Cincinnati Reds Top Prospects: TJ Friedl Doug Gray January 8, 2018 17 Comments The season got out to a nice start for TJ Friedl. The Cincinnati Reds sent him to Dayton and over the first three days he racked up six hits, including two triples and a double. That clearly wasn’t going to continue for the season, or the month. With that said, he continued to hit well the rest of the month. The outfielder closed out April on a high note, going 4-8 with three doubles and five RBI int he final two games of the month. In 94 plate appearances he would hit .298/.362/.500 with seven walks and 15 strikeouts. That also included 12 extra-base hits and five stolen bases. After a strong April, May began with a slump. TJ Friedl hit just .156 through the 10th of the month, but he did steal four bases during that span. He broke out over the next week, though. In six games he would hit .429 with four extra-base hits and four walks. After going 0-2 with 2 walks on the 18th, ending his 6-game hitting streak, Friedl went 13-45 (.289) with three home runs in the next ten games. The month would end with back-to-back 0-4’s. Despite the slow start he would finish May with a .250/.354/.435 line in 128 plate appearances. He had 12 extra-base hits and 12 walks during the month with 22 strikeouts. June began with an 8-game hitting streak for TJ Friedl. He went 12-31 (.387) in that span with seven extra-base hits, and more walks, five, than strikeouts, two. Things slowed down over the next week, but after the game on the 16th, the Reds promoted the outfielder to Advanced-A Daytona. Friedl didn’t waste time getting into the groove for the Tortugas. He went 7-17 in his first four games. He would finish out the month with a .313/.409/.414 line between his two stops. Over his 115 plate appearances he had 13 walks and 20 strikeouts. Things got out to a rough start for TJ Friedl in July. He would hit just .156 over the first nine games of the month. The following week he got things turned around, going 8-21 with three walks and just one strikeout. However, he only had one hit over the next four games from the 20th through the 24th. Friedl would finish the month out strong, though. In the final week he would hit .333 over seven games. The cold stretches were much worse than the hot stretches were good in July. Over 108 plate appearances the outfielder hit just .242/.305/.337 with six walks and 20 strikeouts. TJ Friedl began August slowly, going just 1-20 in the first five games. His one hit in that stretch was a solo home run, his 7th of the year. The next five games were about as opposite as they could be from the first five of the month. Friedl went 10-23 (.435) with four doubles. On the 12th, in the 3rd inning, he would attempt to make a play in center and injure his thumb. The next day he was placed on the disabled list and would miss the remainder of the season. In the 11 games he played in August he would hit .256/.289/.419 with one walk and eight strikeouts. For all 2017 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason). TJ Friedl Spray Chart TJ Friedl Scouting Report Hitting | TJ Friedl’s hit tool may be slightly below-average, but it could play up because of his ability to bunt and the speed to leg out some extra infield hits along the way. He doesn’t use the opposite field much, showing a pull-centric approach. Power | He shows below-average power potential, but 10-12 home runs isn’t out of the question. All of the power he does have, though, is to the pull side. Running | Friedl is an above-average to plus runner, though he needs to improve his stolen base abilities to match up to his pure speed. Arm | His arm is solid-average. Defense | He’s capable of handling center field just fine. He’s got enough speed to show good range and has solid routes and reads. Offensively a few things stick out for TJ Frield. Some are good, and some are not. On the good side, he’s got a quick bat and despite his size, when he pulls the ball he can show solid pop. There’s plenty of speed to his game, too. He utilizes that well with his bunting ability. He had 18 base hits on 34 bunt attempts (this does include “sac bunts” – which I always struggle with crediting for fast guys, who clearly are never just dropping it down and trotting gingerly to the bag in a true “sacrifice” manner). On the flip side of that, he really struggled against left handed pitching in 2017. He hit just .230/.296/.344 against lefties (.823 OPS against righties). His strikeout-to-walk ratio was significantly worse against leftes as well (31-to-7 versus 54-to-32). TJ Friedl will have to improve against lefties as he continues to develop if he’s going to compete for a job as a starter. The more advanced pitching in the Florida State League was a problem compared to the pitching in the Midwest League. Friedl saw his strikeout-to-walk ratio take a big turn downward as did the rest of his offensive numbers. The raw tools are there for TJ Friedl to possibly push for a starters role with continued development. He’ll need to improve against lefties for that to happen, and he’ll also need to get his strikeout-to-walk ratio back towards what he showed with Dayton over what he showed in Daytona. Things will likely need to come close to maxing out for Friedl to be an every day player, though. His profile looks more like that of a 4th outfielder who can cover you in all three spots defensively, pinch run for you and be a solid bench bat. 17 Responses Michael January 8, 2018 Nice write up Doug The Duke January 8, 2018 Sounds about right. Limited upside, but he has upside. He’ll need to be able to handle more advanced pitching better in High A this year. Interesting to see how playing time is divvied up in what spots between Friedl, Siri, and Trammell, all of whom I expect are in Daytona. Kap January 8, 2018 My guess is Trammell for sure in left, Siri in center, and Friedl in right. Most of the time anyways Wes January 8, 2018 It should be managements priority to play the guy who’s most likely to make it to the show at their most desirable position. So if trammell is in left than I’ll assume reds are giving up on him playing center Doug Gray January 8, 2018 I wouldn’t make that assumption if the guy in center happens to be Siri. Siri is a huge upside, legit prospect, who is a better defender. That’s not a slight on Trammell who is the better overall prospect, but this isn’t like playing Frank Mc19throunder in center over Trammell. Krozley January 8, 2018 He is a solid player with some upside, but is a bit of a spare part right now. Seems like he could be enticing as a 2nd or 3rd piece in some future trade the club makes. Wes January 8, 2018 Every franchise has a few friedl type players in it. Be tough to find a partner for guys like that. MK January 8, 2018 Pone of the intangibles the young man has is his leadership abilities. When the Dragons made their first half playoff push he was in the middle of all the action.The day after they clinched he and three others were promoted and the team wasn’t very good thereafter, mostly because he was gone. I had the good fortune to sit with his mom, grandma and aunt one night and mentioned to mom that the way he played and carried himself reminded me of Hunter Pence.His mom laughed and said he would be glad to hear it as that was the player he tried to emulate. MK January 8, 2018 I might mention too, he was such a good teammate that he was back in Dayton, sitting in the stands cheering for his former teammates during the playoffs. If you can’t tell I like the kid. HavaKlu January 8, 2018 Always appreciate your insider’s info. Am wondering what you thought about Randy Ventura who has kind of flown under the radar since he was acquired. MK January 8, 2018 Guess I expected a little more from Ventura. Obviously he had great speed, but offensively did not make as much contact as I thought he would. I thought he would cover the ground that T.J. did defensively but he did not. He has potential for sure but I would put him behind all of the other Dayton outfielders right now. MIchael B. Green January 8, 2018 Will Friedl start at AA or A+ this year? Doug Gray January 8, 2018 I’d be shocked if he started anywhere other than Daytona. He didn’t show much reason to promote him beyond that level. MK January 8, 2018 Saw this story from Greeneville. http://wjhl.com/2017/12/20/appalachian-league-president-we-have-greeneville-on-the-schedule-as-reds-tusculum-continue-lease-negotiations/ terry m January 8, 2018 mlb tv has Padres and White Sox hot on the trail for Yelich….. MK January 8, 2018 Heard from a person who would know, that the Nationals are interested as well. Piggly Wiggly January 8, 2018 Fried is a good player. He was just righting his ship at A+ when he injured his thumb. Many Reds prospects have had to take time to adjust to Daytona and the FSL pitching. The adjustments had taken hold when he got hurt. The transition should be smoother this season. Have no doubts in Friedl.