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Wildcats’ Bird will be a Bruin

Prep baseball: West Ranch senior pitcher commits to UCLA

Posted: February 27, 2014 11:07 p.m.
Updated: February 27, 2014 11:07 p.m.
 

West Ranch senior right-handed pitcher Jake Bird verbally committed to UCLA baseball this week.

Bird, a 6-foot-4-inch, hard-throwing pitcher received offers from UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Davidson, according to West Ranch head baseball coach Casey Burrill.

“I think he projects out well,” Burrill said. “He throws hard. His ball already has a ton of run, and I think they can put together more pitches — curveballs and changeups (in college). Plus he’s a super nice kid. A great student. A team guy. He’s a can’t-lose guy.”

Bird is a career 1-4 in 15 varsity games with a 4.95 ERA.

But Burrill said the best is yet to come because Bird struggled in the past two years with his control.

In the fall and winter, Burrill said, Bird has been consistently in the strikezone, which has caught the eye of NCAA Division I baseball teams.

Burrill said one Major League scout said Bird, who has topped out at 91 MPH, could be a top-10 round pick in June’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

First, he is a key element to a West Ranch team light on pitching in 2014.

“For us, as far as a team, if Jake is good this year, we’re good this year,” Burrill said.

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