This summer, Matt Trask has lived and breathed baseball.
He’s played in a multitude of tournaments, received a variety of awards and continued to hone his multiple diamond skills each and every day.
He also has racked up a lot of frequent flier miles …
“This week’s been the longest week that I’ve been in town for a while,” Trask, who will be a senior this fall at Davis High, told The Enterprise last week. “I got back (to Davis) late Sunday night,” and he left again Friday morning for another showcase outing.
For most of the little time he’s been in town, this stand-out pitcher has been practicing baseball, whether it’s with his team at a workout, or at home studying mechanics with his dad Mike.
Aside from all the baseball, Matt Trask says he gets only about four hours of free time a day; time he spends relaxing playing video games or with his girlfriend.
However, with a full-ride scholarship to UCLA offered and major interest from pro scouts, it’s safe to say that whatever Trask has sacrificed will, in the end, have been worth it.
Trask’s whirlwind summer started with a DHS summer-league baseball tournament that began on the last day of school. That was quickly followed by a trip to Minneapolis to play in a prospect tournament featuring prep standouts from across the nation.
He also has played in multiple events with his travel team — the Pacific Union Financial Capitalists, or PUF Caps.
One such tournament took him all the way to Marietta, Ga., to play in the World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) 18U National Championships. His team excelled in the tourney — winning every game by 10-run mercy rulings.
But Trask’s guys still came up short, thanks to the elements.
“We came in fifth place,” the big right-hander reports. “The tournament was rained out. … I think we would have won it.”
After Georgia, Trask returned to Davis to play in another Blue Devil set. With that completed, it was off to Cal Poly for a travel-ball tournament. His busy schedule concludes on Aug. 10, after which he will attempt to cram an entire summer’s worth of non-baseball activities into the two weeks before school starts Aug. 28.
Trask has garnered more accolades this summer than he ever could have expected. In May, he was named the Delta Valley Conference Player of the Year, beating out Elk Grove’s Ryan Tellez, who recently signed an $890,000 pro contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Going into the season,” Trask explains, “I didn’t think I would get the DVC Player of the Year Award, because of Tellez and (Elk Grove catcher) Dom Nuñez (who was drafted in the sixth round by the Colorado Rockies). I didn’t even think I would hit.”
After an excellent junior season in which Trask posted seven wins and a 1.52 ERA on the mound, and certainly did hit, to the tune of an average over .400 in 2013, he earned several other postseason honors, such as being named to the All-Nor-Cal first team, and the Cal Hi Sports All-State second team, among others.
Trask also nabbed all-tournament honors at the WWBA tournament after pitching extremely well in the South.
It is worth noting that the players he beat out for that Georgia honor all have scholarships to Division I college programs, and are some of the best in the country. If Trask continues at his current rate, his family (dad, mom Michele, stepmom Lisa, stepdad George and siblings Alessandra, Bella, Cooper and Brian) may need to consider storage-unit rental for all of his hardware and clippings.
Meanwhile, Trask’s success has drawn attention from the highest levels of baseball.
Trask has made a verbal commitment to play at UCLA, an option that recently was made more attractive by the Bruins winning the 2013 College World Series. UCLA signed its head coach, John Savage, to a contract extension through 2025. Savage has a reputation as a pitching guru, so Trask is understandably excited about having him as a coach:
“I think he’s the best pitching coach in the nation. That’s why I committed to go there, so he could coach me.”
But the elephant in the room for Savage and Trask is, of course, that it’s completely possible that Trask will never throw a pitch for the Bruins.
Major league scouts have contacted him, but Trask says it would take a lot to persuade him to forgo a college education for the allure of MLB, even for his favorite team, the Red Sox.
“It’s got to be enough,” he explains. “High enough round, high enough amount of money. … My parents say ‘life-changing money.’ ”
While it is impossible to predict what will happen in his senior season at DHS, it is quite possible Trask and his family will be faced with a challenging decision come next June after the MLB draft. But it also seems that whatever choice they make, all of the hard work Trask put in during this summer — and in years past — will have paid off.