BC baseball player drafted into the Mariners

Kiel-web copyOne of baseball’s greatest honors is being picked in the annual MLB first-year player draft by a major league team. Recently, one of BC’s best players got to experience that great honor. Pitcher Nick Kiel was recently selected by the Seattle Mariners as the 408th pick in the 18th round of the draft. Nick Kiel joins an elite group of athletes who have the chance to start their major league careers.
Kiel was the only player in the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges to get drafted this year. Kiel led the NWAACC in strikeouts with 95 and also led Bellevue College with seven wins with 7 and was third with BC in ERA with 1.82.
Bellevue College baseball coach Mark Yoshino is proud of Nick for being drafted and is excited to watch his star pitcher rise through the minor league system. Yoshino  says he knows Kiel’s skills better than most people and knows why Kiel should succeed in professional baseball. “He gained a lot of experience this year as our top starting pitcher which will help,” Yoshino said. “He also had the opportunity to pitch against a pro team during our pre-season (a game in which he had success in), which also gave him experience to validate that he can succeed in the minor leagues.” Because of this, Yoshino believes that Kiel is ready for professional baseball.
While Nick was the only player currently in NWAACC to be drafted in this year’s draft, two other BC alumni were also drafted this year. Colin Hering and Matt Cooper were both part of Bellevue College’s 2011 NWAACC championship team. Hering played Center Field for Coastal Carolina University before being selected in the 10th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Cooper was the top pitcher for the University of Hawaii and selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 16th round. Cooper also won an NCAA Player of the Week award while at the University of Hawaii.
Coach Yoshino has seen Nick’s ability firsthand and is convinced that Nick has the potential to be a major leaguer. Yoshino said, “He has a mix of four pitches which all are equivalent to many current major leaguers. He is not lacking in physical talent; he only lacks in professional experience.” Yoshino thinks there is only one thing that can hold Kiel back from making the Majors: “A sense of urgency is the only thing that will limit him. Since he is not signing pro right out of high school, the club will only give him so many years to make it; whereas a younger drafted player who is considered ‘raw’ with more potential generally gets more years to prove himself.”
Kiel also has been offered a scholarship to pitch for the University of Missouri, so he can choose to either sign with the Mariners or go to school for a bit longer and hope to get drafted higher in a couple more years.
Nick may be starting his career as a professional baseball player. Nick joins the likes of other Bellevue College Alumni to get drafted like Evan Meek who was selected to the 2010 MLB All-Star team. Bellevue College currently leads the NWAACC in professional baseball players with six.
Coach Yoshino had some advice for Nick as he starts his professional career: “My advice would be to mentally go out as if he belongs there. He is 21 years old and has already pitched with success against a pro club during our pre-season while here at Bellevue. He needs to just go out and continue as if he’s been in the pros for a full year already.”