Freeman, Fried, d’Arnaud, Matzek: Braves with SoCal ties

Freeman Fried dArnaud Matzek Braves with SoCal ties

Max Fried pitches for Harvard-Westlake during a Southern Section Division 2 playoff game against Ventura in 2012.

(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Fried is the last athlete still active from now-closed Van Nuys Montclair Prep, which produced such stars at Torey Lovullo, Brad Fullmer and Toi Cook.

Fried transferred to Harvard-Westlake for his senior year in 2011 after Montclair Prep dropped its sports program and was a first-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres after being teammates with future first-round picks Lucas Giolito and Jack Flaherty.

Fried, a left-handed pitcher, grew up admiring the curveball of Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, even though Koufax had been retired for decades. He’s been perfecting the pitch since he was 12. He even wrote a report on Koufax in elementary school.

“I think I got an A,” Fried said in a 2010 interview.

Fried and Giolito were UCLA signees who were supposed to head the 20`11 recruiting class for UCLA coach John Savage. Instead, they quickly became major league stars.

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