UCLA: Joe Ross

Baseball: Bruins lose top three signees

August, 15, 2011
8/15/11
11:34
PM PT
The yearly "deadline day" has become a whirlwind of emotion and anticipation for UCLA head baseball coach John Savage. Monday night was no different, as the Bruins' skipper learned that his top three incoming freshmen -- first-round draft selection Joe Ross (Oakland, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd), supplemental first-rounder Tyler Goeddel (Hillsborough, Calif./St. Francis) and second-rounder Austin Hedges (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./JSerra) -- had signed professional contracts shortly prior to the 9 p.m. PT deadline.

And, just like that, years of recruiting, scouting and convincing were gone.

"You're talking about guys that stuck by their [signing] numbers, guys that knew exactly what it would take to sign them," Savage said. "And they got that, so there's no hard feelings."

Ross, a promising pitcher and 25th overall pick in June's draft, signed with the San Diego Padres, reportedly for a $2.75 million bonus. Goeddel, an outfielder chosen 41st overall by the Tampa Bay Rays and younger brother of former Bruins pitcher Erik Goeddel, reportedly signed for $1.5 million. Hedges, considered by many as the top defensive catcher in the draft, fell from the first round due to signability concerns. Still, he bagged a signing bonus of $3 million from the Padres, according to reports.

"The system probably needs to be looked at," Savage said. "There's no such thing as slot. That's clear. There's no hard feelings towards professional baseball or the families. In this business the only thing you ask for is honesty. I don't feel like we were involved with the wrong guys."

Savage said he and his staff spent more than two years luring the group to first choose, then sign with UCLA. The main objective, he said, is to recognize players that are serious about attending college. Savage did manage to hang on to infielder Kevin Kramer (Turlock, Calif./Turlock), a 25th-round pick of the Cleveland Indians, and pitcher Jacob Ehret (San Dimas, Calif./San Dimas), a 37th-round pick of the Florida Marlins.

Pitcher Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall selection, signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night. Over the years, Savage has lost players such as Jason Heyward (Atlanta Braves) and Tyler Chatwood (Los Angeles Angels) at the deadline.

"We still feel like the incoming class is very strong," Savage said, citing players like Eric Snyder (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) and Zack Ortiz (Cypress, Calif./Cypress). "Everybody that we sign is a good player. Whenever you lose three guys on the last day it's always difficult. You're prepared for it. You don't sit here and think you're going to get every player you sign. You're not going to hold on to everyone.

"I'm happy for the players and I'm happy for their families," Savage continued. "We'll be fine. The hard ones are when they say they'll sign for $1 million and they take $500,000. That's when I think the college coach gets upset."

Baseball: Hedges taken in 2nd round

June, 7, 2011
6/07/11
11:05
AM PT
UCLA signee Austin Hedges (San Juan Capistrano, Calif./JSerra) was selected Tuesday in the second round by the San Diego Padres in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

Considered the best defensive catcher in the draft, Hedges reportedly fell from the first round because of signability concerns. He was the fifth catcher taken and second by the Padres. San Diego also picked Bruins signee Joe Ross (Oakland, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd) in the first round.

Baseball: Ross drafted in first round

June, 6, 2011
6/06/11
7:34
PM PT
UCLA head coach John Savage pulled off a heist three years ago when former first-rounder Gerrit Cole, the top pick in the Major League Baseball first-year player draft on Monday, decided to attend college rather than sign professionally.

Savage finds himself in a similar scenario this year.

Bruins signee Joe Ross (Oakland, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd) was drafted 25th overall by the San Diego Padres on Monday, perhaps dealing a blow to Savage's pitching staff months before Ross' expected campus arrival. The right-hander would be a candidate to replace Cole (Pittsburgh Pirates) and third-overall selection Trevor Bauer (Arizona Diamondbacks) in the weekend rotation.

"Every situation is different," Savage said. "Depending on the family, depending on the level of education, the team, what year they draft you, it really comes down to what a guy thinks is in his best interest. I know Joe and his family will make the right decision."

Ross is the younger brother of former Cal and current Oakland Athletics pitcher Tyson Ross.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

2013 TEAM LEADERS

PASSINGATTCOMPYDSTD
B. Hundley369248307124
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
B. Hundley1607484.711
P. Perkins1345734.36
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
S. Evans4770915.19
D. Fuller4347111.04
TEAMRUSHPASSTOTAL
Offense196.6251.6448.2
TEAMPFPAMARGIN
Scoring36.524.112.4