Image credit: (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
As a high schooler at Agoura Hills HS (CA), Bryce Fehmel played all over the infield—third
base and second base early during his time on varsity, before settling into the starting shortstop role as an upperclassmen.
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Where he didn’t play much was the mound. Fehmel would close out the occasional game, but for the most part he fashioned himself an infielder—and so did most colleges. He chose to play for
Pat Casey at Oregon State, initially signing as an infielder.
“I saw myself as an infielder because I could compete and give you a good at bat,” said Fehmel.
But as the pitching got tougher and when I showed up at Oregon State, that same success wasn’t showing.”
Fehmel was also part of a 2015 OSU freshman class that included future first round infielders
Nick Madrigal and Caydn Grenier. Things started to get late early for Fehmel during the fall of
his freshman year.
“As the scrimmages went on in the fall I wasn’t seeing as many innings in the field, as many at
bats as I thought I’d get,” said Fehmel. “Around winter break time, I had a conversation with the
coaching staff, there were a couple injuries on the pitching staff, so they just threw an idea out to me to focus on pitching and see where I could help the team, and it kinda worked out that way.”
Fehmel went from an infielder-turned-pitcher at the beginning of the season to a Freshman All-
American by its end, working his way into the OSU starting rotation and ending his season with
a complete game shutout of UCLA. Fehmel had certainly found his way to contribute to a team
that had title aspirations heading into 2017.
Buoyed by returning talent and freshman catcher Adley Rutschman, Fehmel and the 2017
Beavers went 54-4 upon arriving in Omaha, but after two wins they dropped back to back
contests against LSU to fall short.
“We thought we could maybe coast through Omaha and walk away on top of the mountain,” said
Fehmel. “Baseball is a crazy game—it’s not the best team that wins every day, it’s the best team
that day that wins, and we played a couple games that weren’t great (…) I think that fueled us for
Omaha and we took that into 2018.”
The 2018 Beavers took another crack at Omaha—the last chance for many of Fehmel’s freshman
class, with Madrigal, Grenier, Trevor Larnach and others heading to the professional ranks
following the CWS. Not only were the 2018 Beavers talented, but they were battle tested, with
veterans like Fehmel who had been through the grind, which became even more apparent after
dropping their first game in the 2018 series to North Carolina, typically a death sentence for
teams in Omaha.
“After Game One, we’re lucky we had Coach (Pat Casey), I think he’s the only coach to have
come out of the loser’s bracket prior to that year,” said Fehmel. “Being able to lean on them for comfort, stories, what they went through, put us at ease for sure. They let us know that it’s
Fehmel and the Beavers rolled through the loser’s bracket and eventually took down Arkansas to win the title. He’d accomplished more than he could’ve dreamed of back as a freshman
struggling to get it done with the bat. He left Omaha as a major contributor, already one of the
winningest pitchers in OSU history, and a national champion. But, even before the first pitch was thrown that year in Omaha, Fehmel had already decided to return for his senior year, turning
down any draft interest.
“It was a tough decision—I loved being at Oregon State, but leaving with some of the guys I
came in with would’ve been a great opportunity,’” said Fehmel. “But education and getting that
degree was important to my family and I, and the chance to get back and compete for another
championship with the team we had was another great opportunity.”
He was drafted by the Giants in the 21 st round following his senior season at OSU, but Fehmel’s
professional career hit almost an immediate roadblock. After 16 innings in his draft year split
between the complex and short-season Salem-Keizer, Fehmel required Tommy John surgery in
2020—a surgery that ended up being unsuccessful. He joined the unlucky fraternity of players
who required two Tommy John surgeries, and after a shoulder injury meant he’d also miss the
2022 season, Fehmel decided to move on and hang up his cleats.
Stepping off a mound didn’t mean Fehmel was ready leave baseball behind. He currently works
in world of wealth management, managing the finances of professional baseball players for One
Sports Global. While pro baseball didn’t turn out how he’d hoped, Fehmel’s time competing for
Oregon State brought him more than enough joy on the diamond.
“Four straight years of getting to make a difference on and off the field in that community,
creating lifelong friends with coaches, the fans, my teammates—I wouldn’t trade it for the
world,” said Fehmel.
On the latest episode of ‘From Phenom to the Farm,’ former MiLB righthanded pitcher Bryce
Fehmel joins to discuss his career.