Darrell Moody: Carson City’s WNC makes impact in draft
Kudos to Western Nevada College’s baseball program for having a past player and current star selected in this week’s amateur baseball draft.
Conor Harber, who played two years at WNC before departing for Oregon, has now been chosen three straight years.
He pitched for the Ducks this year, but I was always amazed by his hitting, and outfield play at WNC. It surprises me the Ducks didn’t give him a shot as a DH or part-time outfielder.
Harber didn’t pitch much his freshman year at WNC, but was 8-0 as a sophomore. From an experience point of view, if I’m Harber I go back to Oregon and get another year of college ball. I think he needs to become a better pitcher.
“Conor really made some huge strides this year on the mound,” WNC coach D.J. Whittemore said in a school press release. “It isn’t surprising because he is such a competitor and can elevate his game. Couple that with great coaching and being surrounded by Pac-12 teammates, it’s no wonder he increased his draft stock.”
D.J. Peters, who was tabbed by the Rangers, has now been drafted two straight years. Peters has been drafted in the 36th round both years which won’t net him a lot of money, so I expect him to be back in a WNC uniform next year.
Peters hit seven homers and drove in 39 runs for Whittemore last season, and I expect those numbers to improve next season.
“D.J. made a big difference in our program,” Whittemore said. “Possibly his future is on the mound, but that’s really hard to say at this point because he has speed, power and is an excellent defender.”
And, speaking of Whittemore, it will be interesting to see if Nevada will even give him an interview for its head coaching job.
Whittemore certainly is capable of coaching at the four-year level, but to get a D-I job from a JC would be a pretty giant leap.
If I’m Whittemore, given the uncertainty of the WNC program, I’d be looking into every opening in the country. There isn’t too much more he can accomplish except win the World Series, but just getting there three times is a significant accomplishment.
My only knock on Whittemore is he didn’t go after enough Northern Nevada players.
Take Brock Pradere for instance. The kid led the state in stolen bases this year while at Ohlone, and is a good athlete.
Frankly, it’s tough for some people to support the program WNC has when most of the players come from everywhere but Northern Nevada.
Speaking of Pradere, Siena University was showing some interest in the former CHS star.
Where he ends up is anybody’s guess.