The Boston College centerfielder will hear his name called on July 11. Sal Frelick is one of the most complete college players in the draft, but will it be enough for a team to draft him in the top 10? Let’s take a look at what the 21-year-old brings to the table.
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Sal Frelick, CF, Boston College
Weight: 175 lbs.
2019: 39 G – .367/.447/.513, 4 HRs, 18 SBs, 22/16 BB/K rate
2020: 15 G – .241/.380/.414, 2 HRs, 7 SBs, 11/6 BB/K rate
2021: 48 G – .359/.443/.559, 6 HRs, 13 SBs, 27/28 BB/K rate
Gritty, hard-nosed, gives 110 percent. These are baseball cliches that fit Frelick to a tee. While consistently being mentioned as “undersized”, the kid from Lexington, MA has continued to prove his doubters wrong. He gets the most out of his already top-level talent and plays with a hustle that is contagious.
Frelick has impeccable plate discipline as you can see from his 60/50 BB/K rate in his college career. He reads pitches well and has a short simple stroke. There isn’t much to his setup and he barely has a leg kick. With an approach that is geared to drive the ball up the middle, Frelick’s bat speed allows him to also drive a fastball the other way or turn on an offspeed pitch.
His wheels are probably his biggest asset. The centerfielder is going to do damage on the bases and not just because he can run a 6.6 60-yard dash. His aggressive play will put plenty of pressure on defenses to make accurate strong throws to get him out. The blazing speed and quick acceleration help him immensely in centerfield as well. He was the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year. Frelick can track down balls in the gaps with the best of them. The ability to stick there with a plus glove for years to come is a distinct advantage he has over many other players in the draft.
Frelick’s power shows itself here and there. His simple approach and mechanics at the plate works for him. At 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, he is strong for his size. Scouts wonder if he will gain a little more strength as he packs on a little more muscle. Without loading up more at the plate or instituting some kind of leg kick, 20 homers may be Frelick’s ceiling at the major league level. The only other knock on his game is his arm. It is accurate but probably not quite strong enough for right field or the left side of the infield if he needs to move off of centerfield as he ages.
Pro Comparison: Andrew Benintendi
Frelick’s college career: 102 G – .345/.435/.521, 12 HRs, 38 SBs, 60/50 BB/K rate
Benintendi’s college career: 126 G – .326/.431/.525, 21 HRs, 41 SBs, 74/52 BB/K rate
There really isn’t much more to be said. Benny was the seventh overall pick out of Arkansas in 2015. He is also the same size as the Eagles’ centerfielder. This was a scouting report on MLB.com back in 2015 on Benintendi and all these things can be said about Frelick.
“Benintendi is a fine athlete who had the best all-around tools of any college player in the 2015 Draft. While he’s not physically imposing, his quick left-handed stroke and his deceptive strength give him legitimate power. He also has a patient approach at the plate which bodes well for his ability to post high batting averages and on-base percentages. With his plus speed and keen instincts, Benintendi is a base-stealing threat and a quality defender in center field”.
Draft Projection: Round 1, Pick 7, Kansas City Royals
It’s interesting that the Royals traded for Benintendi in the offseason and now they will be selecting his baseball doppelganger with the seventh pick six years later. Frelick is athletic, aggressive, and plays with abandon. The 21-year-old should be the first Boston College player selected in the first round of the MLB Draft since 2016 (Justin Dunn). We should be seeing him flying around Kauffman Stadium for years to come.
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