How to log in to your News Tribune account
Having been teammates since even before high school, Portland shortstop Chad Stevens and Minnesota pitcher Patrick Fredrickson are best friends who have known each other dating back to their days as youngsters playing little league.
The Gig Harbor grads also played football and basketball together in addition to baseball. Naturally, college split the duo up as Fredrickson went to Minnesota and Stevens went to Portland.
However, by a stroke of luck or just pure happenstance, the duo spent the summer battling it out with other top college baseball prospects in the Cape Cod League on the east coast; Fredrickson pitching for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks and Stevens playing shortstop for the Wareham Gatemen, both teams in Massachusetts.
“We were about 40 minutes apart,” Stevens said. “Neither of us had a car so we talked and we said that we were going to try to meet up on off days but we’d get rained out of they’d get rained out. It never worked out that we got to hang out but it was nice to be out there together.
2019 was not kind to the Portland Pilots as they finished under .500 with a record of 25-27 but Stevens improved from his freshman season to his sophomore year by raising his batting average 33 points from .251 to .284 with five home runs and 27 RBI. That hard work in elevating his game put him in position to earn a spot in the Cape Cod League.
“Going into the year, I just looked at what I needed to get better at and what I wanted to improve,” Stevens said. “Dating back to last fall I was really working being a more consistent hitter, working on my timing and I ended up playing in the Cape Cod League.”
Stevens and the Gatemen reached the Cape Cod playoffs before bowing out in the first round but during the Summer, Stevens had a chance to continue his solid hitting from the regular season and reached some of the goals he set entering the summer.
“One of the things I wanted to do during the summer was to hit above .250 and I think I did that,” Stevens said. “I really wanted to compete, and see where I was at when it comes to this league because there’s so many good players in the Cape Cod league so I wanted to see how I measured up.”