Expos take Rasner in second round

Montreal -- or maybe even Northern Virginia -- is a long way from Carson City.

But it appears that Darrell Rasner's trek to pitch in the Major Leagues in one of those places has just begun. The Carson High graduate was taken in the second round by the Montreal Expos as the 46th overall pick in Tuesday's Major League draft.

"I was really excited to be picked," said the 6-4, 215-pound right-handed pitcher, who just completed his junior year at the University of Nevada. "It's an honor to be picked that high in the draft.

"It's a big relief to me to have it over. It's an honor to be picked by anybody. It's just an honor to be picked and to be considered. I'm very happy."

Rasner said he will talk with the Expos this week, beginning the process in which he would sign with the club. Rasner has also hired an agent, Matt Sosnick of the Bay area.

Among the players who Sosnick represents includes former Wolf Pack pitcher Chad Qualls, who is now playing for the Houston Astros' Double A team in Round Rock, Texas.

As a second round pick, Rasner should command a signing bonus that is in the high six figures. But Rasner said he's not thinking about the money and still wouldn't say for sure that he'll pass up his senior year at Nevada.

But he did admit that he'll sign with the Expos "if everything works out the way it should. I'll know more later on."

Rasner said a great deal of stress was removed when the Expos selected him. "But it was all fun going through it," Rasner also said about the draft process.

The Expos were not one of the teams that talked extensively with Rasner.

"That's what was so surprising," said Rasner about the Expos drafting him.

Rasner said he was told that he could go as high as the 20s or 30s in the first round.

"I had heard a lot of different things," he said. "I didn't know what to expect. It was a huge relief when it happened."

Rasner said he's already been blessed in his career at Carson High and Nevada.

"I'm just so thankful for the chances that I've had," he said. "It still really hasn't sunk in, yet."

At Nevada, Rasner set several school season and career records: As a freshman, Rasner set season records for wins (14) and winning percentage (14-2, .875).

He also set career records for wins (28-15), strikeouts (302) and innings pitched (341). This past season, Rasner went 6-8 with a 3.70 earned run average, striking out 109 in 104.2 innings.

Rasner has four pitchers -- fastball, slider, curveball and a circle change. While Rasner said he still needs to improve his changeup, Scouts were still impressed with his circle change. Rasner has a fastball in the 88-92 mile per hour range. Scouts were also impressed with Rasner's command of his pitches and his mental toughness.

The Expos were target for contraction before this season and now there's talk that the franchise could possibly move to Northern Virginia.

Rasner said if he signs, he didn't know what the Expos' plans for him would be. With his experience, Rasner could start out at the higher Class A level. A standard minor league contract also includes a clause in which the Expos would agree to pay for Rasner to finish his education towards a bachelor's degree.

Two other Northern Nevada players were taken on Tuesday in the draft, which concludes today. Manogue pitcher Kevin Jepsen, who has signed with Nevada, was taken as the 53rd overall pick in the second round by the Anaheim Angels.

Another pitcher for Nevada, James Holcomb, was also taken by the Angels as the 234th pick in the eighth round.


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