MLB Draft prospect Sal Frelick grew up in Massachusetts as a three-sport athlete, playing football, hockey and baseball. Throughout high school, Frelick explored the option of playing both football and baseball at the collegiate level.
He committed to baseball before attending Boston College, and he now has an opportunity to play the sport professionally. He plays the outfield, a position that he only began playing three years ago as a freshman at BC. The junior is expected to be drafted in the top half of the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft, set to take place July 11-13.
“It’s really surreal,” Frelick said on Glenn Clark Radio June 17. “Like I said, three years ago I didn’t even know if I was playing baseball [full time]. I kind of had some injuries throughout college … and to kind of put that all together and see where I am today is super special. I’m just really grateful for the opportunity.”
The 5-foot-9,175-pound Frelick has played at Boston College from 2019-2021. He said he was fortunate enough to play alongside other talented players while growing up in New England, but rather than heading south for college like other players in the area, the Lexington, Mass., chose to stay home.
Frelick immediately knew an offer to play baseball at Boston College was an opportunity that he could not turn down. He said the program represents a “gritty, tough brand of baseball.”
Frelick hit .345/.435/.521 across 102 games during three years at BC. The left-handed batter posted 139 hits, 12 home runs and 63 RBIs. He also won the 2021 ACC Baseball Defensive Player of the Year award for his play in center field. His dominant play earned him a spot on USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award watch list.
Frelick prides himself as a player who will rarely strike out and always strives to put the ball in play.
“I know that if I’m putting the ball in play, that gives me the best chance to get on base and if I’m missing a lot, I’m not giving myself an opportunity,” Frelick said, reflecting on how he developed this mentality at a young age. “I definitely think that’s the mindset I always wanted to play with.”
But the Eagles’ leadoff hitter is not shy about swinging at the first pitch, attributing that to his aggressive nature.
“I’m going to go deep in counts. I’m going to have good at-bats, but at the same time if I lose that aggressive edge, then I lose the upper hand on other competition,” Frelick said. “So that’s always how to carry myself and played the game.”
Frelick was recently mocked to the Orioles at No. 5 overall by MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis. Under GM Mike Elias, the Orioles are known to lean toward strong college hitters in the draft. If selected by Baltimore, Frelick feels confident that he will rise to the occasion and exceed the organization’s expectations.
“I’ve kept that competitive edge with me no matter the expectation, how big the moment is,” Frelick said. “The only thing I think about is just beating the guy in front of me, and that’s always given me the upper hand. So I know that whatever organization drafts me, that’s the player they’re going to get — and no matter how big the spotlight is, I’m always going to play [to] the best of my ability.”
Frelick is already partly acquainted with Baltimore’s organization, as he played summer ball at North East Baseball in high school with Orioles 2020 second-round draft pick Hudson Haskin. Frelick described Haskin as an “unbelievably athletically gifted” player who plays each game incredibly hard.
Regardless of where he may end up, Frelick is eager for what his future as a professional baseball player may hold and believes any organization can help him both grow and improve as an athlete.
“I’ve always found that athletically and physically I’m able to do almost anything taught to me, but it’s actually growing and learning the position more and learning the game more,” Frelick said.
For more from Frelick, including his Red Sox and Steelers fandom growing up, listen here:
Photo Credit: BC Athletics