June 11, 2009
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Three more UC Santa Barbara baseball players were chosen on the third day of Major League Baseball's First Year player draft, bringing the total number of Gauchos picked to nine, which sets a record for most draft picks taken from UCSB in a single draft. The previous high came in 2001 when seven UCSB players were chosen in the draft.
The nine Gauchos drafted was the most in the Big West, a conference that had two nationally-ranked teams in the NCAA postseason and has featured at least one team in the College World Series in eight of the past 11 seasons. UCSB also had the first player from the Big West selected this season when pitcher Joe Gardner was taken by the Cleveland Indians in the third round. The Big West totaled 46 picks in the draft.
In addition to the nine Gauchos, two UCSB recruits were taken in the draft.
On Thursday, the first UCSB player chosen was Shane Carlson, picked in the 32nd round (959 overall) by the Cincinnati Reds. After a sensational junior season in which he batted .349 with 53 RBI, Carlson hit .256 with seven home runs and 34 RBI in 47 games. The seven homers for the senior shortstop was tied for second on the Gauchos.
Forest Cannon, a sophomore limited to nine total games in his UCSB career due to injuries, was taken in the 34th round (1,019 overall) by the Reds, bringing the total number of Gauchos chosen by Cincinnati to three. Second baseman Matt Valaika was taken by the Reds in the 20th round on Wednesday.
Eric Oliver, a Second Team All-Big West selection after leading the Gauchos with 48 RBI and posting a team-best .389 batting average and .477 on-base percentage in Big West play, was taken by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 36th round (1,101 overall). The first baseman from Irvine, Calif. was the only UCSB player to start every one of the team's 52 games and hit .325 overall while his 19 doubles are tied for 10th all-time in UCSB single-season history.
"I think today brought a lot of joy, but it also brought some disappointment because we felt a couple more guys were worthy of being selected," head coach Bob Brontsema said. "Mike Ford and a couple of our seniors didn't get an opportunity in the draft but free agency is a possibility. But, we're very happy for the guys who are getting this opportunity."
Left-handed pitcher Kevin Gelinas, a junior college transfer, was selected in the 45th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gelinas, coming to UCSB from Central Arizona CC, was rated as the No. 4 prospect nationally by Perfect Game's Top 50 junior college prospects and one of the top junior college players in the country by Baseball America.
Left-handed pitcher/first baseman Jordan Luvisi, selected in the 49th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks, is expected to join the Gauchos from Notre Dame Prep Academy (Scottsdale, Ariz.) next season. Luvisi batted .372 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI for Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Ariz.) while posting a 1.53 ERA in a team-best 59.2 innings pitched.
Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.