Kerman High pitcher Carlos Salazar flew across country and back all within a 24-hour span to throw 24 pitches before the Atlanta Braves brain trust.
Salazar, a potential first or second-round pick for next week’s MLB Amateur Draft, was among 20 to 25 players who were invited to Atlanta for a pre-draft workout with the Braves on Tuesday morning.
Salazar’s fastball registered as fast as 93 mph, though he’s thrown as fast as 98 during the season, according to Lions coach Jay Preuss.
The Braves have taken a keen interest in Salazar all year, following him throughout his senior season with as many as three scouts.
“They said they really liked what they saw,” said Preuss, who also flew to Atlanta for Salazar’s workout. Unlike Salazar, though, Preuss’ trip was not paid for by the Braves.
“It was about 6 in the morning California time when he was throwing for them, so he wasn’t at his very best; he wasn’t as alert as he’d usually be,” Preuss added. “I spoke to their West Coast cross checker, talked to the assistant GM. They’re very interested in Carlos.”
The Braves aren’t the only ones.
Salazar, who signed with Fresno State, is scheduled to next pitch before San Francisco Giants personnel at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at AT&T Park.
The Milwaukee Brewers also offered to fly out Salazar for a pre-draft workout, but he declined since it conflicted with Kerman’s graduation Thursday.
Nonetheless, Salazar appears to be leaning heavily on going pro and bypassing college baseball.
“They’ll wait till they have to make that decision sometime after the draft,” Preuss said. “If he’s drafted in the first day, I don’t think he’ll be a Bulldog.”
Salazar finished this past season at 10-2 with a 0.09 ERA and struck out 147 in 44 1/3 innings. He was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year for baseball on Tuesday.