Like his fellow Southern Lee graduate now pitching in the Pirates’ farm system, writer and analyst Carlos Collazo has found success in the world of Major League Baseball

By Jonathan Owens

When baseball fans in Sanford tuned in to Major League Baseball’s draft coverage last July to find out where hometown boy Thomas Harrington was heading, they witnessed a convergence of local baseball success on a national stage. On ESPN’s and the MLB Network’s national telecast to provide his insight on Harrington and all of that day’s picks was Carlos Collazo, like Harrington a graduate of Southern Lee High School (2012) and like Harrington, a young man making it big in America’s Pastime.

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Collazo has risen through the ranks of baseball prospect punditry in short order and is now a national writer for Baseball America, one of the foremost authorities in the sport.

Growing up in Sanford, Collazo developed a love of the sport on the fields at Deep River-Northview.

“I always played baseball growing up,” he said. “I love baseball. Once I realized that, at some point, the playing career was going to come to an end, I tried to figure out how to stay involved in the game.”

He also loved writing, and in high school, he wrote blogs about the Atlanta Braves while playing for the Cavaliers. He credits his mom, educator Kim Collazo, for instilling a love of reading and writing in him at an early age.

“She always encouraged me to be creative and to write and I think in high school, she really pushed me to start my blog,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I like writing. I like baseball. Why don’t I try this?’ So I just kind of started doing it as a hobby in high school. And then it turned into a job.”

That love of writing served him well at the Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper at UNC-Chapel Hill. He credits his four years covering all sports at the paper with allowing him to build up the portfolio to score an internship at Baseball America, which is headquartered in nearby Durham.

“I think I was probably more dedicated to the DTH than my classes, which was maybe at times not beneficial,” he said. “But I think, looking back now, it probably was the right path.”

He covered many sports at UNC, including the infamous 2016 NCAA Championship game where Kris Jenkins sank a 40-footer at the buzzer to lift Villanova over the Tar Heels. But his first love was baseball.

A full-time job opened up at Baseball America just as he graduated, and he jumped on it. Collazo has been building his career there ever since and is now respected nationally for his insight on baseball prospects. The past year marked the sixth year he has appeared on nationally televised MLB Draft coverage.

He said it was “awesome” to get to talk about his hometown and Southern Lee on this year’s show.

“It’s fun in general to watch the draft and watch these guys have the biggest days of their life,” he said. “But when Thomas (Harrington) was picked, it was definitely a little bit more for me just knowing that everyone in Sanford was probably watching it and just seeing the success that he had had in his career and just being able to talk a little bit about him. From my perspective, it was really cool.”

The television appearances are nice, but his love of writing remains strong. He said he doesn’t see a jump to TV in his future anytime soon, though Baseball America does afford him opportunities beyond writing. He currently hosts a popular podcast for the outlet as well.

“I really like where I’m at. I don’t think that TV comes naturally to me. It’s definitely a learning curve for me still, but the ability to be at Baseball America and try to be an expert in a very niche area, which is prospects in general. And then more specifically, the draft that I’m doing, I think, is a really cool opportunity.

“I just kind of want to keep doing what I’m doing and improving it as a writer and as an evaluator, and we’ll see where it takes me.”