SPOKANE, Wash. - The Colorado Rockies selected Whitworth University’s Joel Condreay in the 31st round of the 2018 Major League draft with the 936th overall pick on Wednesday afternoon, marking the first time that two Pirate baseball players have been selected in the same draft.
Condreay becomes the sixth player in Whitworth history taken in the MLB draft, joining teammate Hugh Smith, selected by the Detroit Tigers in the sixth round on Tuesday.
“I want to thank my parents for all they’ve done for me,” Condreay said. “I also want to thank Coach Ramsay and Coach Perry for the opportunity to play at Whitworth and the Rockies organization for the chance to continue playing baseball.”
Condreay, who played mostly shortstop at Whitworth, was drafted as a pitcher. Condreay began to appear on scouts’ radar last fall when those scouts came out to watch Smith. On a whim Condreay asked to throw as well and was clocked in the mid-90’s with his fastball.
Condreay was announced as a 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America® Division III baseball honoree on Tuesday morning. He led the Pirates in batting average (.355), on-base percentage (.438) and slugging average (.532) in 2018. He also led the squad in doubles (16) and runs batted in (27). Condreay made four relief appearances on the mound. He graduated in May as an accounting major.
With Smith and Condreay added to the list, Whitworth has now had six players selected in the MLB draft. The Philadelphia Phillies took Matt Squires in the 19th round of the 2001 draft. The first three Whitworth players drafted were all taken by the Chicago Cubs organization: Mark Linden in the 31st round of the 1989 draft; Bob Mandeville in the 26th round of the 1984 draft; and James Travis in the 28th round of the 1975 draft.
None of the previous four Pirates selected in the MLB draft ever made it to the major leagues. Only two former Whitworth players have played in the majors. Ray Washburn pitched 10 seasons (1961-70), nine with the St. Louis Cardinals and one with the Cincinnati Reds. He went 72-64 with a career ERA of 3.53. Washburn, who led the Pirates to the 1960 NAIA baseball championship, started two games in the 1968 World Series and went 1-1.
Bill Kelso, a teammate of Washburn's for one year at Whitworth (1959), pitched three seasons for the California Angels from 1966-68. His career record was 12-5 with a 3.13 ERA. He also had 12 saves.
Condreay expects to find out his minor league assignment in the next couple of days. One possibility is Boise, where the Hawks are Colorado’s representative in the Northwest League.