Derick Velazquez didn’t waste much time negotiating.
The former Los Banos High School and Merced College ace was selected in the seventh round of the major-league draft by the Houston Astros on June 6. He made his professional debut 11 days later, pitching for the Tri-City ValleyCats in the Class-A short-season New York-Penn League.
The transition has been smooth for the right-hander. Velazquez has made nine relief appearances, going 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA and two saves. He has allowed three runs in 101/3 innings, striking out 11 and walking two.
The short season ends Sept. 1, giving Velazquez just over two months to get his feet wet in his first minor-league season.
With Curtis Partch (Cincinnati Reds) and Doug Fister (Washington Nationals) pitching in the big leagues, there are nine professional baseball players with local ties. Here’s a look at how the rest of the minor leaguers are doing:
The Atlanta Braves have fought admirably through a string of arm injuries to their starting pitchers. Still, Martin’s numbers have more than earned him a look come September when the big-league rosters expand. The former Dos Palos ace, meanwhile, just keeps plodding along. Martin is 3-3 in his last 10 outings with a 3.77 ERA. Overall, he’s 6-6 with a 3.37 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 115 innings.
The former Merced High hurler’s suspension will end in early August, leaving him a little time to try to salvage 2014.
The impressive thing is that Hagens is finding a way to win. He’s 5-3 over the stretch, improving him to 8-5 on the season.
The start of July hasn’t been as smooth, but the former Buhach Colony star still is showing why he was named the Rays’ 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Floro is 9-8 on the season with a 3.48 ERA and 88 strikeouts to 15 walks.
The transition back hasn’t been as smooth as he hoped. He’s 0-6 in nine starts with Bowling Green, posting a 4.73 ERA. His command has been good, however, striking out 33 while surrendering just seven walks.
The former Buhach Colony left-hander has made six appearances for the Suns, starting four games. He’s 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA but has walked 18 in 252/3 innings.