By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
Pitchers are some of the most heady individuals in sports. They have a knack of knowing what pitch to throw and the place to throw it at the right time.
Tiger pitcher Tanner Frick is one of those smart players.
Frick announced over the weekend that he has a verbal commitment in place to study in the field of agriculture at McLennan Community College in Waco.
He will get to pitch for pitching coach Chris Berry and play for Highlanders’ head coach Mitch Thompson.
“It’s gonna open a lot of doors for me and get me the experience I need,” Frick said. “The coaches are awesome, Chris Berry, the pitching coach is one of the best around, and it’s gonna be awesome getting to work with him for two years as well as coach Thompson. They are building a great program there and doing stuff the right way. They didn’t pressure me on making a decision either, which I liked a lot. A&M Corpus Christi, Sam Houston State University and Incarnate Word were schools on my radar. I plan to major in something Ag related, not sure what exactly yet. I just know I want to study agriculture and cattle-related subjects.”
Texas teens have plenty of talent to look up to in the Major Leagues. One of the players Frick idolizes is former Highland Park Scots pitcher Clayton Kershaw. “My pitching idols are Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner and Derek Holland (when he is healthy),” Frick said. “I love the way all three of them play the game and how they are on and off the field. They respect the game and are really good. They are also all leftys, so I like to watch them and their mechanics and I learn a lot from them and how they pitch to hitters and stuff.”
Frick decided on MCC before the start of his senior year instead of waiting until the proximity of baseball season. “I feel making this decision now versus in the spring is good for me so It can relieve some pressure and I can enjoy my senior year a little bit more,” Frick said. “I’m going give my arm a break this fall since I’ve been throwing since January to now. So it needs a little rest before we fire back up this high school season. I’m going to get into the weight room and get stronger and better this fall. The senior southpaw credits the Belton coaching staff, as well as Waco Storm head coach Billy Brewer and his parents, Troy and Susan Frick. “The Belton coaches have made a big impact,” Frick said, “They’ve taught me a lot these past three years and it’s going to be fun getting to work with them another year. My select coach, Billy Brewer, has done a lot for me to get to this point. My parents, I can’t thank them enough, for all the miles traveled and the dollars spent to get me seen and let me play the game that I love. I can count on one hand how many games they’ve missed of mine since I’ve been in high school.”
And of course, Tanner’s teammates are certainly on the list of people that have made a difference in his life and career.
“I wouldn’t be where I am now without them playing defense behind me, producing runs and everything else it takes to win a ball game,” Frick said. “But I’d like to thank my catchers these past two years: Joey Hogan and Jacob Alexander. They both made me feel confident on the mound, as I was confident they could catch whatever I threw and I can’t say how important that is for a pitcher to have a good catcher like both of them. Also, Jared Janczak has made a big impact on me and was a great mentor while we were teammates, I still talk to him and he’s taught me a lot. There are some kids on my summer team, the Waco Storm, who are also going to pitch there. So it will be really fun getting to continue to play with them.”
Excited for the opportunity, Frick is looking forward to playing for the Tigers in 2016 and moving on with the next chapter of his young life.
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Frick said. “Where I am in my game right now, I’m excited I get to play at the next level.”