Saarloos Leads Group of 9 Titans Taken in Draft

Cal State Fullerton senior right-handed pitcher Kirk Saarloos was selected in the third round (86th overall) by Houston in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft Tuesday, leading a contingent of nine Titans taken during the draft's two days.

Saarloos, who is 15-2 with a 2.24 ERA for the College World Series-bound Titans, is the 16th Fullerton player to be taken in the first three rounds of a regular-phase draft. Nine Titans have been drafted in the first round, including pitcher Adam Johnson, who was selected second overall by Minnesota last year.

Fullerton had its most players drafted since the 1996 season, when 11 players were chosen. This is also just the third time that five Titans have been selected in the first nine rounds (1985 and 1996 were the other years).

Titan senior first baseman Aaron Rifkin, who has hit a team-high 15 home runs, was selected in the fourth round (125th overall) by the New York Yankees and sophomore shortstop Mike Rouse, who leads the team with a .395 batting average, was selected in the fifth round (151st overall) by Toronto.

Other Titans selected were junior catcher Brett Kay (8th round, New York Mets), junior third baseman Shawn Norris (9th round, Montreal), junior right-hander Shane Waroff (13th round, Arizona), senior left-hander Jon Smith (16th round, Pittsburgh), junior outfielder Robert Guzman (18th round, Minnesota) and senior second baseman David Bacani (22nd round, New York Mets). <