Michaelangelo Guzman was on the doorstep of the United States armed forces, but instead he decided to chase his dreams on the baseball diamond.
Last week it all paid off.
The Soledad High School graduate and former Watsonville Aggie was taken in the 31st round by the Seattle Mariners with the 927th pick in the 2013 MLB Draft.
The 22-year-old walked an interesting path to reach his ultimate goal of making the major leagues.
He played his high school baseball at Soledad where he is still the all-time leader in strikeouts. In his senior year he tallied 100 strikeouts and kept a 1.99 ERA. After graduating from Soledad, Guzman continued playing at Hartnell and joined the Aggies. The left-hander was a major contributor to the Aggies team that played in the Babe Ruth World series in 2010 and placed third.
Yet for all the success that he had, Guzman ended up giving up baseball for months until the day came when he was about to ship out for the army.
“He called me and asked me if he thought that he was good enough to keep going with baseball,” said Alex Rivera, Guzman’s old coach with the Aggies. “I just told him the truth, I said yes.”
So Guzman dropped the armed forces and began to work out and get back in shape. For seven months he readied his body and pitches, which include a blazing 93 MPH fastball, and once he got a work out with the Mariners he impressed them enough to select him in this year’s draft.
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