MLB Draft: Two Bruins and a Bubba go in top five
Two UCLA pitchers highlighted the top five picks of the 2011 MLB draft Monday. Four pitchers were chosen among those selections, with Bubba Starling, a multi-sport high school star from Kansas, breaking the arms monopoly.
The Pittsburgh Pirates chose Bruins right-hander Gerrit Cole with the first pick. Cole boasts a fastball that has been clocked at 102 mph.
Using their full five minutes to make the second pick, the Seattle Mariners chose Virginia pitcher Danny Hultzen. The southpaw finished his junior season with an 8-0 record and 99 strikeouts in only 61 innings.
Hultzen was initially picked out of high school by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 10th round but opted to play in college and was not draft eligible again until he was a junior.
This year, the Diamondbacks used the third selection for UCLA pitcher Trevor Bauer. He ended his college career with a 13-2 record this season, including 203 strikeouts –- a Pacific 10 Conference single-season record previously held by for USC All-American Mark Prior.
The Baltimore Orioles selected the first high school player when picking right-handed pitcher Dylan Bundy from Owasso High in Oklahoma. Bundy throws a triple-digit heater, and his older brother Joe is already in the Baltimore farm system.
The Kansas City Royals looked local to round out the top five. Starling, who is from Gardner-Edgerton High in Gardner, Kan., received heavy recruiting for his football skills as well as his talents with a baseball bat. He has committed to playing both sports at Nebraska, but a hefty contract offer from the Royals could change his tune.
-- Douglas Farmer
Photos: Virginia pitcher Danny Hultzen (top) and Gardner-Edgerton High two-sport star Bubba Starling. Credits: McClatchy-Tribune and Associated Press