Friedl gained some notoriety for his odd path to the Reds, the industry seemingly not aware the University of Nevada product was a draft eligible sophomore in 2016. He signed for over $700K as an undrafted free agent, a speed and hit tool profile. He’s displayed both as pro, with the wheels to dig out hits and the patience to post high on-base percentages. I saw him with Pensacola in the Double-A Southern league in early July.
Friedl has a high-contact approach that yields ground balls and line drives on pitches elevated. His swing is short and direct and he shows feel for the barrel, and I expect him to continue knocking singles to all fields as he advances. There isn’t any real playable power here, both due to Friedl’s bat path and late count approach.To make it as regular, that means he will need to provide value defensively, ideally in the middle of the field, though he didn’t show tremendous instincts when I saw him playing LF in this look. He has the straightline speed for a center-diamond profile, but the feel and routes limit him to being a CF option only in a pinch.
In an era of strikeouts, homers, and fly balls, Friedl is the outlier corner prospect who has value hitting the ball on the ground and using his legs. His patience and ability to reach base via the walk add some value despite the lac of power. There isn’t enough of a carry tool for an impactful big league profile, but the sum-of-parts and quality at-bats give Friedl the ceiling of a bench player.