Back in the day, high school prospects would send physical tapes of their highlights in the mail to college coaches and scouts, to hopefully get noticed. The process is a little easier now.
Just ask Gig Harbor High senior pitcher Patrick Fredrickson, who landed a scholarship to the University of Minnesota baseball team with the help of YouTube and email.
“I did a little research on them, and sent them an email with a link to my YouTube channel,” Fredrickson said.
Rob Fornasiere, the Gophers’ assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, liked what he saw. So Fornasiere came to watch Fredrickson at the Area Code Games tryout in Spokane, and then in a tournament in Seattle. After an official visit in September, Minnesota offered. Fredrickson quickly committed to play for the Gophers, who won the Big 10 title last season.
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“The coaching staff has been around 30 years; everyone loves playing for them. (Head coach John Anderson) is a really good guy, as well. They’ve never cut a player a there. It takes a lot of pressure off ... you don’t have to worry about being cut; you can just play. I think that’s why they’re so successful. Players are just relaxed and just playing.”
Fredrickson said he’s excited to play in the Big 10.
“I just loved the atmosphere there,” he said. “Everyone there is really nice and the program is really good, also. It’s high level Division-I baseball. It was hard to say no to that. Getting a chance to play against Ohio State, Michigan — it’ll be exciting. Their coaches gave me a really good and fair chance to go play over there.”
And the cold winters? Fredrickson said he’s prepared.
“I just think that it’s a good chance to go to a different part of the country and experience what that’s like,” Fredrickson said. “The winters are going to be tough there. I talked to a lot of the players, they said it’s manageable. They deal with it pretty well. It’s not really a big issue. They just stay inside and train in the winter.”
Fredrickson said Minnesota liked his potential, as a 6-foot-6 pitcher.
Everyone there is really nice and the program is really good, also. It’s high level Division-I baseball. It was hard to say no to that. Getting a chance to play against Ohio State, Michigan — it’ll be exciting.
Patrick Fredrickson, Gig Harbor senior pitcher
“They say I’m really projectable because of my height and size,” he said. “They have a few pitchers that are 6 and 1/2 feet. They really like tall guys. The downhill angle, it makes it harder for hitters.”
Fredrickson credited the Narrows Baseball Club and its coach, Jon Fuller, for helping him gain exposure.
“We play in a lot of big tournaments with a lot of coaches watching,” he said. “Our club has always had a good reputation. The goal of the program is to get players to the next level, whether it’s junior college or D-1 or getting drafted and playing in the minor leagues.”
Fredrickson is getting ready for his final season of high school baseball. He’s hoping to be an impact player for the Tides.
“I want to just give 100 percent effort,” Fredrickson said. “I just want to see more innings. I didn’t get as much as I’d like to last season. I want to be the best pitcher to ever come out of Gig Harbor High School. Whether or not it happens, it’s a goal. I’m going to work hard and see if I can’t do it.”