Friedl overcomes odds to make pro baseball dream come true

Here on a July afternoon at Blue Wahoos Stadium in Pensacola, the humidity its usual unforgiving self, Cincinnati Reds prospect TJ Friedl is in the dugout after another session of batting practice.

What’s amazing is that he is even playing baseball at this level. He checks in at 5-foot-10 in the height department and isn’t built like a hitter who is going to win home run derbies for years to come.

This is also a player who went undrafted out of the University of Nevada two years ago and then signed a deal with the Cincinnati Reds that included a $732,500 bonus, the largest ever for a free agent after the draft.

The money spent has been well worth it.

Through Friedl’s first 20 games in Double-A, the 22-year-old outfielder is batting close to .300. His hit total of 22 includes five for extra bases and he’s knocked in six runs, too. Friedl also has seven stolen bases to his credit.

Read the full article in the July 26 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at for as little as $38 per year.


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