With the many questions surrounding the Mets and how they will fill their roster for the 2014 season, one can only dream of the team bringing in top notch players from the free agent pool or even via a trade. But what the fans do not realize is that some of those viable options may just come from within the organization. Now of course we all want the team to win now, so even one or two signings this winter will bring some excitement for 2014. But if we are looking at long term, the Mets are developing some real good players within their farm system and preparing these players to make an impact in the not so distant future.
One player that is looking like he can fill that role is Cole Frenzel, a lefty hitting third baseman, who can also play both corner infield positions. When I asked about what position he actually would prefer to play, he showed he has a great attitude when it comes to being a team player, “Which ever one the team needs me to play that day”, says Frenzel.
Frenzel was signed by the Mets in the 7th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft from the University of Arizona. He was then sent to Brooklyn to start his pro career and in 43 games, he batted .238. In 2012, he started in Brooklyn and then was promoted to Savannah and combined he played in 66 games and batted .247, 29 runs scored, 15 doubles, 4 home runs in 235 at bats. After having a tremendous High School career where he was named the North Dakota High School Player of the Year in 2009, he had been plagued by some injuries in college and in his first two seasons in pro ball, which have limited his output capability.
In 2013, he was a part of the Savannah team that won the South Atlantic League Championship and showed he was healthy again by playing in 119 games and batted .235, with 51 runs scored, 24 doubles, 7 home runs, 60 RBI’s in 422 at bats. In the Championship series he batted .307, with 5 runs scored, double, and 3 walks.
Frenzel has a very good upside to his career; he has shown that when healthy he can produce and he is still developing into a viable ball player. The future for him is very bright and as he continues to grow and learn, Mets fans will be very happy with the results.
Enjoy my interview with Cole Frenzel below:
David – Is there something that you would like to share with the Mets fans that they do not already know about you? Your interests, hobbies outside of baseball?
Cole - Well, I really enjoy the outdoors. I enjoy hunting and fishing a lot. Every year when season ends I usually go on a week long fishing trip with my dad, grandpa and brother. It’s a great time.
David – You throw right handed and bat left handed, that is real unique, when did you realize that the combination worked best?
Cole - I guess I’m not really sure, it’s just natural for me. I write, eat and bat left handed, but kick right footed and throw right handed so I guess it’s just kind of ambidextrous. In baseball it works out great sometimes.
David – Did you have a favorite player growing up and if so, did you model your game after him?
Cole - I really enjoyed watching Ken Griffey jr when I was a kid. His left handed swing was nice to watch and they had all those video games named after him growing up. I never really took a player and tried to play just like him, I just enjoyed watching good hitters hit and good pitchers throw. Just like any kid, ya know.
David – Who was a most influential person for you while playing at University of Arizona?
Cole - I had a lot of positive and influential people at Arizona all the way from the coaching staff, strength and conditioning and even teammates. Andy Lopez is an unbelievable coach and an even better person. He is a true professional when it comes to how he handles his program. It was an honor suiting up for him while playing for Arizona. Also, Mark Wasikowski (who is now with Oregon) was a great coach as well. Our strength and conditioning coach Jim was awesome as well. I really enjoyed my time playing for coach Lopez and the University of Arizona and learned a ton. It truly was a blessing and dream come true to play for the University of Arizona.
David – On the day that you were drafted by the Mets in 2011; where were you when you received the news? Can you describe what was going through your mind and who was the first person you called?
Cole - I was actually playing in the Regional Championship game against Texas A&M on the day of the draft. We had come all the way out of the losers bracket and got rained out the day we were suppose to play, so we played the following day which happened to be the day of the draft. I was drafted while on the field playing in the game so after the game when I was on the bus I saw I had a ton of text messages, missed calls and voice mails. My dad called me and was the first to tell me the news. I just remember it being such a bitter sweet moment. I was still really disappointed and angry because we had lost and our season was done. Everything you and your teammates had worked for all year was now over, but at the same time your entire life dream and goal has presented itself as an opportunity to play professional baseball. It was definitely a day I will never forget.
David – In 2011, you played your first pro baseball season with the Brooklyn Cyclones, what was the experience like and how can you compare it to playing in college?
Cole - Brooklyn was amazing. Some of the best baseball fans in the country live there, and they show up every game. It was an awesome experience for me and the first time I had ever seen New York. The only difference was now pro ball you play an actual game everyday, where as college you usually play on the weekends and sometimes mid week games. Both were awesome places to play and great experiences.
David – You have had some injuries that have limited your play in your first two years in pro baseball, but in 2013 you played in 119 games with Savannah, do you feel you have been able to put those injuries behind you now?
Cole - Yeah I think so, staying healthy is always something you work hard at doing all the way from diet to the weight room. The Mets have an outstanding training staff as well as strength and conditioning so it’s always easy to ask for guidance when you have those late season nicks and scrapes to work through and maintain good health.
David – Can you describe the feeling of winning the 2013 South Atlantic League Championship?
Cole - Epic. One of the best memories I will ever have in the game of baseball. It truly was a blessing to be able to share that moment with such a great group of teammates and coaching staff and even the City of Savannah. It was an awesome experience.
David – What teammate has impressed you the most this season, and who should Mets fans be most excited about seeing in the future?
Cole - Gabriel Ynoa was awesome to play defense behind as he shut down the SAL League throughout the year. Steven Matz also is fun to play behind but really our entire pitching staff was outstanding all year. They really kept us in ball games all year and got outs for us. Also, our hitters did a great job scratching runs when it counted and playing solid defense behind our pitchers.
David – Is there a Met manager or coach who has made an impact in your approach to the game and helped elevate your performance?
Cole - Yes the entire Mets organization has impacted me as a player as they help me everyday to get better. I really enjoy working with all of our rovers from K-Mo, Jack Voit, Lamar Johnson, Luis Rivera, and even the managers I have been able to play with have been great. My first year Rich Donnelley was an outstanding manager. He taught me a lot my first two years in pro ball an still does. Luis Rojas also was an awesome manager to play for as well. I have had nothing but positive influence while working with the Mets staff and hope to continue to improve my game with their help.
David – You have had success in your career in the minors; do you feel like you are on track with the goals you set for yourself? If so, what are you expecting for 2014?
Cole - Yeah, I just plan to keep working as hard as I can. That’s all you can do is just work as hard as you can and do things right. Eventually and hopefully things will pan out the way you hope they do.
David – Moving forward, what stands between you and the big leagues? What do you specifically need to work on as a player, and improve upon, in order to be ready to compete on the big stage?
Cole - Consistency is a big thing and I think the more you mature and develop the more you learn and are able to apply things. I have learned a ton about this game and still continue to learn things everyday.
David – When the off-season arrives, what do you look forward to doing the most? Family time, friends time, or just rest?
Cole - I enjoy spending time with all of the family. I also really look forward to doing some bow hunting. For me it’s a time to get away and enjoy the wilderness. Last year Brandon Nimmo came up to North Dakota and we did some bow hunting and hung out. We got him his first buck with his bow and he’ll be back this fall. Also, this year Steven Matz is coming up to do some bow hunting as well.
David - How will you prepare over the winter; can you describe your workout regimen?
Cole - I will be in the weight room just about every day along with the conditioning stand point. The Mets do an outstanding job with the strength and conditioning level and have offseason workouts for us to follow. I usually take a little over a month off from swinging when the season ends just to stay fresh and then ease back into the baseball activity, so by Christmas I am getting ready for spring training.
David – Anything you would like to share with the Mets fans?
Cole - I would like to say thank you for the all of the support all the way from the fans from North Dakota, Arizona and to New York.
I want to thank Cole for taking the time out of his off-season to chat with me about his career and future with the Mets. Many positive things are happening in the farm system, and it all starts with the talent that is getting better each season. I look forward to following Cole as he makes his way towards Citi Field; it should be an exciting journey. If the Mets worried about having depth on their team, very soon, that won’t be much of an issue.
(Photo Credit – Tracy Proffitt)