Evan Frey Extends Hit Streak to 20

South Bend centerfielder Evan Frey extended his consecutive hits streak to 20 games Friday night. Through 23 games, the leadoff hitter is batting .343 with seven steals, hitting safely in 22 of those contests. Frey and his coaches spoke about his early season success.

A single and a walk against the Peoria Chiefs Friday night held Evan Frey's batting average steady at .343 and increased his on base percentage to .373.  In the same contest, first baseman Mike Mee went 4-for-4, leapfrogging Frey for the team lead in batting average at .352.  It's no surprise that hitting coach Francisco Morales, who served as Yakima's hitting coach last year, named Frey and Mee as the two most improved hitters of those that he has worked with both years.

"They're consistent hitters," praised Morales.  "They've got a pretty good idea of what to do at the plate.  It's real exciting to watch those young guys hit."

Consistent is an understatement for Frey given his 20-game hit streak.  His ability to reach base every game gives the Silver Hawks consistent scoring opportunities, since he has the speed to score whenever he gets on base.  Frey has scored 15 runs even though the hitting behind him has been less than consistent.

"I think that's going to be my main goal throughout my career: to set the table," Frey revealed.  "My main goal is to get on base, make the defense think about me a little bit, and score a lot of runs for our team."

He's doing a great job of that so far in his career.  He led the Diamondbacks' short season affiliates with 13 stolen bases, 76 hits, and 48 runs scored last year.  Silver Hawks manager Mark Haley says that the difference for Frey this season is that he is putting more of a charge into the ball.

"I tell you, he's a battler," Haley began.  "He's got a definite plan: he knows what he wants to do, and goes out there and does it.  He can play the small game, but we're in the situation where we develop hitters.  The days when a guy could bunt two or three times in a game are kind of obsolete now.  Nowadays, you've got to be able to drive the ball.  And he can do it."

"In the offseason, I worked out a lot and tried to build up my strength," explained Frey.  "Instead of hitting it to the outfielders, I'm hitting it to the gaps so that it can shoot through.  It's been working out for me, so we'll see where it goes."

Frey also attributed part of his early season success to working with the same hitting coach that he did last season in Morales.

"We developed a good base and understanding about each other," said Frey.  "Having him here again, we can kind of build on what we were doing last year, and take strides forward towards reaching my potential."

It has become apparent that Frey's potential is high indeed, and his makeup figures to give him an excellent chance of reaching that potential.

"I'm just trying to take the things I learned in spring training and carry them over into the full season here," he said  "Things are working out so far."

of our interview with Evan Frey.

Send questions or comments for Keith Glab to future_backs@yahoo.com

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