2016-10-28 / Sports Spotlight

Nic ready to light up youth home run derby

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


Nic Frink, 12, practices his swing at Peterson Sports Complex on Old Blue Point Road last week. Next month, Frink will be representing Scarborough, and the state, in the National Power Showcase in Arlington, Texas. The event is put on every year to showcase some of the top youth baseball talent in the country (Michael Kelley photo) Nic Frink, 12, practices his swing at Peterson Sports Complex on Old Blue Point Road last week. Next month, Frink will be representing Scarborough, and the state, in the National Power Showcase in Arlington, Texas. The event is put on every year to showcase some of the top youth baseball talent in the country (Michael Kelley photo) Unlike many of his peers, Nic Frink doesn’t pull for the Boston Red Sox. He is a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, especially outfielder Josh Reddick, who played three seasons for the Portland Sea Dogs before cracking the Major Leagues in 2009 with the Red Sox.

Next month Frink will be able to take his place in the very batter’s box Reddick uses when he visits the Texas Rangers when he takes part in the 2016 National Power Showcase home run derby and all-star game at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

The event features some of the top youth baseball players (10 to 18) from around the country and gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills before baseball scouts.


Next month, Scarborough Middle School seventh grader Nic Frink will swing for the fences of Globe Life Park in Texas when he competes in a youth home run derby. (Michael Kelley photo) Next month, Scarborough Middle School seventh grader Nic Frink will swing for the fences of Globe Life Park in Texas when he competes in a youth home run derby. (Michael Kelley photo) Nic’s dad, Corey Frink, said for older players that have participated, including Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo (another former Sea Dog), it has led to being drafted and achieving success in the Majors, but for younger players like Nic, it isn’t so much about that.

“If you get on someone’s radar at his age, great. It’s about, for him, being able to see talent from across the country. When you experience that and see talent from California, Texas or Florida, it is a good way to see where you stand,” Corey Frink said.

Frink, who primarily plays catcher, but also logs time at third base, first base and pitcher, said it is difficult to put into words what he was thinking when he heard the news he had been selected to partake in the home run derby and all-star game.

“I’ve always dreamed on playing in a Major League ballpark. When I heard about it, I was speechless,” he said.

Corey Frink said the reality of his son’s opportunity hit him recently as he and Nic were watching the Divisional Series game between the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians.

“We were watching the game together and I said to him, ‘you are going to be in that batter’s box in a few weeks. It was sort of a surreal to think about it,” Corey Frink said.

Frink was chosen to participate – he is the only one from Maine – based on his ability, power, game and tournament performance and scout references.

“Nic is hands down, one of the premier 12-year-old hitters in the state of Maine. Nic is a big, strong, athletic young man that swings from the right side. He is a student of the swing and possesses a great understanding of his hitting mechanics. He is constantly challenging himself to improve and become more of a complete hitter,” said Ryan Copp, a program director and senior instructor at The Edge Academy in Portland and coach of Maine Lightning, a travel team Frink plays on.

Scarborough Little League President and coach James Seymour also sees Frink’s talent.

“His intensity and passion for the sport is only dwarfed by the fear he puts in the pitcher’s eye on game day. Nic is by far one of the strongest kids at the plate I have seen for his age,” Seymour said.

Seymour said while other players his age miss “hittable pitches,” Frink is able to keep this to a minimum because “he knows where the pitch is going and how to maximize his ability.”

Seymour said Frink is “an intelligent player beyond many of his peers.”

“He knows situations and has good awareness of his baseball environment. He works hard at all aspects of his game,” Seymour said.

Frink began playing baseball on his older brother Noah’s team when he was just 4 or 5 years old. Now Frink plays baseball almost year-round. This fall he is playing for a 14U Maine Lightning travel team and this spring will play his final season of Little League baseball and first season of middle school ball. This summer Frink was part of the Scarborough Little League All-Star team that won that state championship and vied for an opportunity to represent New England in the Little League World Series, an experience Corey Frink, who coached the team, will never forget.

Frink said out of all the games he has played in ballparks near and far, the game that sticks out in his mind the most is from four years ago, when, as an 8-year-old and one of the younger players on the team, he hit his first homerun. Frink recalled it was the fourth inning, there was a man on second with two outs when, with two strikes on him, when he launched a pitch dead center into the grandstands.

Since them homeruns have become much more regular for Frink. His father recalled a game this fall in which Frink hit a ball of out the Waynflete High School baseball field. That blast also came with two outs, but unlike his first one, was on a Major League Baseball dimension field.

While he primarily plays catcher, Frink said he is willing to play whatever position the coach needs him to play in the all-star game.

“He is extremely excited. It will be weird for him. He has played with his teammates for so long it will be weird for him to be an individual down there and not with his teammates. He likes meeting new people, so he will have a blast,” Corey Frink said.

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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