Over the past two years, I have heard a lot of muttering from out-of-state club ball programs and naysayers making claims that our local high school and college baseball coaches don’t care about Nevada players and don’t do anything to help Nevada players get into college and/or play professional baseball. (The motivation of these folks is a rant left for another day.) Not only are the claims wrong, the number of Nevadans playing ball show otherwise and Nevada coaches should take personal offense to what these folks are saying. One could actually say, Nevada baseball coaches consistently hit it out of the ballpark and the proof is sitting in the dugouts.
I recently evaluated Coach Richard Ebarb’s coaching stats. To put his coaching career in perspective, Coach Ebarb’s credentials over the past 25+ years of coaching include being the current high school assistant coach at Coronado HS, a former high school head/assistant coach (Green Valley, Bishop Gorman, Chaparral, Durango, Eldorado), a former assistant college coach (CSN, Santa Barbara CC), head coach of a NBC team (Henderson Bighorns), and former professional assistant scout (Yankees, Braves).
In reviewing the past year of Coach Ebarb’s coaching career, he can be directly credited for coaching 21 players who are currently playing college ball and 11 players who are currently playing professional ball, 3 of whom are in the MLB. There are countless more players who have achieved baseball success over the past 25+ years of his coaching timeline and it would literally take yearbooks from all of the schools he has coached at to track everyone down – a task too daunting even for me.
I am, however, able to provide some additional insight on the overall success of Nevada’s coaches thanks to the diligent work by Craig Sheff and his website www.CraigsChinMusic.com - I highly recommend you check it out! Craig has tracked all of the Nevada baseball players who have been drafted dating back to 1965. His lists are broken down by Nevada high schools and include data on who is currently playing in college and professionally.
Here are the numbers according to Craig’s stats:
Native Nevadans currently playing in College: 447 total
Clark County: 290
All Other NV Counties: 157
Native Nevadans Professionally Drafted since 1965: 472 total
Clark County: 352
All Other NV Counties: 120
2015 Nevada Draft Picks: 20 total
Native Nevadans currently playing Pro Ball: 62 total
Clark County: 47
All Other NV Counties: 15
Players from NV Colleges Currently Playing Pro Ball (natives and non-natives): 57 total
Western Nevada: 8
Of the two groups currently playing Pro Ball (there is some cross-over), 22 are playing at the Major League level.
The 3 top performing high school baseball programs in Clark County (based solely on the number of athletes currently playing college baseball) are Bishop Gorman (26), Cimarron-Memorial (23) and Coronado (21). Several other schools with competitive baseball programs are in a close tie: Palo Verde (17), Basic (16), Shadow Ridge (16), Arbor View (15), Faith Lutheran (15), Green Valley (15), Liberty (15), and Centennial (14). Keep in mind, the average high school varsity baseball team only has 15-20 players - so most end up playing in College.
If you are not impressed by now, consider this comparison with Orange County, California, a baseball hot bed with a larger population than all of Nevada combined. There are currently 447 native Nevadans playing college ball compared to Orange County’s 741 players. Nevada only has 4 colleges with baseball programs while Orange County has 17 colleges with baseball programs, of which 7 are junior colleges and 3 are top ranked, 4-year D-1 programs that include Pepperdine, UC Irvine, and Cal State Fullerton.
Nevada – 2.8 million
California – 38 million
Clark County – 2.1 million
Orange County – 3.1 million
Natives Currently Playing College
Orange County only – 741
Junior Colleges with baseball programs
Nevada – 2 total(all D-1)
Orange County only – 7 total (all CAC)
4-Year Colleges with baseball programs
Nevada – 2 total (all D-1)
Orange County only – 10 total (3 D-1, 1 D-2, 4 D-3, 2 NAIA)
With 13 more college baseball programs available seeking out local Orange County talent, Orange County only has 294 more native athletes playing college ball as compared to Nevada. Statistically comparing Orange County to Nevada based on the ratio of players to colleges, Orange County’s number should be closer to 1,900 players based on Nevada’s ratio ((447/4) x 17), or alternatively, Nevada’s number should be closer to 175 players based on Orange County’s ratio ((741/17)x4).
Unless you want to credit immaculate baseception, our Nevada coaches have been doing something right and should be given due credit for their efforts. Nevada is its own baseball hot bed of talent thanks in large part to our hard working and talented coaches!
So wave off the naysayers and out-of-towners, grab your peanuts and cracker jacks, and let’s root, root, root for our Nevada coaches and players. See you at the ballpark!