.400 Hitter Keeps Wildcats’ Draft Streak Alive
Outfielder Conor Harber capped a memorable baseball season with Western Nevada College by being selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.
Harber was chosen in the 38th round by the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.
“I’d been talking with a couple of teams, so I knew I had a chance of going,” Harber said.
Harber has several options for next season. He could play another year at WNC, start a pro career in the minors or sign with a four-year school. He said Pac-12 champion Oregon State has expressed interest in him. Former WNC players Brandon Jackson and Beau Day are current members of the Beavers.
“I’m definitely excited for the future,” Harber said.
Even though Harber was chosen late in the draft, the Orioles could convince him to start his professional career by offering a signing bonus.
“They could still offer me money, but we won’t know until they sign their 10-round guys,” Harber said. “We’ll see what happens.”
Harber is the 28th player to be selected in the draft while playing for WNC or after going on to play at a four-year college.
It marked the ninth straight year that the Wildcats have had at least one player taken in the 40-round draft. The 2009 draft was the only other time that the Wildcats didn’t have multiple current or past players selected.
Harber became the first Wildcat player to hit .400 or better. In 58 games, the he batted .411 and his 56 hits included 14 doubles, a school-record 11 triples and four homers. The right fielder led the Wildcats with a .636 slugging average and knocked in 42 runs.
“Harber’s the best position prospect we’ve coached at Western Nevada,” said WNC coach D.J. Whittemore before the three-day draft.
Harber also made five appearances on the mound for the Wildcats. His 0.96 earned run average was the lowest among Wildcat hurlers.
Harber was one of 12 players to earn honorable mention to the 2013 National Junior College Athletic Association All-American team. He also was recognized on the All-Region 18 first team.
In addition, the Wildcats had incoming recruit Jordan Cowan taken in the 37th round by the Seattle Mariners, according to Whittemore. Cowan is a left-handed-hitting shortstop out of Kentlake High School in Kent, Wash.
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