Sal Frelick grew up a Boston College fan, regularly attending football, hockey and baseball games. It’s what led to him verbally committing to play baseball for the Eagles after his freshman year at Lexington High School in Massachusetts.
But as he developed as an athlete throughout high school, Frelick started to receive collegiate football interest. Frelick, who played football, hockey and baseball in high school, earned Gatorade Football Player of the Year for Massachusetts his senior year. His success in his final year on the gridiron caused him to reconsider his college plans.
Boston College, Army, Navy and Villanova expressed early interest in him as a football player. He reconsidered his options, debating whether to pick just one sport or two sports in college. After talking with his family and coaches, Frelick stuck with his original plan and attended Boston College for baseball in fall 2018.
The decision has paid off for Frelick over the last two years. He has gone from receiving relatively no professional interest out of high school to being one of the top prospects for the 2021 MLB draft.
“I don’t think I talked to one scout out of high school,” Frelick said. “I played in the Futures League out of high school and did pretty well and then a couple of teams tried to get me to sign with them post-draft.
“I try not to think about the draft as much as the player development. It has been cool to see my development in the last few years. When the lights turn on and I’m between the lines, I just feel that I can compete with the best of them. I like to compete, and I hope I can do that in my junior year and into the draft.”
As a freshman at Boston College in 2019, Frelick hit .367 with eight doubles, one triple, four home runs and 32 RBIs. He also stole 18 bases and drew more walks (22) than strikeouts (16).
Frelick had surgery on his meniscus in the fall of his freshman year and then at the end of his first season with Boston College. The injuries didn’t hinder his performance, though, and Frelick said he now feels 100% healthy.
In the spring, Frelick posted a .241 batting average in 15 games before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the college baseball season to end prematurely.
Frelick was going to play in the Cape Cod League this summer but the pandemic altered those plans. With the Cape Cod League shutdown, Frelick is competing in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. He is hitting .392 with two home runs and seven RBIs in 14 games this summer.
“I think the biggest thing for me has been just staying in shape hitting wise over quarantine,” Frelick said. “You could tell that the guys who didn’t have the ability to hit during the quarantine were a little rusty. I was fortunate to get out and hit every day. I also have stayed aggressive at the plate. That has been a big thing for me. I have had that trait throughout college and have brought it to this summer.”
Frelick is a left-handed hitter who has a simple load and quick hands. He profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter due to his strong plate disciple and ability to hit for average and power.
He also is athletic and possesses solid speed, which he uses to impact the game on the base pads and defensively in the outfield.
“I think my speed is probably my biggest strength,” Frelick said. “I think I steal a lot of infield hits, so I try to not be a big strikeout guy and put the ball in play. I want to hit for average. I think I also have power too.”
Frelick has played in the outfield during his time at Boston College. That was an adjustment for him, as he played in the infield throughout high school. He has gained additional experience in the infield this summer, spending time at second base, shortstop and third base.
“I definitely want to improve on my versatility as a defender,” Frelick said. “I came out of high school as a shortstop, and then I played outfield my freshman and sophomore years. I have played a little more infield this summer too. I just want to work on being able to play every single position so that I can get in the lineups, regardless if it’s the infield or outfield.”
Frelick’s versatility will benefit him once he starts his pro career. He envisions himself playing center field long-term but is open to any position a team asks him to play, he said.
“I really think center field is my future long-term position,” Frelick said. “I am really comfortable out there. I can utilize my speed. When a ball goes up, I think I can go run it down wherever it is. In the infield, I can’t use that long-distance speed as much.”
Frelick isn’t the only top draft prospect on Boston College’s roster. Junior infielder Cody Morissette also is a potential first-round pick in next year’s draft.
Frelick and Morissette played against each other in high school. They also have been roommates for their first two years at Boston College. The camaraderie the duo share has helped one another develop their skills throughout their first two years in college, Frelick said.
“I think the best part about us two with rooming together and playing together is that we make each other better,” Frelick said. “We each have areas of our game that need improving and help each other with that. He has been a tremendous friend and teammate of mine.”
Read more stories on top 2021 MLB draft prospects here.
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He’s interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he’s appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.