DANVERS — Add one more name to the list of St. John’s Prep baseball players taking their talents to the next level. Eagles first baseman Will Frain, a rising senior from Hamilton, announced his commitment to continue his career at Division I UMass Amherst last week.
“There were a lot of factors,” Frain, a 2-sport athlete who also plays hockey, said. “It’s pretty cool to play at the Division I level. It’s a program that’s up and coming. I like what they have going on there. I like the way Coach (Matt) Reynolds has handled everything and he’s only been around for a couple years now. He wants to rebuild and reshape things, and I’m excited to be part of it.”
During the recruiting process, Frain also considered Bowden, Holy Cross and Trinity. A visit to UMass’ campus in Amherst left him leaning toward joining the Minutemen.
“(The campus) isn’t as big as everyone says,” Frain said. “It felt smaller. I like where everything is positioned and how the athletes stay together. It felt cool to be at a big school but also be part of a smaller community on the baseball team.”
Frain plans to major in sports management. He said academics also played a factor in his decision.
“I’ve played all different types of sports all my life,” Frain said. “I love the business world. The thought of combining the two has always been really interesting to me.
“I was definitely looking for a good business school,” Frain said. “I was searching for the ability to become an impact player my freshman season. I’m close to home but not too close. Being close enough so my parents can come see me play is awesome.”
At UMass, Frain will join fellow St. John’s infielder Frank D’Orio, who recently wrapped up his sophomore year. Frain kept in touch with D’Orio as he considered UMass.
“Frank’s up there right now and I talked to him a little about it,” Frain said. “He was honest. He dealt with injuries there. He told me the best of both worlds. He was always a great guy and always supportive with all the Prep stuff. I was the last guy walking off the field after the ‘Super 8’ final and he walked off the field with me. He kept it honest and really helped my decision.”
Frain missed the majority of his sophomore season due to injury. He returned to the diamond as a first baseman this past spring and his junior campaign was a step in the right direction. Frain finished the 2018 season with a .386 batting average, six doubles, two triples and two home runs.
“Will’s the best team kid I’ve ever coached,” Eagles coach Dan Letarte said. “There’s no doubt about that. He had a great junior year. He had a lot of power hits. He really had a great year at the plate. He broke his wrist his sophomore year and missed six or seven weeks. It was great to see him come back and have a great season.”
Letarte feels Frain will fit in smoothly with the Minutemen.
“I think it’s a really good fit for him,” Letarte said. “They’re in need of power hitting and he fits into that category. I see Will driving in some runs and helping those guys, without a doubt.”
With his future plans sealed and official, Frain can turn his attention toward preparing for a big senior year.
“It’s exciting,” Frain said. “It’s like an instant sigh of relief. I can just focus on a good senior year and experience high school. This summer I was all over the place. It was crazy. I’m excited to slow down but I’m looking forward to continuing to work hard in the weight room and all that stuff. I just want to win a state championship in the spring.”