On the mound, Tanner Peters was a dominant pitcher for UNLV, and the numbers are there to prove it.
But when he steps off the mound, he’s short a couple of inches and shy more than a few pounds. The 6-foot right-hander’s weight is listed at 150.
“He’s 160 soaking wet,” Rebels coach Tim Chambers said.
After being selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 16th round of Tuesday’s Major League Baseball first-year player draft, Peters said his size might have been a big issue with baseball scouts.
“That’s why I fell down the draft board,” he said. “If you look at my stats and not my stature, you would think I would go a little higher.”
Peters, 9-4 with a 1.50 ERA for UNLV this season, was named the Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year. He threw eight complete games and never allowed more than three earned runs in any of his 15 starts.
But his next start figures to come in the A’s organization. The junior from Simi Valley, Calif., said he plans to sign with Oakland rather than return to be the Rebels’ ace.
“I’m ready to play pro ball. I can’t really do anything else in college,” Peters said. “I kind of expected to go a little earlier. I wasn’t really going in with high hopes because I didn’t want to get disappointed. But I’m excited.”
Chambers, who coached UNLV to a 33-25 record in his first season, said Peters could have been drafted as high as the fifth round.
“He was the guy we leaned on throughout the season,” Chambers said. “Tanner wants to play, and I support that. I don’t know how much better he can do next year.”
Several players with ties to local high schools also were selected Tuesday.
The Florida Marlins chose Cal State Bakersfield junior outfielder Ryan McIntyre in the 12th round.
McIntyre, a 2008 Coronado graduate, said he “definitely” wants to sign a professional contract.
“I still have to work out my contract and negotiate,” McIntyre said. “But I’m definitely leaning toward signing.”
McIntyre batted .309 with two homers and 25 RBIs this season and led the Roadrunners with 14 stolen bases. He said Florida felt like a perfect fit as he heard his name called.
“I definitely wanted to be drafted by the Marlins,” McIntyre said. “They were the first team that contacted me. It was a surreal feeling, pretty exciting.”
Green Valley third baseman Brett Harrison went to the Detroit Tigers in the 18th round.
Harrison, who also has a scholarship to Hawaii on the table, could not be reached for comment. The deadline to sign a pro deal is Aug. 15.
Rancho left-hander Zak Qualls was taken by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 21st round.
Qualls, who has signed with UNLV, said he plans on fulfilling his commitment to the Rebels. He’s one of seven locals who have signed with UNLV, in addition to at least two others who accepted walk-on invitations.
“To be on the field with eight of your best friends, that’s going to be great,” Qualls said. “People are starting to realize that UNLV is going to be a good program.”
Another UNLV signee, Las Vegas High right-hander Erick Fedde, went to the San Diego Padres in the 24th round.
Fedde said he has not decided on his future.
“I still have to talk with the Padres, but either way it’s going to be great,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation.”
The Dodgers tabbed UNLV junior right-hander Joe Robinson, a former Green Valley and College of Southern Nevada star, in the 29th round.
Brigham Young third-year sophomore right-hander Taylor Cole, a Bishop Gorman product, went to the Toronto Blue Jays later in the 29th.
South Carolina junior left-hander Bryan Harper, a former Las Vegas High and CSN standout, was picked by the Washington Nationals in the 30th round. He is the older brother of Bryce Harper, who went No. 1 overall to Washington in 2010.
The draft concludes today with rounds Nos. 31 to 50.