Pack’s Schmidt signs with Diamondbacks
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Nevada catcher Konrad Schmidt signed a professional baseball contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.
Because Schmidt was a fifth-year senior, he didn’t have to wait for the upcoming college draft to sign with a team.
Schmidt, who transferred to Nevada from the University of Arizona, hit .349 with a team-high eight homers and 47 RBI. He played two years at Santa Rosa Junior College, one of the top JC programs in California.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Schmidt said in a telephone interview Tuesday morning. “They offered me a contract Sunday after the (WAC championship) game. The scout saw me play at UC Riverside, and then he was here for the whole tournament last weekend.”
Schmidt will leave for extended spring training next Monday or Tuesday, and then go to Missoula. Mont. to play in Rookie League or Yakima, Wa. for short-season Single-A ball.
It’s a dream come true for Schmidt, who was twice honored as the WAC Hitter of the Week this season. He was arguably the best catcher in the conference, and the only reason he wasn’t all conference were two tags at home that ended in ejections.
“I’ve been waiting for this for five years,” Schmidt said. “It finally happened, and I’m pretty excited. I didn’t have to wait for the draft.”
Schmidt credits Nevada and coach Gary Powers for getting to this position.
“If I stayed at Arizona, I wouldn’t be in this situation,” said Schmidt, another highly successful senior transfer that ended up playing for Powers. “Gary Powers gave me an opportunity to play, and it worked out for me. Nevada has been a pretty special place for me.
“I was so beat up physically and mentally, as I was driving through the desert, I thought this might be it. Coach Powers called me and offered an opportunity to play. I love this area.”
Schmidt will now go from aluminum bats to wood bats, but he doesn’t appear to be bothered by the transformation.
“I’ve hit a lot with wood,” Schmidt said. “I’ve played in the Northwoods League the last two summers, so that’s about 140 games right there.”
• Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal..com, or by calling (775) 881-1281