Summer 2024

Reds outfielder Jake Fraley 'walking with Jesus' during daughter's cancer battle

The start of the 2024 Major League Baseball season has come with a wide variety of emotions for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jake Fraley. His 5-year-old daughter, Avery, is in remission after undergoing chemotherapy following a leukemia diagnosis this past fall. She was in the stands on opening day.

Fraley collected five hits in eight plate appearances as the Reds took two out of three games against the Washington Nationals in their first series. He picked up another hit and scored a run in their 9-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.

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Though there is plenty to celebrate regarding Avery’s health, she is not in the clear yet. It will be years before doctors are willing to truly declare her cancer-free because of leukemia’s high recurrence rate.

Talking with WLWT before Thursday’s opener, Fraley was asked how he is navigating the start of a new season with so much going on off the field.

“Walking with Jesus. Simple as that,” he said. “We’re going through the most challenging part that we’ve ever had to as a family. But to be able to understand who my Father is and how much He loves me and the fact that He can provide a true peace and a true joy and a true happiness that can only come from Him.”

Fraley grew up in a Catholic household, and as he got older started to understand and appreciate what it meant to have a personal relationship with Christ. He told Play4Him in 2021 that he credits his chaplain at LSU with teaching him how to walk with the Lord on a daily basis.

“It’s not just something for me and myself in room, but it’s something that I need to express and live out in my actions everywhere I go, every single day,” he said in the video.

Selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the second round of the 2016 draft, Fraley spent three years in the Rays’ minor league system. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners in 2019 and made his MLB debut that season, against the Rays of all teams.

The 28-year-old played 97 games over three seasons for the Mariners before being traded again, this time to Cincinnati. He hit .256 with career highs in games played (111), runs (41), home runs (15), RBIs (65) and stolen bases (21) in 2023.

His unwavering faith has allowed Fraley to find joy and peace during his daughter’s cancer battle. After Avery’s diagnosis, his wife, Angelica, shared the news in an Instagram post and declared that their family’s purpose was to “glorify God in every season of our lives.”


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Fraley draws strength from knowing that nothing that happens in his life can take away the eternal hope he has in Christ.

“We live in a broken world,” he told WLWT. “We live in a world that, unfortunately, has a lot of disease. It has sickness. It has a lot of awful things that happen to a lot of good people … but praise the Lord that we have a Savior that died on the cross for us and is allowing for a way for us to be able to still live with — like I said — that true joy, true peace, true happiness, no matter what circumstance you’re going through.”

Since joining the Reds, Fraley has put an increased emphasis on his mental wellness. Part of that has been spending time with the Lord every morning, and he believes the new approach has made him a more grateful, more compassionate person.


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“When you can get yourself outside of yourself and your circumstances, you can be that servant, you can be that disciple, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, and allow myself to be in a place of gratitude,” he said last July. “I’m just setting myself up to be in the best place possible for what I need to accomplish throughout that day, regardless of what happens to me.”

The Reds (3-2) finish up a three-game series against the Phillies on Wednesday (4:05 p.m. ET) before starting a series with the New York Mets on Friday.

>> Do you know Christ personally? Learn how you can commit your life to Him. <<

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