COVID-19 has devastated every part of society. In sport, seasons have been put on hold. Athletes are sitting at home. Prospects are hoping they’re still prospects.

“When the season finally did get canceled, it was heartbreaking,” said Elkhorn High School head baseball coach Kyle McCright. “Especially for the seniors who never got to live out their senior season of high school baseball.”

The 2016 high school coach of the year has seen the impact on one of his very best players, Trey Frahm. 

Frahm was the No. 1 overall prospect in Nebraska this spring season, according to Perfect Game. 

“As much as it sucks losing my senior year, you get that bitterness out after a day and the only thing you can do is get back to work,” Frahm said.

He had to find new ways to stay on top of his training if he wanted to continue at the next level.

“(Frahm) is very into his training,” McCright said. “He goes to a lot of indoor training where he’s playing catch, playing long toss. He’s very religious on the driveline, and he would throw with bullpens inside, as well.”

While Frahm is listed as a pitcher, both starting and closing, his training is not limited to the position. He has played his fair share on the infield, including shortstop and first base.

“Interestingly enough, he was our best position player and best hitter,” McCright said. “I’d say the last year or so is when he’s come on more as a pitcher. So, a lot of his time with us has been played at positional roles, but that God-given arm of his has allowed him to develop into a pitcher.”

Last summer Frahm hit close to .500, an impressive feat for anyone, let alone a pitcher. He’s the very essence of a two-way player. He can contribute as a pitcher, positional player or designated hitter.

“My sophomore year we were low on pitchers so I was kind of thrown out there,” Frahm said. “Then that following summer I started closing for my travel team and junior year Coach McCright started using me as a closer when needed. This past fall was when professional baseball started to become a real thought.”

He started to pick up speed on his fastball in his sophomore and junior years. He received offers from in-state schools, including Nebraska and Creighton, but decided to commit to Kansas State in 2018. 

Along with his high school team, Frahm also traveled with the Nebraska Prospects team. Last year the team played in Indianapolis. He was the team’s closer, consistently bringing the heat with 92-94 mph fastballs. The attention on him only grew.

Following that trip, Frahm’s fastball clocked in at 96 at an event in Florida, in front of a large group of scouts.

“Not only did it open up a lot of people’s eyes to his arm talent, I think it opened up Trey’s eyes too, that like ‘Hey, I think my niche could be on the mound, not many guys can throw this hard’,” McCright said.

Frahm was quick to agree that this was a big turning point for his confidence on the mound.

“I’m one of the toughest competitors I know but when I’m on the mound it’s like a completely different person,” Frahm said. “I would focus on finding what my strengths were and learn to control my weaknesses. I’ve been doing that as a position player and hitter so why not try to use that on the mound.”

Since he was relatively new to pitching, not being able to play out his senior season was even more detrimental for Frahm. 

“It was tough because where some of these guys have had years of professional looks, I was late to the party and had only been getting looks for a couple of months.”

Without a final season and the upcoming MLB draft in June, Frahm was left to try new options on getting his name out there. This was accomplished by using social media to post new PRs, and to show him pitching against actual hitters.

Additionally, he attended showcases, including the Super 60 Pro Showcase in Chicago, where he tied an event record when he threw a 96 mph fastball. This caused another influx of interest in him from major league scouts.

“As I played more throughout quarantine, I started facing a lot of D1-caliber players. I went up against some guys from Kansas State, I faced some actual pro hitters, and some guys from some really good junior colleges,” Frahm said. “I couldn’t serve up anything that I usually would use like these guys could really hit, especially those low to mid-90s. It really helped me get better.”

As his stock went up, so did Frahm’s hope that his name would be called during the 2020 MLB Draft. However, things become a little more worrisome when the MLB announced they would hold only a five-round draft. Frahm received calls throughout the draft but by the end of the fifth round, his name was not called.

“Everything I had been hearing from scouts and college coaches was that if it had been at least a ten-round draft that Trey would have likely been drafted,” McCright said. “He still had a lot of interest in the five-round draft.”

Frahm was not about to let himself get hung up on it.

“Looking back and being able to just be a part of that five-round draft was awesome, and I was so close. I’ll definitely use it as a chip on my shoulder to try and get drafted even higher next year,” Frahm said.

This next year will be different than he originally thought, for multiple reasons. 

Around the same time as the draft, Frahm decided to de-commit from Kansas State and take his talents to the College of Southern Nevada.

The college is Bryce Harper’s alma mater, the Phillies player and who won the Golden Spikes Award with Southern Nevada in 2010.

Frahm understands he is in good company.

“I knew after my first trip what my decision was going to be,” Frahm said. “They’re a great program and the facilities are super nice. I know what they’re about and I’m excited to get going.”

Frahm knows the main goal for his new team is to make the NJCAA Division I JuCo World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado and he has already made that his new mission.

But he remains with his eyes locked on the MLB.

“Hopefully after this year, I’ll have a similar and better process come next June,” he said. “It’s my main goal. When I’m really concentrating on something I can’t think about anything else. You have to have that mindset.”

Brennan Merkle is a senior Sports Media and Communication major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who has a passion for the details and data analysis that coincides within the field of sports and the nonstop revolving discussion around it.