MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When Major League Baseball holds its 2020 Draft this week, we should be hearing a few University of Miami Hurricanes come off the board, including Freddy Zamora.
CBS4 sports anchor Mike Cugno caught up with the talented shortstop who could be next in a long line of South Florida stars to make it to the big leagues.
“When did you start playing shortstop?” asked Cugno.
“When I first started playing shortstop, my dad put me there and he said you’re going to play short and I said alright,” he replied.
For Zamora that “alright” could be a million-dollar decision. Born in Nicaragua, he who grew up playing in South Florida, worked his way to UM and is now anxiously awaiting the June 10 draft.
Baseball is a family business for Zamora. He’s following in his father’s footsteps who was a pro-ball player in Nicaragua.
“He was an outfielder over there. He played for a while. He was one of the better players from what I’ve heard,” he said.
Freddy isn’t so bad himself. He’s considered a top 100 prospect in a year where the draft has been trimmed down from 40 rounds to just five in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Between his freshman and sophomore years at UM, he started more than 100 games, batted a clean 300 with more than 120 hits, and sported quick instincts up the middle at short. But this rising star hit a speed bump before his junior year during practice running to first.
“I hip-checked the first baseman. It was kind of a bad throw. My leg just went out and it gave out on me,” recalled Zamora. “I tore my ACL completely so they had to get my quad tendon and put it back there and replace that with a quad tendon.”
Zamora is now sporting a few more scars but also has another permanent marking that keeps him focused on the present. A tattoo that simply reads NOW.
“Now with this rehab going on it’s a good reminder to do everything you can. Don’t leave anything for the next day,” he said.
Zamora missed the 2020 season due to the ACL injury.
As a reminder to major league teams just how dedicated and talented he is, Zamora’s agent put together a video so clubs to see how far he’s come in just a few months.
“What are scouts telling you, what do they want to see?” asked Cugno.
“Right now, just get healthy. They want to see me healthy. they want to see me back doing the things I was doing before. That’s what I want to show them. That I’m stronger. That I’m getting back stronger than ever,” he said.
Three months into rehab he’s progressing towards running and throwing again, eager to get back on the field.
“It feels great,” he said. “I just want to play already.”