On Thursday June 11, Nick Frasso got one step closed to living out his dream.
Frasso, a junior pitcher at Loyola Marymount, was a fourth-round selection (106th overall) of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2020 MLB Draft.
“It’s definitely humbling (to be drafted),” said Frasso, who graduated from Peninsula High in 2017. “I’ve wanted to play professional baseball my whole life, and now the real work starts because the competition only gets better.”
Frasso joined his Peninsula baseball coach, Brian Bowles, as being selected by the Blue Jays. In 1994, Bowles was selected in the 50th round.
It was Bowles who told Frasso if he committed himself more, it would give him a shot at his dream.
“I told (Frasso) four years ago that if he made a commitment in the weight room, and started playing catch year round, he’d give himself a chance to play in the big leagues,” Bowles said. “Credit to him, because he put in the work.”
When he first stepped onto campus at LMU, Frasso experienced a first: playing baseball year round.
“Just being able to play baseball and be on the field every day, you learn something new every day,” Frasso said.
Growing up, Frasso played both basketball and baseball, standing out on the court in high school for his size, 6-foot-5 1/2, and his ability to shoot the ball from anywhere on the court.
After graduating from Peninsula and focusing solely on baseball, he used what he learned on the court to help him on the mound.
“Baseball isn’t as physical as basketball, but the competitive aspect was something that definitely translated,” Frasso said. “The aspect of you against your defender compared to you as a pitcher against a hitter.”
As a sophomore, Frasso was put in the national spotlight after shutting down No. 1 ranked UCLA in the College World Series Regionals.
Frasso pitched 4 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball against UCLA. He faced 15 batters, striking out five and walking two.
But elbow soreness shut him down just as the 2020 season started that Frasso felt affected his draft stock, especially coming into the season on the 2020 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List.
Just as he was getting ready to rejoin the team, the season was shut down due to the growing coronavirus pandemic.
“These last three months have been kind of weird and different,” Frasso said. “Ever since I could remember, I’ve always played baseball this time of the year, and it’s weird not doing that.”
That didn’t stop Frasso from continuing to find ways to continue throwing, or stay in shape.
“I’ve been throwing on a regular basis, as if the season was still going,” Frasso said. “A friend has a home gym, and I’ve been there multiple times a week, just trying to stay in shape and stay strong.”
Bowles has seen the work Frasso has been putting in paying off, little by little.
“The fact that he’s gone to LMU, the Cape Cod League and Team USA has been amazing to watch,” Bowles said. “Nick’s ceiling is really high, and to see him get drafted by the same team I played for was pretty cool.”
Toronto has extended Frasso an offer, and while he has not signed as of Saturday morning, his intentions are to join the Blue Jays organization, with an intention on finishing his degree at LMU.
“If things don’t work out, I’ll go back to school and get my degree in Political Science,” he said. “But as of right now, the goal is to make it to the majors. I don’t want to think about a backup plan, but it’s something I want to keep in the back of my mind, for sure.”
via PV News