WEYMOUTH, Mass. (July 27, 2023) — It has been a memorable week for Sal Frelick, the two-time Futures League Top Pro Prospect who became the 17th-ever league alum to play Major League Baseball (MLB) when he debuted for the Milwaukee Brewers last Saturday night.
Frelick is the fifth Futures League product to make his MLB debut in 2023, which is just one shy of matching the league-record total of six that was set last season.
The Lexington native spent two Futures League seasons with the North Shore Navigators, playing first in 2018 ahead of his freshman season at Boston College before returning to Lynn for the “improbable summer” of 2020 during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. Frelick’s debut makes North Shore the 11th all-time Futures League organization to produce a MLB player, all within the last six years.
Frelick, who is MLB Pipeline’s No. 17 overall prospect and No. 2 in the Brewers organization, started in right field and hit sixth in his Saturday debut against the Atlanta Braves. He went 3-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI, including a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. Frelick hit his first home run two nights later against the Cincinnati Reds and reached base in each of the first five games of his MLB career.
Frelick’s call to the bigs came just two days after he homered and recorded a career-high six RBI for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, where he had played in only 40 games this season due to a six-week stint sidelined with a thumb injury. He is a .314 hitter with 15 homers, 99 RBI, 147 runs scored and 44 stolen bases across 197 career games in the minors.
Frelick enjoyed a rapid rise that included reaching Triple-A last season, just over a year after Milwaukee made him a first-round draft choice at No. 15 overall in 2021. He hit .331 with 11 homers and 24 steals over three levels in 2022, which helped him earn a spot on Team Italy for the World Baseball Classic earlier this year.
Frelick is the second-highest draft pick in Futures League history, as his No. 15 selection was just topped earlier this month when former Worcester Bravehearts and University of Maryland infielder Matt Shaw was picked 13th by the Chicago Cubs.
After graduating from Lexington High School as a standout three-sport athlete in football, hockey and baseball, Frelick made a name for himself in the Futures League. Back in 2018, Frelick led the league in home runs (7) and slugging percentage (.594) while hitting a team-best .361 with 36 RBI and 22 stolen bases.
Frelick flirted with .400 when he returned to the Navigators in 2020, posting a league-leading .398 average with a 1.065 OPS, 12 extra-base hits, 16 RI and 26 runs scored across 24 games.
During his collegiate career, Frelick hit .345 with 139 hits, 97 runs scored, 63 RBI and 38 stolen bases. He became the fastest Eagle ever to post 100 career hits in just 72 games. He hit .359 with a 1.002 OPS and earned Rawlings/ABCA Gold Glove and Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors as a junior. He was also the New England Rookie of the Year in 2019.
Two of the first four former Futures Leaguers to make their MLB debuts this season were also Boston College products. Former Wachusett Dirt Dawgs infielder Jake Alu started the league’s record of MLB alumni debuts in 2023 when he played for the Washington Nationals on May 9, while Frelick’s classmate Emmet Sheehan had a no-hit debut on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 16.
Former Worcester Bravehearts and University of New Haven pitcher Josh Walker made his first pitching appearance for the New York Mets on May 16, while Brockton Rox and University of Virginia product Zack Gelof got the call July 14 to play second base for the Oakland Athletics.
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