PCC and MVHS product Eric Fredrick makes most of opportunity with Rays

Posted by : | On : 08-27-2013 | Comments (1)
Former Marana Mountain View High School pitcher Eric Fredrick and Major League Scout J.D. Elliby first met at a scout day put on by the Tucson Baseball Academy when Fredrick was 16-years-old.

Little did they know their paths would cross again seven years later in Oklahoma, bringing a life-changing event to Fredrick.

Elliby, who is currently an area scout for the Tampa Bay Rays in Oklahoma, invited Fredrick to a pre-draft workout after the left-handed pitcher had completed his senior season at Oklahoma Baptist University.

“As fate would have it the same scout that came and saw me back when I was 16 turned out to be the area scout for Oklahoma,” Fredrick said. “He remembered my name and invited me to a pre-draft workout to give me a shot. I threw a bullpen for them and (the Rays) offered me a contract about two weeks later.”

Since that memorable day, Fredrick has run with the opportunity by signing as an undrafted free-agent with the Rays. In 13 games for Tampa Bays’ rookie affiliate the Gulf Coast League Rays he has a 2.08 ERA, 22 strikeouts, and has allowed just six runs.

“The transition from college ball to professional ball was at first a struggle for me but I picked it up really quickly after the first couple weeks of being here,” Fredrick said. “The constant grind you go through everyday is a tough thing to become accustomed to, but once you get used to it things get better for you.”

After being used a starter in college, Fredrick has been called upon in late game situations in the minors. He has held his own in those spots by recording three holds and two saves.

“The number one thing that has been my main focus since my arrival here has been to have complete command of the strike zone. Being out of the bullpen you need to come straight into the game with immediate command in order to be effective.”

His success in the minors comes after a very strong senior season at Oklahoma Baptist Universit, where he compiled seven wins, 4.26 ERA, and 77 strikeouts for the Bisons. He also averaged over ten strikeouts a game, which led the entire Sooner Athletic Conference. Fredrick’s most impressive outing came on March 16 against Dallas Christian when he tossed a complete-game one-hitter.

Prior to OBU he attended East Central University in Oklahoma, Pima Community College, and Cochise College in Douglas, Ariz. At Pima he won four games and struck out 34 batters in 2011 to help the Aztecs to their first postseason appearance since 2007. Fredrick has been accustomed to helping teams reach the playoffs in his career, he assisted Mountain View High to a state tournament berth his senior year.

“My favorite memories from Mountain View and Pima are the playoff runs me and my teammates made at both places. There is always a different feeling in the air and some really great baseball is played during those times.”

Fredrick is one of three former Mountain Lions who have played professional baseball this year. David Jagoditsh pitched in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ system earlier this season, while Kenny Held is currently playing for the Grand Prairie Air Hogs, an Independent League team. The opportunity Fredrick has to play for the Rays is something he truly cherishes.

“Its an amazing experience to be playing the game that I love professionally. Its something that I have worked so hard for through my entire life. I thank my family, friends and coaches who have helped me get to this point in my career, but most of all I thank God everyday for this opportunity to honor him an give him the glory every time I take that mound.”

(01) Comment

  1. Mark said on

    Great article Andrew. Eric is a great young man, from a great family. Continued success to him.

Write a comment