Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Baseball: Rasmussen, Klein off the board
By Blair Angulo
UCLA pitchers Rob Rasmussen and Dan Klein have been snatched up early in Day 2 of the MLB Draft.
Rasmussen, a junior left-hander who won his 10th game of the season Sunday in the Regional-clincher, was taken in the second round -- 73rd overall by the Florida Marlins. Klein, a draft-eligible redshirt sophomore and the team's lights-out closer, was selected with the third pick of the third round (85th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles.
This is not the first draft experience for either. Rasmussen, who stands at 5-foot-10 but can bring it with a low- to mid-90s fastball and above-average curve, was drafted in the 27th round by the Dodgers three years ago out of high school. Klein was also selected in that draft, in the 24th round, by the Orioles.
Rasmussen missed a majority of his freshman season after taking a sharp liner off his plant foot. He came back in time to make eight more appearances, including the Regional final at Cal State Fullerton. The 21-year-old had success in the renowned Cape Cod League the last two summers and started on the mound at the 2009 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. Rasmussen is 10-2 with a 2.90 earned-run average and has struck out 108 batters in 90 innings.
Klein, meanwhile, has come out of nowhere after missing all of his sophomore season because of shoulder issues. The former Anaheim Servite High starting quarterback has anchored UCLA's dominant bullpen, going 5-0 with nine saves and a 2.03 earned-run average. He has struck out 48 and walked only eight in 44 1/3 innings of work.
The two figure to play prominent roles this coming weekend in UCLA's Super Regional best-of-three series against rival Cal State Fullerton. If the series goes three games, Rasmussen would most likely get the ball on Sunday. Klein, on the other hand, would take the mound if the Bruins hold a late lead.