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Shooting For The Big League

We will start our Saturday with a little baseball news. Three Bruin (juniors) have signed professional contracts:

Three juniors from the 2008 UCLA baseball team - Tim Murphy, Jermaine Curtis and Ryan Babineau - have signed minor league contracts and will forgo their senior seasons. Each player was selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft two weeks ago and will begin their pro careers playing for their respective organization's single-A ballclub (short-season).

Murphy, selected in the third round by the Texas Rangers (89th overall selection), will pitch for the Spokane Indians (Northwest League). Murphy, a left-handed pitcher from Vista, Calif., logged a 3.34 ERA, the lowest mark on the Bruins' staff and the fourth-best ERA among all Pac-10 pitchers. Murphy's team-leading totals of 111 strikeouts and 102.1 innings currently rank first and second, respectively, in the Pac-10 Conference.

Curtis, chosen in the fifth round by the St. Louis Cardinals (155th overall selection), will begin playing minor league baseball for the Batavia Muckdogs (New York-Penn League). Curtis started all 60 games at third base for UCLA in 2008, posting a .306 batting average and .426 on-base percentage. Curtis was named an All-Pac-10 selection in 2007 and earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 accolades in 2006 and 2008.

Babineau, drafted in the 17th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks (528th overall selection), will compete as a catcher for the Yakima Bears (Northwest League). In 2008, Babineau registered a .247 batting average, playing in 44 games and making 40 starts (34 at catcher, six at designated hitter). An All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection in 2007, Babineau belted five home runs and tallied a career-high 37 RBI as a sophomore that spring.

That was from, which also noted two incoming recruits – Cutter Dykstra (son of Lenny “Nails” Dykstra) and Tyler Chatwood signed minor league Ks with the Brewers and the Angels. Good luck to all of them. Looking forward to read Rye’s takes on next year’s roster once it all shakes out.