LINCOLN — Trey Frahm hopped on the first flight from Las Vegas on Friday morning. Reunion weekend was officially on.
Technically it was a recruiting visit to Nebraska for the two-way baseball standout who once starred for Elkhorn and did the same at the College of Southern Nevada last spring. But seemingly half of the current Husker roster was made up of guys he once played with or against in high school. He even caught up with some former Huskers who were in town for the weekend.
What struck Frahm was how much all of them improved on the field and matured as people. He wanted to be part of it.
The hard-throwing right-hander and power hitter became Nebraska’s latest pledge Sunday. He's the ninth commit for the Class of 2022 — fifth from within the state — and first from the junior college ranks.
“The guys just said it’s different, and you can see it in their eyes,” Frahm said. “These guys would do absolutely anything for Coach (Will) Bolt because they know Coach Bolt would do absolutely anything for them. That’s one of the great things I see.
"He knows the in-state guys want to come here. And if the coaches want that, too? Then you’ve got a program that’s on the verge of being the absolute best.”
Frahm — pegged by Perfect Game as the No. 112 national prep prospect in the 2020 cycle and No. 1 player within the state, ahead of the likes of Max Anderson — will be a back-of-the-bullpen arm and corner outfielder for the Huskers. He canceled upcoming visits to Arizona State and Oklahoma and had other suitors interested, as well.
Nebraska offered him a spot last week after pitching coach Jeff Christy saw him throw and hit in Las Vegas.
Frahm wanted to get to campus immediately and did, with a Saturday morning chat in Bolt’s office sealing the deal. By the time Frahm walked across the pedestrian bridge from Haymarket Park and back that afternoon with old buddy Cade Povich, the 6-foot, 230-pounder was ready to make it official.
“Really loved what Coach Bolt had to say,” Frahm said. “He had a plan for this team and definitely had a plan for me as a two-way guy as well. I knew after that meeting with Coach Bolt. I felt it in my chest.”
Frahm signed with Kansas State in high school and had generated significant buzz from pro scouts after demonstrating elite fastball velocity on the showcase circuit. But the pandemic arrived, and the major league draft shrunk from 40 rounds to five while wiping out his senior prep season in the process.
He and his family decided to pivot to Southern Nevada because the junior college route would allow him to be draft eligible each of the next two years.
Playing for the alma mater of current MLB all-star Bryce Harper in the spring, Frahm bulked up. The 20-year-old broke out at the plate, hitting 12 homers and 13 doubles in 161 at-bats with a .354 batting average and .460 on-base percentage. He struggled in his move to starting pitcher, logging a 9.22 ERA with 24 walks and 18 strikeouts in 13.2 innings. If the command comes, it will do so with a a lively breaking pitch and a fastball that touches 98 mph.
“I’ll tell you what, I was a bullpen All-American last year, but it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t go on your stat sheet or count in the win-loss column,” Frahm said. “As soon as I’d get on that mound, I wasn’t competitive. And as a hitter, I was super competitive. It was like I was two different dudes.”
Frahm will return to CSN for one more season after the program fell just short of the juco World Series with a 46-17 record. Then it’s on to Nebraska, unless he plays his way into draft consideration next spring.
After a weekend trip to Lincoln that still has his heart and mind racing, Frahm considers himself in the ultimate win-win spot.
“I can see how special this place is, and I really want to be a part of it,” he said. “I did not hesitate to let the coaches know that.”