Recruiting season set to really begin for Wildcats

Today is a day that receives far less attention than the first day of the signing period in February - since that's when most of the top high school football players in the nation sign their letters-of-intent.

And even the first day of the fall signing period receives much more attention than today. But today begins a period that's no less important especially when it comes to baseball.

Today is the first day of the spring signing period and for the Western Nevada College baseball team it begins the final push of the recruiting season, which is really year-round anyway.

The Wildcats basically already have their 2009 class in place. But the work is already beginning on the 2010 class. And there are almost 10 current Wildcat players whose futher will be determined in this time period.

"Things are really taking off with regards to our recruiting," WNC coach D.J. Whittemore said.

WNC recently put the finishing touches on its 2009 class by signing several more players in recent weeks, bringing the total of the class to 15.

"We're very happy with some of the players we've been able to sign in the last few weeks," Whittemore said. "It's really turning into a nice class," Whittemore said.

Among those who recently signed was Lovelock pitcher Wil Schumacher, who's certainly the state's top 2A pitcher and one of the top pitchers on any level.

"I think he's got one of the best arms in the state," Whittemore said. "The thing that excites us the most about him is he's a good athlete. He's a good kid and a good student."

Among the other players who WNC recently signed were catcher Oscar Rodrigues of British Columbia, Canada, right-handed pitcher Jake Waardenburgh of Klamath Falls, Ore., and right-handed pitcher Rusty Devitt from the Seattle area. Among the local players they join who have already signed include Reno High's Cavin Hill and Reed's C.J. Maldonado.

Now the focus is already on this year's juniors. "At this point we're starting to turn our attention to the junior class," Whittemore said.

Whittemore said this year's Northern Nevada junior class is a deep one. Among the top players WNC is most interested in is Manogue right-handed pitcher Casey Schapper, Douglas High pitcher Tyler May and Reed shortstop Casey Yocum.

There's also Carson High's Kyle Stone and Paul Cagle. "He's got a bat for sure," said Whittemore about Cagle.

There are about nine current Wildcats who could move on to either the four-year or professional level. They include Carson's Logan Parsley, who has signed with the University of Nevada.

Whittemore said Chuck Howard has the best chance to move on to a Division I school while Andrew Reid and Josh Creveling could also have a chance to go Division I. A lot will depend on how many Division I offers will open up in the late spring and early summer.

"He might be a Division I pitcher," said Whittemore about Reid. Colorado's Mesa State, a top Division II school, remains highly interested in Reid.

Whittemore said there's a chance that pitcher Jose Barajas will sign professionally as will freshman pitcher Kyle Farrell. Whittemore said Farrell should be raising his stock as his fastball has reached 93 miles an hour, he's shown an unhittable breaker at times and has developed an effective changeup.

Farrell could go as high as the first 10 rounds, Whittemore said. "I think he's set a pretty reasonable amount for a signing bonus and if receives that, that will be his first choice."

Whittemore said if Farrell doesn't sign professionally, he should return to WNC.

Cliff Shepard, Kyle Gutchewsky and Kevin Schlange all have the chance to move on to a four-year school as well, Whittemore said. All of the players who could move on should at least receive a shot to play at a Division II or NAIA school, Whittemore said.


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