Relief pitcher Julio Frias just completed his fourth season in rookie ball.
Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 186 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Julio Manuel Frias is a 6’2″, 160 lb. left-handed pitcher from Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. The town of Boca Chica, population 75,827 (per the United Nations website) has produced one major leaguer, shortstop Andres Thomas (1985-1990, Atlanta Braves).
Frias signed with the Miami Marlins through international free agency on July 4th, 2014. Born on June 1st, 1998, he got into his first professional game a day after his 17th birthday. He joined the rookie-level DSL Marlins, in the Dominican Summer League for the 2015 campaign, and went 1-4 with a 3.86 ERA over 13 games. He started four of them, and earned one save in three chances. Frias struck out 22 in 23 1/3 innings while holding opposing batters to a still-career-low .233 average.
Frias remained with the DSL Marlins in 2016 and again appeared in 13 games while the organization gave him a longer look at starter. He started eight times and pitched 48 2/3 innings in total. His 1.93 WHIP was the worst of his career, as was his 0-5 record and his 5.92 ERA.
A lateral promotion to the GCL Marlins in the rookie-level, Florida-based Gulf Coast League awaited Frias to open 2017. He allowed a .298 opposing batting average while striking out a career-best 10.45 batters per nine, with 24 K’s in 20 2/3 frames.
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Another season with the GCL squad was interrupted by a roster status change on August 7th. Prior to that date, Frias had a 1.59 WHIP and a 4.68 ERA, with 23 whiffs in 32 2/3 innings. He put up his best performance of the season, by far, on June 26th in an 8-7 win over the GCL Astros. He came into the game with a 7-2 lead in the third inning, and held the Astros hitless for five innings while collecting six strikeouts. According to FanGraphs, Frias put 169-of-251 pitches over the plate, a strike-rate of 67.3 percent.
Players who begin their professional careers in the DSL generally have a low chance at ever reaching the major leagues, and so expectation is mostly not very high. Frias hasn’t had a particularly good run of things in his four rookie-level seasons, going 3-15 with a 5.10 ERA and a WHIP which never got below 1.59. I would be surprised if he remains on the organizational roster for very much longer, but if he does he should start again in GCL.
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