Patrick Teale

Here's a scouting report on Pulaski outfielder Frank Frias.

The New York Yankees signed outfielder Frank Frias out of the Dominican Republic back in 2013. An under the radar signing at the time, inking for a mere reported $7,500, Frias has been one of the more consistent performers at the lower levels since that time and shows a nice blend of tools and projection too.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Frank Frias
Position: Outfield
DOB: March 29, 1994
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 195
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Batting and Power. Frias has exceptional strike zone awareness, plate discipline, and pitch recognition, and ties it all together with very good patience too.  That advanced combination is a major reason why he's been able to post a career .306 average to date and why many scouts consider him one of the better 'sleeper' prospects in the farm system; he can really hit.  Of course it doesn't hurt that he also has above average bat speed and is built like a rock too.  Physically strong, he shows above average gap power and long-term average or better home run power.  While he has power to all fields and uses the whole field when he hits, it is to the pull-side where he can hit some really impressive home runs.  He doesn't have a real weakness at the plate.

Base Running and Speed. Frias was a borderline plus runner earlier in his career until a severely broken ankle at the end of the 2014 season left him a little gun-shy on the base paths upon his return.  He is still an above average runner speed-wise even after the injury but he hasn't exactly learned to let it loose in the running game just yet.  A little more confidence that he won't re-injure the ankle could have him getting back towards tapping his 30-plus stolen base potential.  However, even without the stolen bases he is still an exceptional station to station runner, one who can have a real impact.

Defense. He certainly has the type of speed, athleticism, and instincts to man centerfield in a very capable fashion, perhaps grading out as above average in that spot in an everyday capacity, but it isn't quite on a elite level so he does pale in comparison to some.  However, boasting plus arm strength, he is a true plus defensive corner outfielder in either left or right field.  He's not only extremely reliable in the field, he can be a real game-changer too.

Projection. Possessing mostly above average tools with the kind of consistent production to back it up and the kind of high character, off-the-charts mental makeup too, Frias has legitimate big league starting potential.  Had it not been for the fact that he signed for so little and signed as an older International player too [he was 19 years old when he signed, not 16] he would easily be considered one of the top overall outfield prospects for the Yankees because the whole package is there.  There are some apt comparisons to current Detroit Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez, another unheralded minor leaguer who rose the ranks as an "older" prospect [Martinez also played in the Appy League when he was 21 years old] before bursting on to the big league scene because there wasn't a real weakness in his game, although Frias is a lot quicker than Martinez ever has been.  At minimum Frias has the kind of all-around game and defensive outfield versatility to project safely as a big league reserve player if he continues to progress and stay healthy but there is also a whole lot of untapped starting big league potential too.

ETA. 2018. Frias is ready for the long-season leagues and should open up in low-A Charleston in 2016.  Some immediate and continued success could have him in line for a mid-season promotion to the Florida State League where he would finally be a little more age-appropriate for his level, and thus garnering a bit more respect on the prospect landscape in general.

2015 Pulaski .298 124 6 5 20 26 25 43 3 .424 .500 .924
2014 GCL Yankees .313 134 4 0 9 18 14 22 11 .383 .388 .771
2013 DSL Yankees .305 203 8 4 26 44 38 57 26 .434 .433 .867

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