"It's always been my dream to play D-I baseball. I actually wanted to try to walk on to Fresno State straight out of high school but I wanted to have a chance to get a scholarship by going through the junior college route."
Derick Velazquez went 11-0 in his one season at Merced College. The Baltimore Orioles took him in the 15th round, knowing they'd have to pay a lot of money to sign him.
"It's around 500...500,000," he smiled, adding, "A few scouts that were giving me advice, they were letting me know that if the money wasn't right, going to school and having an opportunity to get better and go higher was okay to do."
And that's what he's doing, with no regrets.
Two years ago, Derick Velazquez was starring for Los Banos High. Next year, and potentially for two more years after that since he'll have three years of eligibility, he'd like to do the same for Fresno State.
"I think we've got several guys that are gonna fight it out for that Friday night job," said Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole via phone, since he's on the road recruiting right now. "It won't just be (Tyler) Linehan and Velazquez, I think we might have four or five guys fighting it out for that job."
Says Velazquez, "I'm not sure about being the ace because they have one pitcher that's doing pretty good. I could compete for that spot with him but they would like me to be maybe a Saturday starter.
"The door is just opened. I still have a whole flight of stairs to get to where I want to be."