Blueberg receives interest from pro teams

Nevada's Colby Blueberg pitches during a game last year. Blueberg enters his junior year for the Pack.

Nevada's Colby Blueberg pitches during a game last year. Blueberg enters his junior year for the Pack.

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Colby Blueberg spent the day before what could arguably be the three most important days of his life fishing with his brother and grandfather.

The annual amateur baseball draft kicks off today with the first and second rounds, and Blueberg, a junior at the University of Nevada and a Carson high graduate, is waiting to see where and if he will be selected.

“I’m excited,” said Blueberg, who compiled a 3-2 record with two saves and a team-leading 1.34 ERA for the Wolf Pack. “It is one of those things I don’t want to think too much about. It’s one of the most exciting things; not knowing what to do, whether I should go back to school for my senior year or sign depending on where I’m drafted.

“Coach (Jay) Johnson came by the house offering to boost my scholarship if I stayed. He’s doing everything he can to get me to stay, and I appreciate that. I’ve got family and friends calling me and wanting to have a party. I’m not even sure where I’m going to be (when the draft starts).”

The one thing Blueberg made clear is that if he’s drafted in the first 10 rounds he will sign.

“If I don’t go in the top 10 rounds, it will come down to what they are going to offer,” Blueberg said.

One of those teams could be the Mets, who employ his father, Jim, as a scout.

“Colby has generated a lot of interest,” said the elder Blueberg. “We’ve heard from quite a few teams (including the Mets). We heard from Seattle this morning. It’s looking like he’ll go late the second day (Friday) or early on the third day. Somewhere between eight and 20.”

“I think it would be cool to play for my dad’s team,” Blueberg said. “If I did get picked by the Mets, I wouldn’t want people to think I made it because my dad is helping me. I’d be happy to play for any team that picks me.”

What is role would be at the next level is anybody’s guess. Blueberg said he would embrace either starting or coming out of the bullpen.

Blueberg started the fall season expecting to be a weekend starter, but some minor injury issues in the fall forced the team to move him to the bullpen. It was a wise move. Blueberg and former CHS teammate Adam Whitt combined to be the best 1-2 punch in the Mountain West Conference. Blueberg was a workhorse, appearing in a team-best and school-record 33 games. He was virtually unhittable in the MWC games, compiling a 1-0 record with a 0.39 ERA and one save. Blueberg allowed runs in just seven of his 33 appearances.

“No doubt, I’d be interested in starting,” said Blueberg who throws in the low 90s. “After I came back (from the injury) they told me I was going to start the year in the bullpen. We had so much success we stuck with it. If the starting thing didn’t work out (at my next spot), I could always go back to being a closer.”

It’s hard to argue with his success in 2013. After appearing in 22 games each of his first two seasons under Gary Powers, Blueberg had a breakout year. He has gotten better each and every year in all phases of pitching, most notably his velocity and his control.

“The main thing is being able to spot his slider,” the elder Blueberg said. “He’s developed a “feel” slider for strikeouts. He gets a ton of strikeouts on swing and misses and not on called third strikes. Pro scouts look for guys that can get swing and miss strikes. His velocity has jumped the past couple of years.”

And, with it, so have his draft prospects.


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