On a Thursday afternoon before game time, Cole Frenzel sits at a table in the kitchen at MCU Park with some fellow players, intently tuned into the Arizona/Florida State game. The 22-year-old infielder, who attended the University of Arizona, was selected by the Mets in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Frenzel made his debut with Brooklyn last summer and now returns for his second season of Cyclones baseball. And if there’s one thing he has learned from playing pro ball, it’s that baseball is a humbling game.
“It’s like [manager] Rich [Donnolly] always says, ‘In baseball, there are those who are humble and those who are about to be humble,’” quotes Frenzel. “One day you might go 4-for-4 and the next go 0-for-4. You can’t get too high up or too far down. You just need to go out there and work as hard as you can.”
Last summer, Frenzel hit .238 in 43 games for the Cyclones. He had 38 hits, including four doubles, one triple, and one home run. Frenzel scored 23 runs and knocked in 20, but also struck out 35 times.
“After playing college ball, I wasn’t where I wanted to be,” says Frenzel recalling his first year in Brooklyn. “This summer, I want to work on everything – taking swings, fielding groundballs, agility, strength…There’s never really just one thing. I think there’s always room for improvement in every area.”
And Frenzel says he has a great coaching staff here with the Cyclones to help him.
“I’ve been working with [hitting coach] Bobby [Malek] since day one, and I’ve learned so much,” says Frenzel. “And Rich is a great man. He’s very intense on the field – and always wants to win – but he’s also very professional and just a genuine guy. The coaches here really help you out a lot, and at the end of the day, they’re always there if you have a question or need anything.”
A native of Dickinson, ND, Frenzel came to New York for the first time last summer, and admits to having been a little lost in the big city.
“The first couple days it was awesome to see all the lights on our way home at night, driving in the van,” he says, “But it’s definitely a big change from being back home. Everything’s always moving here. I had to start taking trains and asking lots of questions.”
And not only did Frenzel have to learn the subway system to navigate his way around the city, but he also had to get into a new routine at the ballpark.
“I was just getting my feet wet,” he says. “I wasn’t used to playing every day. It took a little while, but I learned to settle in here and calm my mind down.”
To prepare for a game, Frenzel says he usually spends some time hitting in the cage and listens to music on his iPod. He’s also sure to have a good breakfast and lunch. One of his favorite places to eat in the city is the Union Square Café, where he goes for the Eggs Benedict.
For Frenzel, one of the most memorable moments of last season was hitting his first professional home run.
“It was against the [State College] Spikes,” he recalls, “It was a 1-0 count – a fastball that went to right center field. Just that feeling you have running around the bases… It’s amazing.”
Frenzel also remembers the excitement of clinching the playoffs, saying it was a great experience. And although this year’s team is a little younger than last year’s, Frenzel says the talent level is about the same and that he hopes to be celebrating another playoff berth with the Cyclones this year.