WHEN Jake Fraley arrived on Australian shores ahead of the 2017/18 Australian Baseball League season, big things were expected of the 22-year-old outfielder.
A Louisiana State University graduate, Fraley was selected in the 2nd Round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays and is enjoying a breakout year for the Perth Heat, where he has broken the league stolen base record and the team’s single-season home run mark.
“It’s awesome to see all the hard work come together. It’s something I put a lot of time and effort into,” Fraley said.
With 36 stolen bases and 12 home runs, Fraley is the first player in ABL history to steal at least 30 bases and hit 10 homers in a season.
But the speedster says he doesn’t concentrate on individual stats and is focused on securing a home semi-final for the second-placed Heat.
“Once you get close to the playoffs, teams often try to do too much, whereas we need to make sure we just relax and play our game.”
The Heat round out the regular season at home to the Melbourne Aces this weekend – a series which will determine whether or not they host a semi-final next week.