Brandon's Velez honored with Saladino Award

By KATHERINE SMITH, Bright House Sports Network
Last Updated: Sunday, June 26, 2016, 7:12 PM EDT

Brandon High pitcher Antonio Velez was surprised on Sunday at the home of Tony Saladino.

Velez won the 46th annual Tony Saladino Memorial Baseball Award, presented to the top player in Hillsborough County.

The senior was recognized for a stellar season where he helped lead the Eagles to the Class 7A regional finals with a 0.92 ERA, including 151 strikeouts. Velez also had one of the Eagles top batting averages (.400) that included a team-high 16 RBI and two home runs.

Past winners of the Saladinao Award, which is named for the Bay Area baseball advocates late father, include Florida Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers, Gary Sheffield and Tino Martinez.