Seven UCLA Baseball Players Sign Professional Contracts

July 2, 2009

LOS ANGELES - Juniors Charles Brewer, Gavin Brooks, Gabe Cohen and Casey Haerther and seniors Cody Decker, Brendan Lafferty and Jason Novak have signed professional contracts with their respective Major League Baseball organizations, since being selected in the 2009 MLB Draft on June 9-11.

Brewer, Brooks, Cohen and Haerther will forgo their senior seasons.

Brewer, a 12th-round draft selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks, has been assigned to play for the Missoula Osprey (Pioneer League). Brewer went 3-5 with a 4.52 ERA, 65 strikeouts and 22 walks in 71.2 innings for UCLA in 2009.

Brooks, selected in the ninth round by the New York Yankees, has begun his professional career pitching for the Staten Island Yankees (New York-Penn League). Brooks led UCLA with eight saves in 2009, collecting 36 strikeouts and posting a 4.71 ERA in 36.1 innings.

Cohen, drafted in the 29th round by the Tampa Bay Rays, has been assigned to play for the Hudson Valley Renegades (New York-Penn League). Cohen batted .273 in 2009, totaling five home runs, 28 RBI and 24 runs in 42 games (40 starts).

Haerther, a fifth-round selection by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, batted .305 with nine home runs, seven doubles, 42 RBI and 31 runs for UCLA in 2009.

Decker (22nd round, San Diego Padres) led the Pac-10 Conference with 21 home runs in 2009. The senior from Santa Monica, Calif., has begun his professional career playing for the Arizona League Padres.

Lafferty (18th round, Kansas City Royals) finished his four-year Bruin career with 94 appearances, third-most in school history. The native of Riverside, Calif., has been assigned to the Idaho Falls Chukars (Pioneer League).

Novak (48th round, St. Louis Cardinals) registered a 4.98 career ERA in 86 appearances over four seasons. A resident of Agoura, Calif., Novak has opened his professional career playing for the Johnson City Cardinals (Appalachian League).

In addition, six high school seniors who have signed National Letters of Intent to enroll and play baseball at UCLA in 2009-10 were drafted. Trayce Thompson was selected in the second round by the Chicago White Sox, and David Nick (Arizona Diamondbacks) and Max Stassi (Oakland Athletics) were each drafted in the fourth round. Nick has agreed to terms with Arizona and has forfeited his collegiate eligibility.

Cody Keefer was drafted in the 33rd round by the Detroit Tigers, Scott Griggs was selected in the 34th round by the Seattle Mariners and Jeff Gelalich was taken in the 41st round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Beau Amaral, who has signed a Statement of Intent to Register, was drafted in the 45th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

All major league draft selections have until Monday, August 17 to sign a professional contract.

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