LOS ANGELES – Junior left-hander Rob Rasmussen (Florida Marlins, second round), redshirt sophomore right-hander Dan Klein (Baltimore Orioles, third round), junior left-hander Matt Grace (Washington Nationals, eighth round) and senior right-hander Garett Claypool (Philadelphia Phillies, 11th round) have been selected midway through the MLB Draft’s second day.
The first round (and supplemental first round) took place on Monday evening. Rounds 2-30 continue on Tuesday, while rounds 31-50 take place on Wednesday.
Rasmussen has been selected 73rd overall (Florida), Klein 85th overall (Baltimore), Grace 236rd overall (Washington) and Claypool 351st overall (Philadelphia).
Rasmussen becomes the Bruins’ earliest draft selection since 2006, when left-hander David Huff was drafted in the supplemental first round (39th overall) by the Cleveland Indians. Rasmussen is the first UCLA ballplayer drafted in the second round since 2007 (Brant Rustich, New York Mets).
Klein was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles for the second time in four seasons, having been chosen by Baltimore in the 24th round of the 2007 MLB Draft following his senior season at Servite High School.
Rasmussen and Klein become the seventh and eighth UCLA pitchers, respectively, to be chosen in the draft’s first five rounds under sixth-year head coach John Savage.
Rasmussen earned his 10th victory of the season Sunday, leading UCLA past UC Irvine, 6-2, by striking out seven batters in six innings to help the Bruins earn their second berth in the NCAA Super Regionals in the last four seasons. Rasmussen has gone 10-2 with a 2.90 ERA, totaling 108 strikeouts and 27 walks in 90.0 innings this spring.
After not earning a decision in his first three starts, Rasmussen collected the victory in each of his next six starts. In nine Pac-10 starts, the southpaw went 6-2 with a 3.04 ERA, tops among UCLA’s weekend starters. Rasmussen logged 54 strikeouts and eight walks in 53.1 innings in conference action.
Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 27th round of the 2007 MLB Draft, Rasmussen pitched in nine games as a freshman (two starts), in a rookie campaign that was cut short due to a broken foot sustained from a line-drive comebacker in his debut. He missed 10 weeks before returning to the mound at the end of the season.
After going 4-2 with a 6.45 ERA in 18 games (six starts) as a sophomore, Rasmussen shined in the 2009 Cape Cod League, going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 35.0 innings for the Orleans Firebirds. Rasmussen was selected as one of two starting pitchers in the Cape Cod League’s All-Star Game at Boston’s Fenway Park in July 2009.
Klein has gone 5-0 with nine saves, collecting 48 strikeouts and eight walks in 44.1 innings as the Bruins’ closer in 2010. The right-hander from Los Alamitos, Calif., was named to the Midseason Stopper of the Year Award’s watch list in April and is tied for second in the Pac-10 with 35 appearances and ranks third in the conference in saves.
Klein’s nine saves are the third most in a single season in school history, trailing Gabe Sollecito’s 12-save total in 1992 and Herb Fauland’s 10 saves in 1980. In two seasons, Klein has gone 7-2 with a 3.63 ERA, registering 61 strikeouts and 11 walks in 62.0 innings (42 appearances, two starts).
Klein missed the 2009 season with a shoulder injury. He returned in exceptional form in 2010, opening the season with a 20.1 consecutive inning scoreless streak as UCLA’s closer.
Grace has gone 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 33 appearances, all in relief, as a junior for the Bruins in 2010. The 6-foot-4 left-hander from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., registered 20 strikeouts and seven walks in 25.0 innings during his junior campaign.
In three seasons at UCLA, Grace has gone 4-4 with a 3.95 ERA (69 appearances, six starts), totaling 72 strikeouts and 38 walks in 98.0 innings. Through NCAA Regional action this spring, Grace is tied for seventh in the Pac-10 with 30 appearances.
Claypool has shined as a starting pitcher for the Bruins in 2010, going 8-3 with a 2.05 ERA, collecting 72 strikeouts and issuing just 19 walks in 79.0 innings. The senior right-hander from West Hills, Calif., has gone 14-7 with a 3.04 ERA, 179 strikeouts and 78 walks in 204.0 career innings (73 games, 33 starts).
Claypool was chosen in the 32nd round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics and returned to pitch for UCLA as a senior in 2010. The Bruins’ reliable midweek starter has gone 7-3 with a 2.27 ERA, registering 55 strikeouts and 17 walks in 67.1 innings as a starting pitcher this spring.