Frias Picking Up Where He Left Off

TAMPA, FL - Dominican outfielder Frank Frias, despite being signed as an older player, was well on his way towards becoming one of the better 'sleeper' prospects in the farm system before a broken ankle interrupted his second consecutive solid season last year. He has worked his way back quickly, however, and already playing in games, he feels he can pick up right where he left off.

He had put up some rather impressive numbers in his first two seasons, hitting a combined .310 with an .832 OPS and 37 stolen bases in his first 96 professional games played between the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast League before breaking his ankle in a game against the GCL Astros on August 14th last season.

"I was going to break up a double play and when I went to slide my spike got caught in the ground and I wound up breaking my ankle," Frias recounted with the help of a translator. "Obviously the injury was bad but I just focused on my recovery and thank God I'm better now."

Considering how severe the break was, an injury so gruesome that it conjured up images of former top prospect Ravel Santana who reportedly had a similar injury, it is a minor miracle that Frias is already back to playing games in Spring Training this year.

"It was hard work," he said. "I put in a lot of hard work with the trainers in preparation for this year."

Frias, who got his first Spring Training start on Saturday for the Charleston RiverDogs, went 1-2 with a run scored and even attempted to steal a base twice [both times the batter fouled off a pitch]. He certainly hasn't looked like somebody who suffered an injury as severe as he did.

"It feels 100 percent now," he revealed. "I'm running fine, I'm running normally. I feel like I'm going to be the same player."

While he's familiar with Ravel Santana and his struggles to return to being the same player he was before the injury, Frias believes every case is different. He doesn't even think about the injury anymore. It's in the past.

No longer in the rehab program and working out as just one of the guys down in camp, he believes he can pick up right where he left off and continue becoming that 'sleeper' prospect he once was not all that long ago.

"I am going to do the same things I've always done. In my mind I feel the same. I feel like I'm going to have a good year.

"I'm just focusing on my swing and on offense because I think that's a big part of my game. I'm working to let the pitch travel, stay closed on the ball, and use the middle of the field.

"I'm happy. All of the hard work is paying off," he concluded.

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