Pelaez looking forward to opportunity at LSU

Florida Christian Academy LHP Christian Pelaez signed with LSU during the early signing period in November. The talented prospect spoke with TSD's Austin Cooper about his future at LSU and what his stance on the draft currently is.

LSU signee Christian Pelaez has had his life dominated by baseball over the course of the last year. When he signed with the Tigers in November it allowed him to focus on enjoying his senior year at Florida Christian Academy in Miami, Fl. The 6-0 175 pound Pelaez has had to deal with a few speed bumps throughout his final high school season, including dealing with a coaching change. His workload has also been cut back a bit this year because his coaching staff doesn't want to overwork the talented left-hander. Regardless of obstacles that have popped up, Pelaez is making the most of the 2013 high school season.

"This year we had to find a new coach for this season," Pelaez told TSD. "We had a big hole there and several players left the school because of it, but I decided to stick around. We started off 10-3, but we are on a six game losing streak. I've been throwing the ball well, but I've only thrown three games."

"The coaches have wanted to take it easy on me a little bit because I've been playing so much baseball. We have a few games left and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season."

With regards to his recruitment, Pelaez had plenty of options to choose from when he finally picked LSU. Some of the schools besides LSU that were after Pelaez included Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and Clemson.

While he had offers from some very impressive programs, Pelaez eventually narrowed his list down to a pair of SEC schools before putting in the call to Paul Mainieri to end his recruitment following a visit to Baton Rouge. The combination of the atmosphere around LSU and the chance at a championship were too much to pass on for Pelaez.

"I narrowed it down to LSU, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and Clemson," said Palaez. "My finalists were MSU and LSU. LSU was actually my last recruiting visit and when I hit campus I knew right away that I wanted to be there."

"Coach Mainieri broke everything down for me and I knew that it presented the best opportunity for me. I want to compete for a national title and eventually play professional baseball. There is no question that LSU gives me the best opportunity to do that."

LSU coach Javi Sanchez was in charge of the recruitment of Pelaez for the Tigers. The two immediately formed a tight relationship because of similar backgrounds, something that continues to grow through weekly conversations. Pelaez also explained that he speaks to other members of the LSU staff on a regular basis.

"I've been in contact with Coach Sanchez a lot," said Pelaez. "We come from a similar background down here in Florida. Coach Sanchez and Coach [Alan] Dunn stay in constant contact with me to see how everything is going. Coach Mainieri likes to check in on my family and I a lot. I would say I talk to all three on a weekly basis."

With LSU possibly losing starter Ryan Eades after the 2013 season to the Major League Baseball Draft, Pelaez believes that he has an opportunity to come in and contribute early for the Tigers. While he hopes to contribute early, Pelaez knows that it is up to him to put in the hard work that will be required to become an early contributor for LSU.

"When I had my meeting with Coach Mainieri and Coach Dunn, they told me that I hold my destiny in my own hands," said Pelaez. "Coach Dunn said I could be a starter or come out of the bullpen."

"He said it would be about how I performed in the fall. I've been a starter all of my life so that is what I'm going for when I get there."

With the draft always being a factor in players making to a college campus, Pelaez is yet another LSU prospect that is being courted by professional organizations. Although he has been in talks with scouts, Pelaez believes that things are still in the very early stages of the draft process for him.

"I've had a couple of meetings and contact with area scouts," said Pelaez. "I've gotten letters from organizations. Once I get in more contact, I'll see what they say."

Even though the contact from professional organizations has been nice for Pelaez, he is only thinking about LSU at this point. According to Pelaez, his family has made it clear which route they hope he decides to take.

"Right now, I'm only thinking about LSU," said Pelaez. "My parents have made it clear to me that they want me to go to college and get the experience and get a good education. I have told the scouts that college is very important to me. We will just have to see when the draft rolls around."

In terms of what it would take to keep him from going to LSU, Pelaez explained that it would take something that far outweighs the great opportunity that he has waiting for him in Baton Rouge.

"It would take a lot to not go to college," said Pelaez. "I love everything about LSU, from the coaches to the players. For me to not go to LSU, it would have to be something extremely special."

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