Athlete of the Week: Drake Fages smacks four homers in series against Point Loma
The decision between your teammates and your baseball career: that is the decision senior infielder Drake Fages encountered about a month ago. He had to choose whether to play out the remainder of this year or to extend his time at Biola by one more season by redshirting this year and skipping the rest of this season.
Fages stuck with his teammates and decided to play out the remainder of his senior season and final year.
“I decided to make a decision and I did that based on being there for my teammates and seeing where this year will take us. We have a good team and I didn’t want to let them down,” Fages said. “I have a lot of friends on the team this year and next year would just be a whole new thing and I felt like it was the smart decision.”
Fages’ season halted by early wrist injury
Entering his senior season, Fages had high hopes for his final run with Biola, but the preseason All-American’s hopes were slashed after sustaining a wrist injury.
“It [the injury] sucks, we had a lot of expectations coming off of last year, especially it being my last year in college,” Fages said.
Fages’ return from injury was not an easy one as he struggled to get back into the swing of things. The slump ended as he broke through against Point Loma Nazarene University, homering in all four games and leading Biola to three wins against the Sea Lions. Fages’ slump extended outside of just this season preceding the Point Loma series though, as he was yet to ever pick up a hit in his career at Point Loma.
“It was nice this week picking up my teammates,” Fages said. “I was getting really frustrated with that and I knew some guys on the team were getting frustrated.”
The key part of the recovery for Fages has been the mental aspect of the game.
“It takes a while to get a feel for the box again,” Fages said. “Even though I hold myself to a pretty high standard, I feel like I should’ve been good a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, it’s a game of failure.”
Biola proves to be a life-changing location for Fages
Fages began his college baseball career at California Baptist University before transferring to Biola before last season.
“I went through some rough patches at Cal Baptist,” Fages said. “I made a decision my last semester there to rededicate my life and to live according to God’s calling to us as Christians.”
Fages fully intended to return to Cal Baptist before some unforeseen circumstances hit, leading to him leave Riverside.
“I decided to make a change and sat out a year and prayed. I asked God to put me in a place where I could represent him in the best way and ended up at Biola,” Fages said.
He acknowledged always being jealous of the way Biola played and has enjoyed the spiritual aspect of the team.
“I feel like I’m light-years from where I was at Cal Baptist spiritually and baseball-wise,” Fages said. “I still screw up, I still mess around so there’s still maturing that I should be doing, but I feel that’s how everybody is.”
With his time as an Eagle coming to an end, Fages views this as a bittersweet time in his life. He described how he would miss the Bible classes, baseball and the food in the Caf, but he looks forward to what the next chapter of life holds.
“I’m excited to see how the real world works and get out of that bubble and see what faith looks like in a very secular world,” Fages said.
Fages sets his sights on MLB draft
Forgoing the opportunity to redshirt means that Fages is bypassing an ability to improve his stock for the MLB draft. Coming off of a very good junior year Fages was poised to make an impact this year until his injury.
“I was a little disappointed last year when I didn’t get picked up because I was fully set on that,” Fages said. “But I’m looking forward to [this year’s draft]. I hope that baseball is in my future ... whether it’s the MLB or independent ball or coaching T-ball.”
As it is with any young baseball player, the MLB has always been a dream of Fages’, but all he can do now is await the opportunity.
“You don’t ever expect it to happen, you don’t really think that you’re going to. I could see myself playing at Dodger Stadium, but is that a reality? It’s a long shot, but that’s my goal, that’s my dream,” he said. “Do I think I could do it, yeah? I just pray that they give me the opportunity to show that so I’m not that old guy saying, ‘I could’ve been something great.’”