The New York Mets face a bleak situation with their offense as the 2013 season nears. Other than third baseman David Wright and first baseman Ike Davis, they lack any above-average bats, but hope that help may be on the way courtesy of their minor league system. One player who could be in the mix for the New York lineup of the future is first baseman Cole Frenzel.
A native of North Dakota, the 23-year-old Frenzel became a legend as a high school player. A left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower, he helped lead his team to two state titles, and was named an All-State player during his final three seasons. He also holds the state’s high school home run record with 23. He ultimately accepted a scholarship to play for the University of Arizona.
In the summer of 2009, before going off to Arizona, Frenzel had one last display of dominance by hitting .520 with 29 home runs and 104 RBI for his American Legion team.
Frenzel came on as a starter during his freshman season at Arizona, and blossomed as a sophomore in 2011, producing a .346/.460/.465 batting average/OBP/slugging split.
Because he had been drafted in the 48th round in 2009 out of high school (declined to sign) by the Texas Rangers, he was eligible for the draft following his second year at Arizona. The Mets swooped in and snapped him up in the seventh round of the 2011 draft, and he started his pro career shortly thereafter.
Injuries have plagued Frenzel during his first two professional seasons. He has played a combined 109 games, hitting .243 with five home runs and 43 RBI.
He played just 66 games last year, hitting a combined .247 with four home runs and 24 RBI splitting time between short-season Brooklyn and Single-A Savannah.
Despite playing the same position as Davis, Frenzel won’t be prevented from one day joining the Mets if he can get healthy and produce. The team could try him in the outfield, where they have arguably one of the worst units in recent memory.
I had a chance to interview Frenzel just weeks after he was drafted by the Mets and starting his pro career with the Brooklyn Cyclones. Check out what the prospect had to say about his baseball career.
Cole Frenzel Interview:
How did you first become interested in baseball?: I guess I’ve played pretty much my whole life since I was a little kid. My Dad played college ball and so did my brother. It made my sisters and my Mom love baseball, so baseball was always something that we liked to watch and liked to play.
Did you have a player or team when you were growing up?: I liked to watch the Twins because they were always on TV. I lived in North Dakota, so we didn’t have a pro team. I also liked the Red Sox a little bit too.
As for my favorite player, I just liked watching a lot of good hitters. I liked watching David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, and those guys… Joe Mauer. So I really don’t have a favorite player; I just liked watching good hitters.
How did you first find out that the Mets were interested in you?: I guess just in college I talked to them a few times. I really wasn’t sure because I had been through the process in high school and wasn’t too caught up in what would happen. I wasn’t too caught up in it or anything. I was still in a college season and had two years left, so I wasn’t too worried.
I met with John Ireland, the scout down there, just to talk about stuff. As the season went on, they told me they were interested.
After you signed with the Mets, did you do anything special for yourself?: I haven’t yet, no. As soon as my college season was over, I went fishing with my Dad, my brother, and my Grandpa up in Canada. A couple of weeks later I ended up signing.
What has the minor league experience been like so far?: It’s been good. Brooklyn is an awesome place. The crowd there is unreal. They are really dedicated fans; they’re true fans. It’s been pretty fun. New York is a lot different for me. I had never been to the big city like that, but I’m starting to adjust to it, and I kind of like it. It’s really cool. It’s always moving, that’s for sure.
What do you think you need to work on most to keep advancing through the minors?: I think you’ve got to work on everything all the time. You come in out of college, and it’s the same game, but you’ve still got to adjust to the wood bats every day, and make adjustments. I’m always picking up new things from coaches and teammates.
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