Hockey mindset helping Crew prospect grind closer to MLB

7: 03 PM UTC

This story modified into excerpted from Adam McCalvy’s Brewers Beat newsletter. To read the fleshy newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it step by step on your inbox.

Triple-A hitting coach Al LeBoeuf is a baseball lifer, nevertheless what he loves most in regards to the Brewers’ most up to date-hitting prospect is that Sal Frelick is a hockey player at heart.

Frelick started the year at Excessive-A Wisconsin and has a possibility to raise out within the big leagues thanks to a sensational first fleshy season of skilled baseball. The Brewers’ first-round Draft deem in 2021 out of Boston College entered Sunday with an .886 OPS between Excessive-A, Double-A Biloxi and Triple-A Nashville, together with a .446/.520/.554 nick line since a promotion to the Brewers’ high farm membership to delivery with of August, the put LeBoeuf is his hitting coach.

“Right here’s why it doesn’t shock me,” LeBoeuf said through mobile phone final week while waiting out a rainstorm in Jacksonville, Fla. “This man has broad bat-to-ball abilities. This man can rotten pitches off all all the map through the strike zone and are dwelling to admire any other. That’s a broad artwork to have.

“He’s bought that hockey mentality. He conducted hockey, and hockey gamers are a completely different breed. They’re grinders, you understand what I indicate? Every time Sal steps into the batter’s box, it’s a contest with that pitcher. And it reveals.”

With LeBoeuf, 62, there’s continually a memoir, and this time he advised the tale of any other extinct hockey player. Matt Stairs, the story goes, in no map picked up a bat within the offseason. He conducted hockey as a substitute, and grew to change into correct into a 19-year Predominant Leaguer (together with 2002 with the Brewers) who hit 265 broad league residence runs.

Prospect watchers have taken brand of Frelick’s sensational season. He modified into surpassed by Excessive-A outfielder Jackson Chourio as Milwaukee’s high-rated prospect, nevertheless Frelick is No. 2 within the Brewers’ machine, according to MLB Pipeline, and No. 49 on the general Top 100.

The buzz round Frelick is amplified by the Brewers’ center-self-discipline recount within the big leagues. Lorenzo Cain modified into nick free in June and Tyrone Taylor, while he performs a broad center self-discipline and has an incredible attitude, has now not produced broad numbers at the plate. Nor has Jonathan Davis. Milwaukee checked out outfield bats at the Alternate Closing date, nonetheless it balked at the rate and didn’t form a deal.

So the Brewers could per chance must fabricate with what they’ve within the machine. If there’s a callup, the main candidates would appear to be Frelick by advantage of his out of the ordinary play, or speedster Esteury Ruiz, one amongst the prospects bought within the Josh Hader replace with San Diego. Each and every Frelick and Ruiz have center self-discipline of their defensive resumes.

Ruiz is on the 40-man roster, while Frelick is now not.

Ruiz has temporarily conducted within the big leagues, while Frelick has now not.

But when membership officers quiz his thought, LeBoeuf will narrate them he thinks Frelick could per chance moreover tackle yet any other leap.

“Time is continually correct, you understand what I indicate? But I mumble Sal could per chance moreover be an exception,” LeBoeuf said. “He has that roughly bat-to-ball skill. There are nuances that he has to learn, appreciate sitting on completely different pitches, and when he will get one thing, reacting. Knowing how pitchers try and get him out. Stuff appreciate that.

“But he’s adaptable. He retains knowledge truly well and he’s very, very aggressive.”

Frelick modified into promoted to Nashville with a wave of different high prospects, together with No. 3 Brewers prospect Joey Wiemer and No. 5 Garrett Mitchell. They joined No. 4 prospect Brice Turang, a shortstop who has been expanding his defensive repertoire to incorporate center self-discipline, second low and third low prematurely of a doable callup. Brewers manager Craig Counsell modified into requested about Turang over the weekend at Wrigley Field and said, “Completely, Brice is halt to impacting this group.”

“I mumble it’s truly correct from an organizational standpoint to have all of these kids here,” LeBoeuf said. “Whenever you undercover agent other of us have success, every so often that’s the actual components.”

Right here are about a of LeBoeuf’s solutions about these particular particular person gamers:

  • “Esteury Ruiz, he has not most likely glide. Staunch physique. The bat works. He is aware of his sport. He bunts for hits. That is a rarity and he’s truly correct at it. It’s one thing he practices loads. He can protect; he’s conducted left and center predominantly here up to now, and he’s a correct defender.”
  • “Garrett Mitchell, that’s world-class glide that he’s featuring. I mumble he wants extra at-bats here. The skilled sport is loads completely different than the college sport, the put you play twice per week. Right here you play on every day foundation. In the skilled sport, you’ll want to per chance moreover must comprehend that in case you’re distress, you’ll want to per chance gentle play. For folks that’re injured, you’ll want to per chance’t. You’re now not going to truly feel correct the full time. I mumble he’s getting to that time now the put he’s knowing all of it.”
  • “I mumble Brice Turang is doing an not most likely job here. He’s doing the full lot he wants to manufacture here. The one thing he’s doing is he’s truly handling left-handed pitching. He can play center self-discipline, no peril. Shortstop, second, third. He’s as savvy a baseball player as I’ve been round in a truly very long time. He comes from correct stock. I mumble he’ll aid us.”
  • “Joey Wiemer is a truly exciting trend of man. He’s bought quite a lot of transferring components hitting-wise. I mumble that’s one thing that’s going to could per chance must be refined, nevertheless in case you rupture down his tool location, he’s bought all of them. In general in a nutshell what he does is he speeds the ball up when he hits. In other phrases, he picks his leg up and he’s bought a broad forward pass, so if he’s going through 98, he sees 98 nevertheless he’s searching for to hit 101. He has to learn to help his center point and fabricate comparatively extra work from unhurried the ball.”

Leave a comment