MLB Draft 2021 Profile: Boston College Outfield Sal Frelick
|Photo Credit: Boston College Athletics|
The Pittsburgh Pirates will be the first team on the clock when the 2021 MLB Draft begins, so they have the entire field of players to chose from. Who might they pick? We may not know for sure, but we will go through some of their options they have. We have already profiled Henry Davis, Kahlil Watson and Jack Leiter. Today will look at Sal Frelick.
It hasn't been a secret that the Pirates are looking to potentially save money with the first pick in order to pull the trigger later in the draft, maximizing the talent that they add to the system.
While most assumed that meant potentially signing one of the prep shortstops, or even Louisville catcher Henry Davis, could Boston College center fielder Sal Frelick be the guy for the Pirates first overall?
In a year where a lot of the college hitters struggled due to the pandemic layoff, Frelick improved his stock in 2021, catapulting himself as a potential top 10 pick come Sunday.
He ended up that way with his plus, plus speed that he uses both on the base paths and to man center field, a position most expect him to be able to stick at.
Frelick has an advanced approach at the plate that saw him only strike out 50 times in three years at BC, while earning 60 free passes at the same time. In three years at Boston College, Frelick hit .345/.435/.521 (.956 OPS), with 43 extra base hits and 38 stolen bases (just caught stealing eight times).
MLB.com rated Frelick as one of the best hitters in the draft, shown by his '60-grade' hit tool. While graded out with a slightly below average power rating, they did mention that he is 'deceptively strong with good extra base ability, and he could eventually get to average power from the left side of the plate'.
Seemingly what is holding out Frelick from entering the conversation as a legitimate candidate to go first overall is his power, which has been graded out just below average just about any network that has reports on the 21-year old from Massachusetts.
Fangraphs has Frelick tied for the best pitch selection and bat control, and is one of five players in the draft with a future value hitting tool of at least 60. They also have him rated as the ninth rated prospect overall in the draft, and is one of five players with a CV/FV of 45/60 in the fielding tool.
They did recognize the potential, and that there still may be some added pop in the bat, saying 'he has several catalytic qualities already and might hit for more in-game power later as his swing and approach evolve'.
Finally, they are 'betting on late development here because of the multi-sport, Northeast background and time lost due to a 2019 knee injury/surgery'.
While the power tool is the only thing keeping Frelick from being a legitimate five-tool prospect, there is hope that he may be able to round out his game overall as he becomes a pro.
While all his tools scream starting center fielder, if the power doesn't progress he did get some comparisons to Brian Roberts and Frelick did see some time at second base in the Futures Collegiate League. That would certainly hurt his value draft wise, so any team picking him in the top 10 would certainly give him every shot to make it as an everyday center fielder.
This is a pick that certainly wouldn't go over well with the Pirates' fan base. If they are making this selection, it's because deals with some of the other top picks have fallen through, and they are eying a huge pick with their next selection so they need to save all the money they can get.
What do you think of Frelick as a prospect? Where do you think he lands come Sunday? What do you think his upside is? Let us know in the comment section below, subscribe to the site with the link at the top of the page, and follow us on Twitter @SportBlogMurphy.
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