Little more than a year after being selected with the third overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft, 21-year-old right-hander Trevor Bauer is scheduled to make his big league debut Thursday night in Atlanta when he pitches for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Braves.
Everything about the former UCLA All-American is quirky, including his decision to skip his senior year at Newhall Hart High to play college baseball; his unorthodox training routines; and his YouTube channel, where he shows video in super slow motion of his delivery.
“He deserves everything he gets for being independent-minded and achieving at the level he’s achieved,” said Jim Ozella, Bauer’s high school coach. “He’s done it his way with his style. Have you seen any other Trevor Bauers in the baseball world?”
Bauer throws a variety of pitches for strikes and uses a variety of contraptions in training and to help him warm up. He will be the first player from the 2011 draft to make his major league debut. In 2011 at UCLA, he had a 13-2 record with a 1.25 earned-run average.
“He’s very competitive and very smart and knows what he’s doing,” UCLA Coach John Savage said. “He knows the setting. He’s going to know how to act and how to handle things.”
The Diamondbacks are calling up Bauer from triple-A Reno to replace the injured Joe Saunders and start Thursday against Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 6.75 ERA).
Bauer was a combined 11-1 with a 2.23 ERA with Reno and double-A Mobile (Ala.).
His former teammate at UCLA, right-hander Gerrit Cole, is not far behind.
Cole, the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, was selected to play in the All-Star Futures Game. He was 5-1 with a 2.55 ERA for Class-A Bradenton (Fla.) before being promoted to double-A Altoona (Pa.). Since his promotion, Cole has pitched six innings, giving up 10 hits and five runs. He was also struck in the face by a batted ball in his last outing, Wednesday.