FILE - Mississippi State shortstop Adam Frazier has been selected to play on the USA National College Team this summer. Photo by: MSU athletics
May 22, 2012 7:36:28 AM
STARKVILLE - Minutes after completing a three-game sweep of No. 4 Kentucky, Mississippi State University shortstop Adam Frazier was notified Saturday he was selected to play for the Team USA summer collegiate team.
Frazier, who is currently leading the Bulldogs in batting average (.360), runs scored (39), total bases (92) and on-base percentage (.475) became the sixth player in school history invited to play on the prestigious summer team roster.
"It's a understatement to say that it's a real honor for me to be on a team where I get to wear a jersey that says 'Team USA' across the front," Frazier said. "I've put a lot of hard work into my game and to represent my country this summer playing baseball is a special thing."
Frazier's head coach, John Cohen, even got to have some fun with his player over the matter.
"I'm so proud of Adam and even got him good with that announcement Saturday," Cohen said. "He gets me with pranks all the time so I told him his Cape Cod League team cut him and waited a few seconds. When he asked why that's when I told him it was because he was playing for Team USA."
Frazier has been the constant in the MSU lineup as the Bishop, Ga., native has found himself in the leadoff spot in the order and at shortstop defensively in the last 48 games MSU has taken the field. This is after Frazier hit .274 in 18 starts last year primarily as a second baseman.
"It's a comfort thing for me because leading off and playing shortstop is the only world I'd ever known," Frazier said. "I just feel like I can help the team the most in those two spots and that's the mentality I've got to take when I'm competing for playing time with the nation's best players on that team this summer."
The player pool is primarily be comprised mostly of underclassmen that are draft-eligible college players this summer and are selected based on statistical data from the past two seasons.
A selection committee will be formed to select players for the trials. University of Tennessee first-year head coach Dave Serrano, the field manager, and his three coaches along with former athletes from past USA Baseball National Team programs formed the selection committee.
Frazier becomes the first MSU player to be selected to the roster since right-handed pitcher Matt Ginter was given the honor in 1998. Other MSU players that have received the honor include first baseman Will Clark (1984), infielder Brad Hildreth (1986), left-handed pitcher B.J. Wallace (1992) and pitcher Carlton Loewer (1993).
The 2012 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will assemble on June 23 and the team will embark on a 30-day tour including stops in North Carolina, Cuba and The Netherlands.
"We waited to tell him until (Saturday) but I'm so really, really proud of him and the effort that he's put into getting this type of honor," Cohen said. "
The team competes each summer in a schedule of exhibition games across the U.S. and overseas against the world's top baseball talent. As part of this schedule, the U.S. takes on the Japan Collegiate All-Stars nearly every summer, and squares off in international friendship series against the likes of Canada, Chinese Taipei, Cuba and the Netherlands. Each summer schedule also features a prominent international tournament for the age group, which includes the Pan American Games and the FISU World Collegiate Baseball Championships.
The 2012 Team USA college team will also compete in the annual Prospect Classic against the USA Baseball 18U National Team in 2012, and it will travel overseas to the Netherlands.
"All I know about the schedule is we're going to Cuba and I've never been outside the country so all of this will be new and exciting for me," Frazier said. "I'm sure Coach Cohen and I will go over the details later but I'm looking forward to it all."
Players who have taken the field for the Collegiate National Team and have gone on to have successful careers in Major League Baseball careers include such notable names as Jim Abbott, Troy Glaus, Todd Helton, Ryan Howard, Barry Larkin, Tino Martinez, Dustin Pedroia, David Price, Huston Street, Mark Teixeira, Troy Tulowitzki, Jason Varitek and Ryan Zimmerman.
"I'm going to compete to start and play everyday on this team just like I did on my summer league team in California last year but I'll tell you whatever they want me to do is fine by me," Frazier said. "To look back and say I've played on a Team USA is something they can't take away from me and it's something I'm really going to enjoy."
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