|Friscia, image- Jay Floyd|
But what's his deal? Friscia opened the season with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, where, in 16 games, he notched a .264 batting average with a pair of home runs, five doubles and seven RBI. Last week, when Triple-A Lehigh Valley needed a reserve backstop, Friscia was promoted to fill their void. When Rafael Marchan returned from a short stint in the big leagues, Friscia was assigned to the Double-A Reading roster.
Is he just a backup catcher? For now, it seems that's his role. But check out this quote from BlueClaws skipper Chris Adamson from earlier this month when I asked him about which player stood out to him as a guy that deserved recognition, but may not be getting it.
"Vito Friscia is a guy that, early on in the season, wasn't getting a whole lot of at bats. He's a catcher by trade. Plays a little bit of first base, but I can't say enough-- I can't heap enough praise on that guy. He was not getting a lot of at bats early on, but he was consistent with his work that he was doing every day, who he was as a person when he showed up at the ball park every day, never waivered. Whether he played every day or sat on the bench every day, you wouldn't know...so, he made our team better before he even set foot in the box. But what he's done when he's in the box, he has above average at bats. Like, he's a tough out and there's a lot of hard contact there when he's not getting hits. So, to see a guy like that who...can take the opportunity when it's presented, it's really cool. I'm super proud of him and he continues to work every day, but (he) understands that he wants to win as a team and he understands where he is in the scheme of things from a catching stand point and he's just making the most of every opportunity. So, I can't speak highly enough of him and how he makes our team better whether he's playing or not."
Hopefully, we'll see Vito get some increased playing time this year and show what he can do more regularly.
For access to audio of that complete interview with Adamson, in which he shares insight on players such as Hunter Markwardt, Jonathan Guzman, Jhailyn Ortiz and others, visit my Patreon page at Patreon.com/PhoulBallz and support my coverage.