Catcher Tucker Frawley joined the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization after being drafted in the 8th round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of Coastal Carolina University, a time Frawley discussed as being exciting and memorable. “Going into the draft, I tried to not set any real expectations as to where or when I would be drafted. Because I was a senior, I just wanted an opportunity to continue playing, so when the Blue Jays drafted me where they did, I was obviously extremely excited to get the chance to keep playing the game that I love,” Frawley stated.
The 23-year old continued playing the game he loves, making his professional season debut with the Vancouver Canadians maintaining a .185 batting average on the season, while hitting 15 hits in 26 games. Frawley stated this opportunity went well and was beneficial to his development. “Obviously I did not perform offensively like I would have liked, but I gained valuable experience and learned a lot about professional baseball over the course of the season. The team was full of great guys and the coaches up there really taught me a lot,” he said.
“My favorite moment on the season was definitely winning the Northwest League Championship. The playoff run that we made was something that I will never forget and winning a championship like we did is what baseball is all about.”
Playing each of his 26 games behind the plate, Frawley maintained a .990 fielding percentage and caught 32 percent of runners attempting to steal. His defensive abilities, Frawley admits, is something that is really important to his overall game. “I take great pride in everything that I do defensively. I think that a catcher’s main job is to do all that he can to make the pitcher comfortable and the team better through his defense and leadership, so I strive to be the best that I can behind the plate.”
Having caught a variety of pitchers throughout the season, the young catcher also gave JaysProspects his thoughts on which pitchers fans (and scouts) should look out for. “I think that the strength of our team this past season was our pitching staff, so obviously it was full of guys to keep an eye out for,” he said, adding, “ If I had to pick one or two guys I would say Taylor Cole and Javier Avendano simply because of their dominance in the league. They were one and two, respectively, in the league in ERA, which shows just how good they were for us every outing.”
When JaysProspects last spoke to one of the pitchers on the staff, Bobby Brosnahan, the right-handed pitcher discussed Frawley as being, “a pretty quiet kid, but he has a great sense of humor and is an up and coming rapper…” When Frawley heard the description, he laughed, and replied, “Bobby is a lot of fun to be around and knows how to keep the mood in the clubhouse light. He has a great sense of humor and has a knack for making people laugh. I think his description of me is fairly accurate except for the rapping abilities part. Bobby is known to be a jokester, so I would not trust him about me being “an up and coming rapper.”
Despite not having the rapping talents, Frawley has many skills. He personally admits that one of his best strengths is his ability to learn new things, something that was hugely important after taking the jump to professional baseball from college ball.
“While the talent level is a big difference, I think that the biggest difference between college baseball and professional baseball is the mindset that you have to approach each day and each game with,” he said. “Playing every day can wear you down mentally and physically, but you cannot allow yourself to not be able to perform at your best because of it. Showing up with the right mindset each day and not allowing yourself to get too high or too low was something that I found to be very important in professional baseball.”
Frawley further discussed his time in university. “The time that I spent at Coastal Carolina for five years was something that I will cherish forever and would not trade for anything. I received a great education and made some very good friends while getting a chance to be a part of a team that had a chance to compete for the national championship each year. The coaching staff there was second to none and really helped me develop and become a better player. I was extremely fortunate to get a great academic experience in addition to on the baseball field,” he said.
He added, “My academic advisor and professors were great and helped me to succeed in the classroom. If baseball did not work out, I was planning on taking the MCAT and applying to medical school.
Analyzing his college performance, the Blue Jays’ organization should be fortunate that Frawley chose a career in baseball rather than medicine as when he wasn’t finding success in the classroom, he was finding success both behind the plate and at the plate, being named a semi-finalist for the nation’s top catcher in his senior year after maintaining a .296 batting average, .411 on base percentage while scoring 25 runs and hitting eight doubles.
Speaking on his offensive abilities, the South Carolina native stated, “I feel that my offensive game is being able to situationally do whatever is needed to help the team win. I take pride in doing little things like getting a bunt down or getting a runner over and doing whatever is needed to help the team win. That being said, I am constantly trying to improve my approach and offensive game as a whole to become a better hitter.”
But as aforementioned, Frawley not only has offensive abilities, but strong defensive talents as well. Throughout his time at Coastal University, the prospect threw out 49 percent of base runners during his senior year while committing only nine errors in 854 chances in his entire career.
“Defense is one thing that I have always taken pride in and I have had the chance to be coached by some great coaches when it comes to catching. Kevin Schnall, who coached the catchers at Coastal Carolina, helped me develop tremendously as a catcher. He has a relentless work ethic that cannot help but rub off on you, and I truly believe that he is the best catching instructor in the country. The opportunity to be able to work with him as a catcher was one of the main reasons that I chose to go to Coastal and I am thankful for all the help that he gave me.”
In addition to the development he received from the staff at Coastal University, Frawley was also quick to thank his parents for their constant support in getting him where he is both as a person and as a player. “My parents have been as supportive as possible throughout my life and have given me every opportunity that I could have asked for, so I would definitely like to thank them. I wouldn’t be where I am today without everything they have done.”
Looking into the upcoming 2013 season, Frawley admits that he isn’t focused on any particular trait in particular, but instead, becoming more of a well-rounded ball player. “I do not have any specific goals or aspirations for next season, but I would like to improve in all facets of my game and have a healthy and successful year.”
In closing, Frawley stated that amidst all of his many talents and accomplishments, the one thing that gives him the most pride is his background and family. “Many people do not know that I am one-quarter Japanese. I have a Japanese flag on my catcher’s mitt and many teammates do not even know until they ask about the flag. My grandmother was Japanese, and it is something that I am always proud of,” he said.