Carlos Salazar, king of the pitching mound

April 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Kerman baseball team is the defending Valley champion thanks in large part to a large man-sized teenager on the mound.

Kerman ace Carlos Salazar is the best pitcher in the Central Valley, and he could very well be the best pitcher in the state. Standing at six feet one inch tall, the 210 pound flame thrower seems like he's ten feet tall on the mound.

Just ask the Clovis Cougars who he impresed at the Easter Classic back in late March. "Mr. Salazar is, he's going to be a high draft pick. I think he was before this game. Today maybe helped him out a little bit as well. He really showed what he's capable of," said James Patrick, Clovis High School head coach.

"James Patrick, who has over 600 career wins, says 'that's the best pitcher I've ever seen.' That's saying something. I don't need to say it. That's all I needed to hear," said Jay Preuss, Kerman High School head coach.

Dozens of scouts played laser tag with their radar guns -- catching Carlos' fast ball between 95-97 miles-per-hour on this day. But the senior right hander has been known to throw north of 100.

Nick flores is kerman's catcher and has caught Carlos all four years of high school and then some. "I met him in 7th grade and I've caught him. And he's grown so much and I'm proud of him. Like he's got control and everything he gets he deserves."

Carlos Salazar led the Lions to a Valley Championship, and his talents are putting Kerman on the regional and national map. He's a rock star on and off the diamond, but Carlos admits things can be distracting at times.

"It's hard to handle. I'll be honest with you," said Salazar, "It's something you have to have tunnell vision for. It's frustrating but it's the funnest thing I've ever been a part of."

Last fall Salazar signed his letter on intent to play baseball at Fresno State. But with all the scouts and major league teams eyeing this kid with limitless talent, he says his decision will come in due time.

"I'm just enjoying my senior year honestly. I think about it. I mean I'm not going to lie. I think about it every now and then. When the time comes around with my options I'll take one. Can't take both and we'll have fun with it until it gets here."


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