With graduation not far behind him, former Linfield student K.C. Wiser was drafted to the Texas Rangers organization during the 50th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. The 2011 Linfield College graduate received the news on June 8.
Playing for Linfield since he was a freshman, Wiser was an all-around athlete and also a key player for the Wildcats’ basketball program. Due to an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament, his baseball season ended early and he had to get surgery in 2009. Despite the injury, Wiser was still able to play a small part in his season senior year, only participating in six innings. In those six innings, Wiser had six strikeouts and ten walks.
With all the hard work he put out during his college career, he explains the differences in professional baseball and college ball.
“Professional baseball is different than Linfield baseball in a number of different ways. In professional ball you obviously have just one focus: the game. At Linfield, you have to worry about when you will have time to type that paper, research, study for that test and then also baseball. The main focus is clearly different. One is to get an education, the other is to get better at whatever position you play,” Wiser explained in an email. “Another difference is the intensity of the coaching. Not to take anything away from the coaching at Linfield, but I had two pitching coaches devoted to just pitching and helping us get better. Baseball and developing players is their main focus all day long.”
Though the pro level of baseball is very different from that of his Linfield career, Wiser said that it did prepare him.
“Linfield baseball prepared me for the draft since I had a lot of downtime at Linfield. In being a reliever as opposed to a starter, like I had originally come to Linfield as, I had to get adjusted to the uncertainty of if or when I was going to pitch,” he said. “In the level I was playing at for the Rangers, I had an idea of when I was going to pitch, so all the extra downtime wasn’t much of a problem.”
With the success of being drafted, Wiser passes on his words of advise to other baseball players who hope to play professionally someday. His advice has words of encouragement and reminds athletes to just have fun.
“The advice I’d give aspiring baseball players is to never get down on yourself and try to keep things in perspective. Avoid being too high and avoid being too low on yourself in regards to how you play. If you have the ability
someone will find you. Also, enjoy your time at Linfield since the guys
on the team are there for you regardless.”
Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.