Gig Harbor High senior Patrick Fredrickson is the latest name in an impressive streak of Narrows Baseball Club players being selected to participate in the prestigious Area Code Games.
He’s the third player in three years from the club to be selected, following University of Oregon pitcher Matthew Henckel and UCLA signee Mike Toglia. The tournament, held in Long Beach, California in early August, is typically packed with pro and college baseball scouts.
To make the tournament, Fredrickson had to be recommended by a pro scout in the area and make it through two tryouts. Out of close to 30 pitchers in the final tryout, Fredrickson was among the group of less than 10 to make the cut.
I told my dad; he was proud of me. I was just looking forward to going down there and doing my best. Everyone who tried out is really good. To be selected to an elite group is really an honor.
Patrick Fredrickson, Gig Harbor High and Narrows Baseball pitcher
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“I was excited,” Fredrickson said. “I told my dad; he was proud of me. I was just looking forward to going down there and doing my best. Everyone who tried out is really good. To be selected to an elite group is really an honor. I’m very excited for it.”
Fredrickson, 17, looks the part, standing at about 6-foot-6 and still growing.
“My dad is like 6-foot-8,” Fredrickson said. “I’m getting taller every day.”
While most athletes would kill for that kind of height advantage, Fredrickson isn’t hoping to grow much more.
“Anything above 6-foot-5 is kind of unpleasant for traveling,” he said, with a laugh.
Fredrickson is a hard-throwing right-hander, with a two-seam fastball in the high 80s that cuts in on right-handers.
“It’s my go-to pitch,” Fredrickson said of his two-seamer. “I get a lot of ground balls with it. If my offspeed, curve or change aren’t working that day, my fastball kind of bails me out sometimes.”
While it doesn’t necessarily generate a high strikeout rate, it’s a pitch that often jams right-handed batters.
“I get a lot of ground balls to the right side of the infield,” Fredrickson said. “I like to throw hard and see if they can hit it.”
Fredrickson will likely throw two or three innings during the tournament. He’s hoping to make the most out of his opportunity.
It’s important to show the evaluators your stuff and how well you perform. There’s pressure, but I’m used it at this point. I’ve played in a few other showcases and big tournaments like this.
“It’s important to show the evaluators your stuff and how well you perform,” he said. “There’s pressure, but I’m used it at this point. I’ve played in a few other showcases and big tournaments like this. It’ll be a little nerve wracking but once you’re out on the field, adrenaline kicks in and you just perform.”
Fredrickson was mentored by Henckel and has sought out his advice.
“He was the one that really helped me out the most,” Fredrickson said. “I would always lift with him and listen to his advice on pitching. And (Mike) Toglia is a great player. It’s an honor to be with those other two guys. Maybe the tradition will carry on next year.”
Fredrickson hopes he can open some eyes during the tournament.
“I’m just going to try to do my best, throw hard and try and locate my pitches,” Fredrickson said. “Just give it 100 percent. If you don’t do well, it’s ok because you’re facing the best players on this side of the country. It’s just an honor to be out there.”
Fredrickson has been stuck a bit on the Gig Harbor High baseball team the past couple years behind some other very talented arms. Next spring, he’s hoping to step in and make a bigger impact for the Tides.
“With all the good pitching we have, it’s hard to get innings,” he said. “I’d like to get more innings. … I just want to work on my pitches, try to make first-team all-league. I’m going to try to make that and really try to dominate.”
While the D-I offers have yet to roll in, Fredrickson has generated some interest and expects some offers to come soon.