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Brennan top area draftee

OCC pitcher among those whose stock improved greatly after recent success.

June 05, 2012|By Barry Faulkner

Improvement was the theme for most of the locals chosen on the second day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday.

Orange Coast College freshman pitcher Brandon Brennan became the first area player taken, when the Chicago White Sox tabbed the 6-foot-4 right-hander in the fourth round, No. 141 overall.

UC Irvine signee Timmy Lopes, a senior at Edison High in Huntington Beach, was taken in the sixth round (No. 191) by the Seattle Mariners, while UCI senior shortstop D.J. Crumlich was taken in the ninth round (No. 286) by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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OCC freshman outfielder Bijan Rademacher was taken in the 13th round (No. 404) by the Chicago Cubs.

Other draftees with local ties were former UCI player Jordan Leyland and UCLA junior outfielder Beau Amaral.

Leyland, a first baseman and designated hitter who played the 2012 season at Azusa Pacific University, was taken in the ninth round (No. 295) by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Amaral, the son of former Estancia High and OCC standout Rich Amaral, who played 10 seasons in the major leagues (1991 through 2000) with Seattle and Baltimore, was a seventh-round pick (No. 232) of the Cincinnati Reds.

For Brennan, who went 11-1 with a 1.25 earned-run average to help OCC win the Orange Empire Conference and reach the four-team California Community College Athletic Assn. championship, his selection marked a quantum leap from his senior year at Capistrano Valley High, after which he was taken in the 40th round (No. 1,220) by the Colorado Rockies in 2010.

"To be completely honest, I haven't been the most successful baseball player my entire life," Brennan, who began his collegiate career at the University of Oregon, said last month. "It wasn't until recently, with all the hard work I've put in, that I kind of accomplished a lot and succeeded in baseball."

Brennan, a first-team all-state and All-Orange Empire Conference performer, said his transition from thrower (reaching 94 mph with his fastball) to pitcher helped him move up 1,079 spots in the draft in just two years.

Brennan, who signed a letter of intent with Houston, said before the draft that he is anxious to sign and begin a professional career.

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