Park’s Walter Waiting on the Call

WHEELING – Former Wheeling Park star Corey Walter may get a call he’s waited his whole life for today.

Walter, a junior right-hander at West Virginia University, is considered by Perfect Game USA as WVU’s top draft prospect and its second-best by Baseball America.

He’s listed as a potential pick from the fourth to the 10th round. The first-year player draft began Thursday night with the first two rounds. Rounds four-through 10 are today and it wraps up Saturday with rounds 11-40.

”It’s what I always dreamed about when I was growing up,” Walter said.

He said five or six teams have talked to him but it was mostly about signability and which round he would like to be selected.

That doesn’t mean he won’t be back with Randy Mazey’s club, which has a handful or more of players whose name could be called by various MLB teams.

”I’d like to go play, but I wouldn’t mind having another year at WVU,” Walter said. ”I really like it down there.”

Walter went 5-5 with a 3.65 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 66.2 innings for a surprising Mountaineers club that made a run at a Big 12 championship last month.

As a sophomore, Walter was 6-5 with a 4.58 ERA in 98.1 innings. In 2011, he went 2-4 with 29 strikeouts in 55 innings.

After two-plus years as a starting pitcher, Walter was moved to the bullpen after eight starts this season, mostly because he had a season-long battle to command a third pitch.

”I had success so they kept me there the rest of the year,” he said. ”I enjoyed coming out of there and closing out games.”

Other potential WVU draft picks, according to those lists, are pitcher Harrison Musgrave, the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year, Corey Holmes, Ryan McBroom, Matt Frazer, and Brady Wilson.

”There’s a few of us,” Walter said.

As a senior at Wheeling Park in 2010, Walter was the OVAC Class AAAA Player of the Year. He batted .440 with 48 hits, 13 doubles and four home runs, while driving in 25 and scoring 30. On the mound, he went 8-2, throwing seven complete games in eight starts, including four shutouts. Walter managed five saves and 85 punchouts, and allowed 47 hits and 20 runs – 12 earned – in 63.1 innings.

The last Wheeling Park baseball player to be drafted was J.J. Newman, who was selected by the New York Mets in the 35th round of the 2006 draft.