Jewish Lefty Picked 7th Overall in MLB Draft
Max Fried is a self proclaimed student of Sandy Koufax
Move over Sandy Koufax, Max Fried is on his way!
Okay, that might be a bit premature, but Fried, a Jewish pitcher chosen seventh overall in the first round of this week’s 2012 Major League Baseball draft, seems to have all the tools needed to make his own mark in the majors.
A 6-4, 170 pound, 18-year-old pitcher from Harvard-Westlake H.S. in Studio City, California, Fried was snapped up by the San Diego Padres of the National League.
Surely fans around the league are waiting with great anticipation until Fried is called up to the Padres where the club’s famous mascot, the San Diego Chicken, will undoubtedly come to be known as the San Diego “Fried” Chicken?
Bad puns aside, Baseball America touted Fried, who went 8 and 2 with a sparkling 2.02 ERA and only 43 hits allowed in 66 innings in his senior year, as one of the highest ranked overall pitchers, and arguably the best southpaw available in this year’s draft.
Fried attributes former MLB great Sandy Koufax, also a Jewish left-handed pitcher, as a key inspiration to his athletic upbringing and pitching style.
"In my opinion, nothing is going to break as much as Sandy Koufax's curveball," Fried told the Los Angeles Times in 2010 "Out of his hand, it seemed just like a fastball and at the last second dropped off. Hitters had no idea what was coming."
As for being drafted by the Padres in the first round, Fried told MLB.com, "Right now, I'm sort of on cloud nine still. Right now, I'm still trying to take in the moment."
Koufax played his entire 12-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers before being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 at age 36, the youngest player ever elected to the Hall.