On Friday, The Gate City Grays hosted the Smithfield Blue Sox at Halliwell Park. Although one member of the Sox can’t suit up, he’s still making a contribution to the team.
Every pitch, every swing, every out, Derek Fryar is tracking them all. The Preston native says he’s the best statistician in the entire Northern Utah League.
“I mean, I’d like to think so,” Fryar said, “I think I’m the only guy that carries around an iPad.”
Fryar began playing for the team after he graduated high school, spending most of his time at first base. He then took two seasons off as he traveled overseas to serve his mission.
“And I came back and I was ready to go and the winter before the season I tore my ACL and my meniscus,” he said. “I had to sit out the whole year.”
It was then he decided that he didn’t want to leave the team, but instead take on the role as a statistician for the season while he healed up.
“I got the full recovery, I was throwing long toss, taking a couple of at-bats in BP at the end of the season and November came around and I tore my ACL and my meniscus again,” he said. “And so I’m back to doing the stats job and I actually can’t play sports anymore, doctor said.”
Now, focused on the stats, he plays a big part in fielding the lineup.
“Everyday, before the game, I sync the stats over from the last games, I get the full season stats, check those out before we put the lineup together,” Fryar explained. “And then during the game, we’re keeping track of pitches, making sure I let the manager know about that and just staying on top of things so that we can get the best team out there that we can.”
That includes keeping tabs on his twin brother Dallin, the Blue Sox’s catcher.
Fryar, who’s currently a sports management major at Idaho State, believes this is role is something that will help prepare him for the future.
Fryar said he always tries to keep a positive attitude and while he can no longer play football, baseball or basketball, he said his golf game is slowly improving.