Rasner about to receive draft notice | NevadaAppeal.com

Rasner about to receive draft notice

Charles Whisnand column

A lot of college students who have just completed their junior year at the University of Nevada have been in the process of temporarily moving back home and Carson High graduate Darrell Rasner is no exception.

But for Rasner, the move back home could be very temporary — like a couple of weeks. Rasner will be taken in Tuesday’s Major League draft and if the 6-3, 215-pound junior right-handed pitcher is taken as high as expected, it’s likely he’ll pass up his senior year at the University of Nevada and begin his professional career this summer.

“It’s going to be a long week,” said Rasner about the days leading up to the draft. “It’s going to be an exciting week. I’m looking forward to it.”

Rasner said he’s heard he could be taken as high as the end of the first round or second round.

“I’m just going to wait and see what happens,” he said. “I’m just going to kick back and let it happen.”

If Rasner is taken that high, he could command a signing bonus as high as seven figures, so it figures he would sign in that scenario. But Rasner isn’t committing to anything, yet.

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“I’m not going to say that now,” said Rasner when asked if he was going to sign. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Rasner also said he hasn’t thought about the money he could sign for.

“I really haven’t thought about the game as a business,” he said. “It’s still a game to me. It’s unreal to talk about that stuff.

“It’s still overwhelming. I’m happy that I’ve got the opportunity I’ve had. I’m just thankful for what I’ve had so far.”

But Rasner is confident that he’s ready to pitch at the professional level.

“I know I’m ready to go to the next level,” Rasner said. “I don’t want to jinx myself, but I feel I’m ready to go.”

Rasner has four pitches — fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. Rasner said he feels he can throw the fastball, curveball and slider at any time, but needs to improve his changeup. Rasner said he said he would like to be able to use his changeup as an “out pitch” for when he’s in trouble.

Major League scouts, though, apparently are impressed enough with Rasner’s changeup. Here’s what the Major League scouting report says about Rasner:

“Strong upper body, solid, rounded shoulders. Build similar to John Smoltz. Fastball runs with sinking action. Quick arm with good follow-through and extension out front. Throws circle change that tumbles and drops. Curveball has downer rotation. Sharp, fast break to slider at end. Great mental toughness.”

At Nevada, Rasner set career records for wins (28), strikeouts (302) and innings pitched (341). Rasner went 6-8 with a 3.70 earned run average and 109 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings this past season.

MERCER UPDATE

Carson High graduate Joe Mercer has signed a letter of intent to play baseball for Division I Arkansas State, a member of the Sunbelt Conference. Mercer, a catcher, earned all-conference second team honors this past season as a sophomore at American River Community College in Sacramento.

The San Francisco Giants drafted Mercer in the 30th round last year in what’s called a draft and follow. The Giants can still try to sign Mercer, but if they don’t sign him before Tuesday’s draft, they will lose the rights to him.

Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor.