Max Fried pitches for the Atlanta Braves and he is having a career year. Too bad it’s in a season cut short by more than 60 percent of its lengths due to Covid-19. Some are talking Cy Young award, but will it mean anything in a 60 game season?
Born and raised in Santa Monica, California, Fried is the middle of three children. He attended synagogue on High Holidays, and had a bar mitzvah. Max Fried won a Gold medal with America’s junior baseball team at the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel.
The 26 year old California native is in his fourth season of Major League ball. Max Fried went 17 and 6 last year, but his ERA was above 4.00.
Right now Fried has a 6-0 record with a 1.60 ERA, and has yet to give up a home run. He has held hitters to a .199 average, striking out 8.6 men per nine innings, and walking 2.8 At his current rate at striking out batters he would clearly end up with more than 200 strike outs in a normal season. In his last start, a win against the Boston Red Sox, Fried gave up two runs on two walks and five hits with five strike outs over five innings.
But Max Fried has yet to really cash in on his success. This season he is earning just $216,000, after pro rating his $583,500 2020 salary because of the shortened season. Fried is not eligible for a free agency until 2025.
Last year in an interview with JUF news Fried said about his hero Jewish hall of famer Sandy Koufax, “The more success I had growing up, the more I heard about Sandy Koufax in the Jewish community. Growing up in Los Angeles and being left-handed, eventually I started idolizing him. Obviously, he was before my time. But I always strived to follow him. And everything I ever heard was about how great a person he was rather than how great of a pitcher.”
On being Jewish in Major League Baseball:
“I’ve had multiple teammates, actually, tell me I’m the first Jewish person they’ve ever met. I’d say over five people have told me that.”
“Mostly, people who grew up in towns with maybe a couple thousand people. There are a lot of stereotypes that they ask you about, too, but no one has actually treated me differently because of it. It’s never been too much in the forefront in the locker room or anything.”