Sticking with baseball has become a life changing decision for Watson Chapel’s Aaron Frazier. Wednesday afternoon, Frazier signed his letter of intent to further his baseball career at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
During his senior campaign , even with offers on the table from UAM, Three Rivers JUCO, Williams Baptist College, CBC, and Crowder, Frazier questioned if he would even play on the collegiate level.
Watson Chapel head baseball coach Chad Cope was one of many who helped guide Aaron towards his decision to stay on course. Cope and his staff knew Aaron had what it takes to play on the next level and they didn’t want him to pass on that chance.
“He wasn’t really sure what he wanted to do,” Cope said. “He had quite a few offers, and he just wasn’t sure. Towards the end of the season, he decided that he might miss it. We talked to him as a coaching staff and told him don’t look back one day and say you wish you would’ve tried.”
Frazier was solid from the pitchers mound throughout his senior season. He played some in the infield, but his accuracy and velocity as a right-handed pitcher is what stood out.
Against Conway, Frazier went six innings, giving up one run, while recording nine strikeouts. Another one of his outstanding outings came against Benton where he went six innings, giving up one run, while recording eight strikeouts.
“UAM is getting a good baseball player, and he’s going to do well for them,” Cope said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not pitching for them next year, he has that type of arm. He can play infield as well as pitch, and that’s a plus to have that versatility. He’s one that you put in there and you count on him. In our pitching staff he kind of stepped up as our number two towards the end of the year. He held it down as we were getting guys back from injury.”
Along with his on-field playing ability, Frazier wasn’t a trouble maker off of the field. According to Cope his character will take him a long way.
“He’s a good athlete, and not only that, he’s also a good kid,” Cope said. “He’s a high character kid and you don’t have to worry about what he’ll be doing off the field. In this day and age that’s big.”
While looking back on his time at Watson Chapel, Frazier acknowledged how he felt about Cope, and he credited his teammates for making the journey worth while.
“Coach Cope is definitely one of the best coaches in South Arkansas, that’s for sure,” Aaron Frazier said. “We had a great team, I had great teammates that I’ve grown up with, and it’s been a fun ride.”
As he prepares to embark on his next journey, Frazier has been told by UAM head coach John Harvey and staff that he’ll be needed as a pitcher.
“I figured I might as well use the talent that I’ve been blessed with,” Aaron Frazier said. “I’ll be focusing on pitching at UAM. The coaches have said that they could use me right away. It’s a blessing, and that sums it up, it’s definitely a blessing.”
Aaron’s father, Alan Frazier, recognized a few people that played a part in Aaron decision. Along with the Wildcats’ coaching staff and his family, Aaron’s close friends knew he is capable of playing at the next level.
“I think a lot of the credit goes to his family, and a lot of the credit goes to his coaching staff here at Watson Chapel,” Alan Frazier said. “His teammates played apart as well. He had a really good core of friends that he played travel ball with, and as they grew up they played here together at Chapel.”,
Along with baseball, Aaron is an outdoors guy who loves to hunt. With Monticello being close in proximity, Aaron won’t be to far away from home, and that factored in as well.
“We were very excited for Aaron to be able to continue his baseball career at UAM,” Alan Frazier said. “He’s an avid duck hunter and deer hunter. We wanted him to be close to home and it looks like everything came together nicely for us. We’re thrilled!”
Cope believes that Aaron hasn’t neared his ceiling and with time his game will only improve.
“His best baseball is ahead of him,” Cope said. “As a college coach that’s what you want. You want the guys that project for the next two or three years and get better. I don’t think he’s peaked by any means, and his best baseball is yet to come in the next three to four years.”