Garrett Frechette, 1B
BATS: L / THROWS: L
ACQUIRED: Drafted 2019, 5th Round
LAST LEVEL: Low-A
VOLATILITY: Very High
GiantFutures 2023 Ranks: #2 First Baseman
2022 Performance: In his second go-around at Low-A San Jose, Garrett Frechette showed a strong overall improvement. He cut his strikeout rate significantly, from 31.7% down to 24.0%, which is still high but was an undeniable improvement. That helped him improve his batting average to .255 on the season, and he began to show more in-game power, with 16 doubles and and four home runs, after barely showing any power in San Jose in 2021.
Frechette really had one great month, June, when he hit .369/.426/.464 with five doubles and a home run, but the 21-year old then struggled down the stretch, batting just .181 in July and appeared tired the rest of the season. He did appear in a career-high 97 games, up from 81 games in 2021 across San Jose and the Arizona Complex League.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Frechette has the kind of classic left-handed swing that scouts love, but he’s struggled to put it together in games. He has shown improvement since the lost pandemic season, but as a 21-year old, he hasn’t improved as quickly as hoped, particularly in terms of power, and while Frechette has cut down his strikeouts, he’s still taking very few walks. He also truly struggled against left-handed pitchers in 2022 after performing better against them in 2021.
Frechette’s biggest strength is that he’s the best defensive first baseman in the system at the moment. He has continued to improve his footwork and is able to pick up tough throws, though he is not an overwhelming plus defender either. The team has tried him in left field a few times, but his range is subpar out there.
2023 Outlook: High-A is calling, and Frechette is headed to Eugene. This will be his big chance to really break out. Frechette’s defense is going to be particularly challenged on the fast, fake turf in Oregon, but he could emerge as the Giants’ best bet at first base.
Future Profile: Frechette’s home is definitely first base. The question is, can he hit enough to make it to the big leagues. First is always a spot with extra competition, but if he can make it to being an average hitting first baseman with some pop, he could make it as a bench or platoon player.