by Jim Holland
Art Salazar Jr, a 6-6, 220-pound pitcher has signed his contract to return to play for a second consecutive Prospect League season with the West Virginia Miners in 2017. His signing was announced by the Miners organization on the morning of February 28 as the 15th of the many individual contract signings expected to be periodically unveiled by the Beckley, WV based team over the next several months.
Salazar, a resident of Cypress, CA, appeared in 18 games (2 starts) for the Miners last year in the their march to the 2016 Prospect League Championship. The big right-hander logged 35.1 innings of work that saw him fashion a 1-3 record and one save. He struck out 26 hitters versus 18 walks on the season enroute to finishing with a 4.79 earned run average on the year.
Salazar’s signing makes him the sixth returning team member from last year’s title team announced so far by the Miners as slated to be in Beckley again this summer, joining fellow returnees Austin Norman, Chris Metrick, Dan Ward, Taylor Hillson, and Michael Syrett on that list.
He is currently playing his sophomore season for Hope International University, an NAIA school playing in the Golden State Athletic Conference. Through games of February 25, the Royals are sporting a 9-3 record on the 2017 spring season with Salazar appearing in three games, all in relief.
His 2016 freshman season at Hope International saw him appear in 12 games (5 starts). He finished with a 2-2 record in 31.2 innings of work that saw him set down 24 hitters via the strikeout route while yielding 21 walks.
The Prospect League is the premier collegiate wood bat summer baseball league in the Midwest. It has been operating in its current form since 2009 while serving the summer baseball needs of top collegiate players. The 2016 Prospect League title won by the Miners was the team’s third league championship in the last five seasons.
Season-long box seats and other ticket packages for the West Virginia Miners are already on sale for the 2017 Prospect League season, which begins on May 30 while the Miners home opener will be on June 1 versus the Butler (PA) Blue Sox. Persons needing more information on the Miners can contact the team either by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone at 304-252-7233.