitiveness during a season in which there were struggles.
Asked what he knew about the Pirates and Pittsburgh, Cole said, “Roberto Clemente, a great city, a great ballpark and a lot of history and tradition.”
The 6-2, 185-pound Bauer, from Valencia, played at Newhall Hart High but passed up his senior season and enrolled early at UCLA in 2009. This season, he was 13-2 with a 1.25 ERA. He gave up 73 hits, struck out 203 and walked 36 in 1362/3 innings.
Bauer said he was hoping the Diamondbacks would select him after speaking with team personnel.
He and Cole credited UCLA Coach John Savage for helping them in their development.
Bauer, who used the same now-faded cap throughout his three-year Bruins career, was asked whether he planned to use more than one as a pro.
“I’m sure I’ll have to even if I stay with the same organization,” he said. “I don’t know if a hat can last 20 to 25 years in the big leagues.”