Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
The UCLA baseball team has run into some hard times recently, not making the 2009 postseason, but they're still turning out Major League talent. Just this week, seven UCLA juniors and seniors were drafted, one year after five Bruins were drafted. Along these same lines, The Wall Street Journal took at look at the 1996-2008 MLB Drafts and ranked each school that had produced at least four MLB players in that time frame by runs above replacement.
California schools make up four of the top five -- USC, No. 2 Cal State Fullerton, No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 Pepperdine, with Miami in between. But more than anything, the analysis shows how difficult it is for even top colleges to produce top-flight major-league players. Mr. Pujols has single-handedly been more valuable statistically than the offensive alumni of every college during the past dozen years, save Miami and UCLA.
Currently, there are seven Bruins playing in the majors: Chase Utley, Troy Glaus, Casey Janssen, Garrett Atkins, Eric Byrnes, Ben Francisco and David Huff. Utley is leading NL second basemen in All-Star voting by a wide margin and looks poised to become the NL's starter at the position for the fourth consecutive season. Francisco, Byrnes, Atkins and Janssen are all healthy now and starting for their respectie clubs, while Huff, who was a Bruin as recently as 2006, earned his first two major league wins in his last two starts.
There's not shortage of talent in the Southern California region and the Bruins are getting their share of that talent. Hopefully in the coming years that talent can turn into yearly postseason appearances and wins in those postseasons. In the mean time, as we wait for the 2010 season to come around, we can keep tabs on our Bruins in the amateur summer leagues, the minor leagues and as the WSJ makes clear, the major leagues.