The effects of Cal’s decision to eliminate baseball after the upcoming 2011 season have officially hit the Golden Bears on the field. Prized freshman pitcher Eric Jaffe has enrolled at UCLA and will be eligible to compete for the already pitching strong Bruins this season.
Jaffe was taken in the 19th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Boston Red Sox. Baseball America rated him as the number 86 prospect in his class during his senior season at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, CA. He was 8-1 with a 0.83 ERA with 98 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings in his final high school season. He also batted .442 with seven home runs and 20 RBIs.
The 6’4, 225 lb. right-hander initially attended Cal in the fall of 2010, but after the school announced on September 28 that it planned to eliminate baseball after the 2011 season Jaffe’s plans changed. He successfully petitioned the NCAA for the right to play at his new school this season.
UCLA’s pitching staff is already led by 2011 preseason All-Americans Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, whose power arms helped the Bruins finish second at the 2010 College World Series.
While the fund-raising process to Save Cal Baseball has gone very well (more than $15 million in pledges) since the September announcement, the exodus may not be over. Cal infielder Brett Bishop was expected to transfer to Fresno Community College, while 2010 staff ace Justin Jones could transfer to Oregon after the 2011 season.