Interview With USA Baseball Alum and 2013 MLB Draft Prospect Christian Pelaez

By Andrew Martin
Twitter: @HistorianAndrew

Most high school baseball players struggle to make varsity and get into college, where if they are lucky they might continue being able to play ball. Two months into his senior year, left-handed pitcher Christian Pelaez not only has all of that under control, he’s developed renown so great that he has already been featured on an assortment of baseball cards. Needless to say, he is not your average high school baseball player.

Pelaez has become one of the top prep players in the country pitching for Florida Christian High School in Miami. Eliciting comparisons to Washington Nationals southpaw Gio Gonzalez, Pelaez committed to LSU for next year, but depending on what happens during the 2013 MLB Draft those plans could change. He already is better known than most high school players thanks to the baseball cards he’s had in Topps, Bowman, and Panini sets; a distinction many seasoned professionals can’t claim. But it is his skill as a player that will make him a top draft choice or one of the best college players in the country.

Even with his busy schedule as a student athlete, Pelaez recently took the time to answer some questions I had for him about baseball and what he sees in his future. Whether you pick up some of his cards or check out one of his games, Pelaez is definitely a prospect worth keeping tabs on.

Who is your favorite player, and why? My favorite ball player is Gio Gonzalez, just because he came from my hometown of Miami and is a lefty pitcher that I have gotten a lot of comparisons to!

What are your plans for college or the draft?
Right now I am committed to play ball at LSU. I sign in November, but when the draft comes we will climb that hurdle when it gets here. Depending on the money and where I am as a player I will see if I sign.

How difficult is it to balance school and the work it takes to maintain your status as a top baseball prospect?
It isn’t very hard at all; I just have to stay disciplined through the school year and be responsible because it won’t get any easier at LSU.

What was it like to have mainstream baseball cards while still in high school? What kind of reaction did you get from classmates?
It is kind of surreal. I get fan mail and stuff from fans wanting me to sign them all the time. My friends find it pretty cool; they always mess with me about them!
Check out Christian’s Baseball Cards By Clicking Here

Which pitches do you throw; and which is your best; and which do you believe needs the most work?
I throw four pitches; I have a fastball, curveball, changeup, and slider. No doubt my best pitch is my curveball. I feel like I can throw it at any time. My changeup needs the most work; I just need to be a little more consistent with it.

Can you talk a little bit about what the recruitment and scouting process has been like?
The process has been a little bit of a rollercoaster ride. It has been amazing and I’m blessed to be in this position. It is always fun for any player. I just want to have a solid senior year and see where it takes me.

Have you had the opportunity to get any instruction from current or former major league players?
I’ve gotten some instruction from Livan Hernandez. He trains in the off-season in Miami, and him and my dad are good friends, so I have tossed with him a couple times!

In a perfect world, Christian Pelaez will get drafted by…
In a perfect world Christian Pelaez will get drafted by the Boston Red Sox!

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