By Daniel Karell
Another athlete with roots in Brown County was taken in the 2015 Major League Baseball draft.
On the third day of the draft, the Chicago White Sox selected in the 33rd round, left-handed pitcher Johnathan Frebis out of Middle Tennessee State University. Frebis was the 982nd overall selection.
Frebis’ father, Ray, is a 1979 graduate of Ripley High School, and Frebis’ grandparents and other family members still reside in Ripley.
Frebis, who grew up in Murfreesboro, decided to attend his hometown college after high school. He started for the Blue Raiders all four years of his college career, compiling a win-loss record of 20-23, a 4.65 ERA in 310 innings, with 157 earned runs, 141 walks, and 230 strikeouts.
“I am extremely happy Frebis is getting this opportunity,” MTSU head coach Jim McGuire said in a statement. “He always did what we asked of him. It wasn’t always what was best for (Frebis) but it was what was best for the team. Frebis was always a team-first guy. He deserves this opportunity.”
This past season, the 6-foot 3-inch 220 lb. southpaw Frebis went 5-8 with a 4.86 ERA in 15 starts, walking 35 batters and striking out 70.
Frebis spent the summers of 2013 and 2014 playing in the elite Cape Cod Baseball League. Baseball insiders say that athletes who compete in the Cape Cod League are almost assured of being drafted at some point. In 2014, Frebis had a 2-0 record with a 1.15 ERA in 13 games out of the bullpen. He had three saves, 30 strikeouts, and just nine walks in 39 innings of work.
Frebis leaves MTSU as their program leader in starts, with 59.
“I’m blessed enough to say I get to take another crack at living out my dream!” Frebis said in a statement on his Instagram account. “I will never be able to put into words all that this day will mean to me! As one chapter comes to an end, another is about to begin! Thank you to all the family and friends over the years for the support! I wouldn’t be (sic) were I’m at without all of you! Proud to be the newest member of the White Sox organization!”