Our Baseball Players Go Pro

1aaaaaBy Harrison Howard

Several baseball players from College of Southern Nevada were drafted by major league teams.

Head Baseball Coach Nick Garritano had 12 players drafted during the five years he’s led the Coyotes.

Bryce Harper, outfielder for CSN in 2010, was notably one of the most successful athletes drafted from the school’s program. He went to play for Washington Nationals and was MVP of the National League last season.

Phil Bickford, pitcher who played for CSN last year, was drafted in the first round by the San Francisco Giants.

1aaaaaaaAdditionally Chasen Shreve, who pitched for CSN in 2010, was drafted in the 20th round by the Atlanta Braves and now pitches for the New York Yankees.

One of the reasons CSN’s program has been so successful, beyond the players’ talents and capabilities, is the unique rule by the MLB that allows junior-college athletes the ability to be drafted after each season.

At four-year colleges players have to wait until their junior or senior years are complete. In high-school, baseball players are allowed to be drafted after their senior years.

“I believe this has a lot to do with why any junior college program is successful,” Garritano said. “If this rule was not in place, I’m not sure how high the talent level would be at the junior college level.”

Blake Wiggins is one of those athletes who transferred to a junior college to avoid having to wait until his junior or senior year at a university to be selected.

Wiggins was drafted out of high school but chose to pursue a scholarship at University of Arkansas. “I wanted to go to college, get the experience and grow as a player before entering professional baseball,” Wiggins said.

He later decided waiting two years at University of Arkansas to be drafted was too long. He chose CSN as a springboard to attain his education while preparing for the draft. He currently plays third base for the college team. It’s likely he will be selected by a major league team in June.

Another benefit of being on CSN’s team is the chance to play right away. “Sometimes at a division-one school a young man has to wait a couple years to get the opportunity to play,” Garritano said. This time on the field makes a big difference to a player and prepares him for his next step in his playing career.

Dexter Irvin, director of athletics and recreation at CSN, echoes similar sentiments to Garritano that players come to CSN to gain experience and improve their positions in the drafts. He also wants his players to focus on their schooling. “We are utilizing athletics as a vehicle to get students to come to CSN, continue doing what they love—and are good at—and get a great formal education,” Irvin said.

 

 

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