Emary Frederick was very tough on FSL hitters
BINGHAMTON, NY - Reliever Emary Frederick is on his way back to St. Lucie, but so far the right-hander is off to the best start of his career. First, Frederick overcame a scary off-season injury before he could mow down Florida State League hitters and get another taste of the Eastern League. Frederick spoke with Inside Pitch about his 2010 start.
[FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT]
After three inconsistent seasons, right handed side-armer Emary Frederick is finally putting it all together in 2010.
Frederick, who was signed by the Mets as an undrafted free agent in 2006, began this season in Port St. Lucie, and in 12 games there, he surrendered just one run over 18 innings. He averaged a strikeout per inning and walked just one batter.
The start to Frederick’s season was impeded by a shoulder injury which landed him on Binghamton’s disabled list. Frederick initially believed the injury to be career threatening.
When he was deemed ready to pitch, Frederick was assigned to St. Lucie on April 23rd. His performance in the Florida State League earned him a promotion to Binghamton on May 22nd.
“My start to the season this year is a blessing,” he said. “I had a shoulder impingement in the off-season. It felt pretty bad, I thought it was worse than that; I didn’t think I’d be pitching off of a mound again. So far, it’s been my best professional season.”
Frederick made 23 appearances for the B-Mets in 2009, during which he had a 5.46 earned run average in 29.2 innings.
In four appearances for the B-Mets this season, Frederick has allowed six runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings, and has struck out five batters Frederick is happy to have returned to playing in the Eastern League.
“It’s always good to be back at a higher level,” he said before he was sent back to St. Lucie on May 31. “There are a lot of levels in the minor leagues, so I’m just trying to stay focused and see what happens.”
So far in 2010, Frederick’s strikeout rate has increased from years past. However, he hasn’t made a concerted effort to strike out more batters. It’s something he attributes to his overall progression as a pitcher.
“I think it’s just coming with my development,” Frederick said. “We’ve got some very good pitching coaches that have been working with me. If you pitch well, the strikeouts come; I’m not going for them.”
Frederick has refined some of the pitches in his arsenal this season, which has played a large role in his improved results.
“My sinker is a little better than usual, and I’ve got a little more control on my slider, but I would say my fastball (has improved the most),” he said.
One pitch that Frederick feels still needs amelioration is his changeup.
“Most improvement…changeup, no question,” he said. “Sometimes I rush my wind-up when I’m throwing my changeup instead of staying fluid, staying closed, and going through my motion like I regularly do, and I leave it up, and it gets torn up. So I just have to work on that.”
One of Frederick’s strengths is his ability to generate ground balls. B-Mets pitching coach Mark Brewer hadn’t seen Frederick pitch much prior to his promotion, but is pleased with what he has seen from his glimpse at him thus far.
“I’ve seen exactly what I’ve been told, and that’s a guy who can come in and induce ground balls in situations where we need the ball hit on the ground,” Brewer said. “He’s aggressive, throws the ball through the zone, initiates contact, and with the tremendous sink on his fastball, that’s exactly what you get out of that.”
The coaches from St. Lucie informed Brewer of some of the keys to Frederick’s outstanding start to the season.
“They told me he’s resilient, he’s aggressive, he’s not afraid and he’s a guy that can come in and hold runners, and initiate ground balls when you need them,” Brewer said.
Frederick feels his experience with Binghamton last year will help him see better results in his second time around.
“Most definitely,” Frederick said. “Last year being my first time up to Double-A, it’s a mental factor to get past, and getting that experience last year has helped me this year so far.”
To Not Miss a Beat of All the Mets' Prospects News and To Read All About All the Top Prospects, Subscribe to InsidePitchMagazine.com