Published June 24th, 2009
Moraga in the Majors Campolindo graduate playing for Chicago White Sox
By Mikaela Cowles
Aaron Poreda was all smiles at spring training Photo provided
Moraga's own Aaron Poreda made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut for the Chicago White Sox on June 12. The 2004 Campolindo High graduate and Diablo Foothill Athletic League's Most Valuable Player was star struck as he emerged from the dugout about three hours before the Sox's faced off against the Tigers. "I can't believe it. I'm living the dream," Poreda said with a smile.
With each advancement of an athlete's career, the pyramid narrows around them and the reality of falling off the steep slope becomes greater. Signing with the University of San Francisco, Poreda began to face better talent, yet he still posted an impressive sub 3.00 ERA in all three seasons he spent with the Dons.
In 2007, at the end of the Poreda's junior season, he entered the MLB draft. The Chicago White Sox's drafted him in the first round as the 25th pick, and he became the second player in Campolindo High School history to play professional baseball.
In making the jump to the minor leagues at 20 years old, many athletes experience a decline in their performance. Poreda was up to the challenge. He earned a 4-0 record with a 1.17 ERA in his rookie season while walking only 10.
Moving between high A-ball and AA Birmingham, he posted a 2.69 ERA in 201 innings for the duration of the minor league season.
Poreda continually pitched a fastball in the 90 mph range during 2009 Spring Training, making the lefty one of the White Sox's top prospects. However, still in need of work on his slider and change-up, he began the season in the minors. Poreda's hard work improved his off speed pitches. With this addition to his arsenal, he became a powerful threat.
When Bartolo Colon was put on injured reserve, Poreda had his chance. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen made it clear this wasn't just a development trip. "You're going to be treated the same way as everyone else," Guillen told Poreda, "If you don't do the job, we have Southwest Airlines waiting for you to go to Charlotte."
Poreda was a successful starter in the Minors, but was happy to fill a bullpen role for the White Sox. "We're just trying to win games," Poreda said, "so I'm doing whatever the White Sox want me to do." Poreda did just that against the Minnesota Twins, as he came on in the seventh inning, striking out the first batter he faced with four fastballs. Poreda threw two and one-third innings, striking out three and giving up one hit before he was pulled.
With his strong debut, Lamorinda can expect Poreda's success to continue as we follow him through the rest of the season.
Aaron with his parents Barbara Anderman and John Poreda at his graduation from Campo in 2004 Photo Nelson Wilkerson

Reach the reporter at:

Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA