Adam Frazier entered the 2012 Mississippi State baseball season with several goals in mind.
While most of his goals were team-oriented benchmarks, he did have a couple of personal goals, one of which was recently crushed by Bulldog head coach John Cohen.
The SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player set the bar to gain an invitation to play summer league baseball in the Cape Code League, a league known as a summer proving ground for college baseball players. Frazier was well on his way to obtaining his goal after leading MSU at the plate through the regular season, but as fate would have it, the Cape would not be in his future.
Following the regular season finale where Frazier went 2-for-4 in State’s 11-3 win over Kentucky, the shortstop was called to the side for a quick conversation with Cohen.
“I’ve been waiting all series to tell you this because I didn’t want it to distract you,” Cohen told Frazier. “I know you’ve been looking forward to going to the Cape, but that’s just not going to happen. They no longer have a spot for you, I’m sorry.”
It is easy to understand why Frazier, one of the top shortstops in the nation’s top baseball leagues, would turn to his coach and ask why?
“Because you’re going to play for Team USA,” Cohen replied.
You see, Cohen couldn’t resist having some fun with a player who keeps Cohen on his toes.
“This was my chance to get him,” said Cohen. “He gets me all the time and so I had to do it.
“The thing I love about Adam is that you can ask him questions. A lot of kids are programmed as youngsters to tell adults what they want to hear. Adam doesn’t tell you what you want to hear…he tells you what he thinks.”
As you would expect, the Georgia native was shocked to get the news.
“I’m pretty excited," Frazier said. "It is an honor, it was unexpected that’s for sure. I was looking forward to going up to the Cape Cod League this summer and when he told me, it kind of blew my mind. It is just a huge honor.”
Frazier joins Team USA once his season is complete for a tour that includes a trip to Havana, Cuba, as well a week in the Netherlands playing in the Honkbal-Haarlem Baseball Week.
Since getting the news, Frazier and the Bulldogs won an SEC Tournament title after grinding through six games in six days as the No. 7 seed and taking a tremendous amount of confidence into the NCAA Tournament.
“We get a lot of confidence (from playing in the SEC), especially last year during the regional,” Frazier said. “We went into Georgia Tech and they were a top 10 team all year, so going in there and taking care of business like that, that just proved it to everybody. We might be a No. 7 seed in the SEC Tournament but in other tournaments we would be the No. 1 or No. 2 seed.”
As Mississippi State's leading hitter with a .370 batting average, Frazier has hit safely in 51 of State’s 61 games this season. According to Frazier, his success this season is a product of his experience last year.
“It is really frustrating not playing every day," Frazier said. "I know that I was frustrated all the time. I just tried to get over that so when my time came, I would do the best that I can.
“The main thing is to just stay confident. As long as everybody on the team stays confident that we can do it, then we can win.”
The task at hand for the Bulldogs is taking care of business against Samford in the Tallahassee Regional and that’s something Frazier looks forward to.
“This is all about having fun,” he said. “Last year, we did get hot and made a little run and hopefully we can do that again this year.”