Frias Showing No Signs Of The Injury

PULASKI, VA - It was just a little less than a year ago when there were some people who thought that there was a chance outfielder Frank Frias would never be the same player again let alone perhaps ever play again after a gruesome ankle injury ended his 2014 campaign. Frias now isn't just showing any ill effects from the injury but he looks to be the same player before the injury.

Last year, Frank Frias was well on his way to becoming one of the better prospects in the Yankees’ farm system.

Through 41 games, Frias was hitting .316 with 11 stolen bases. He was a big part of the Gulf Coast Yankees team as a 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic. The year before, Frias hit .305 with four home runs and 26 RBIs in the Dominican Summer League.

However, on Aug. 13, Frias suffered a dislocated ankle and fractured fibula on a slide into second base. Frias missed the rest of the season and his future came into question. Frias has made the comeback though and is working on breaking through yet again.

“I thank God I was able to come back from the injury,” Frias said through the help of a translator. “In Tampa I worked really hard to come back from this. I’ve been working hard here too, every day, with the staff and trainers."

Frias said that feeling comfortable on his leg wasn’t easy at first but that after Extended Spring Training he had recovered fully.

“I just tried to stabilize my ankle,” Frias said. “I tried to get that and my legs as a whole stronger. I worked on hitting and fielding as well. I just needed to get my legs under me and shake the rust off.”

The Yankees are taking it slowly with Frias thus far, playing him in nine of Pulaski's 18 games and alternating him between left and right field. He's played well too when he's been out there, hitting .333 so far with eight walks and posting a .967 OPS.

“Whenever I’m out there, I just try to give it 100 percent,” Frias said. “I want to be out there and win games. I’m just trying to do my best."

The soft-spoken Frias hasn’t earned a consistent starting spot in the lineup just yet, but Pulaski Yankees manager Tony Franklin has a lot of confidence in Frias.

“I think Frank is a pretty good athlete,” Franklin said. “He runs well, he’s another guy who throws well. He’s sure-handed out there in the outfield too. He brings some pretty good defense.”

Franklin said that though Frias hasn’t played often this season, it isn’t due to the injury.

“He’s running well,” Franklin said. “The trainer hasn’t said that we should consider giving him a day or two. I don’t think it’s affected him.”

Franklin says that Frias’ effort to get back from the devastating injury is evident in his work ethic on the field.

“I’ve never seen Frankie not put out 100 percent effort out there, every day,” Franklin said. “It’s easy to say ‘I don’t feel like it,’ but he hasn’t done that.”

Coming back from an injury like the one Frias had isn’t easy but Franklin says there’s definitely a chance that Frias could again become a force to be reckoned with in the Yankees’ farm system.

“We hope. We can only hope,” Franklin said. “I wish we had a crystal ball to be a bit more definitive. The only thing we can do is put him out there and see what happens on a daily basis.”

Franklin said that Frias, like all players at this level, needs to become more consistent in all facets of the game.

“They all bring enough speed, enough arm strength and power. They all bring that. They bring enough like every major league player,” Franklin said. “How often are they going to do it?

“There’s no magic to it,” Franklin said. “It’s good old-fashioned hard work. Can you go out there and do it every time you’re on the field? That’s what we’re looking for.”

Frias is going about things one day at a time at this point and hopes to stay healthy.

“I just want to finish the season on a good note and stay healthy this year,” Frias said. “I’m working hard just to be successful and help this team.”

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