Sport Shorts: July 6


Nolan Ryan & Collin Wiles.

Blue Valley West graduated senior Collin Wiles was taken with the 53rd pick in the recent Major League Baseball’s First Year Player Draft by the Texas Rangers.

This is the highest pick ever for a Blue Valley, Olathe or Shawnee Mission district baseball player.

And Wiles was surprised with his high pick.
“I was surprised,” he says. “Not because I got drafted but because the communications we had with the Rangers right before their pick made it seem like I would be taken later.

“So hearing my named called that high was very cool and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I had a bunch of my friends over and as soon as my name was called, there was a loud roar and I was under a dog pile. It was a feeling I’ll never forget.”

Wiles signed with the Rangers on June 13 for $1.152 million according to the Dallas Morning News.

“It has always been my dream to pitch in the big leagues,” he says. “That’s still my dream. But it was very cool to see and hear my name get called at number 53. That is a great step in achieving my goals for sure.”

Veteran Blue Valley West coach Bill McDonald says, “Collin has pitched in such a positive way for our team and himself. He is just a baseball player who likes baseball and likes to be around baseball and all the sounds and humor of baseball.

“He is a great competitor on the mound and has the ability to elevate his pitching when he gets into trouble. He has a great deal to work on to improve, but he will absorb all the Rangers have to offer him and grow in his game.”



In addition to being drafted No. 53 in the baseball draft, Collin Wiles was picked as the Kansas Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year.

His senior record was 9-0 with an earned run average of 0.12. He had six straight shutouts to end the season, not allowing a run in the last 43 innings. He struck out 87 and walked just nine in 56 1/3-innings of pitching.

He played shortstop when not pitching, hitting .375 with 11 RBIs.



Collin Wiles wasn’t the only area player taken in the baseball draft.
St. Thomas Aquinas graduated senior outfielder Clayton Henning was drafted in the 11th round by the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Seattle Mariners took Missouri University senior Blake Holovach in the 27th round. The left-handed pitcher played at Blue Valley West.
Another former Jaguar, Kansas State senior catcher Dan Klein, was picked by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 28th round.

Blue Valley graduated senior Hayden Edwards was picked by the Royals in the 31st round.



“A father can make no more serious error than striving to make his son like himself.”
– author Jack McDevitt, “Echo”