Frias was a thick-framed, strong-armed third baseman when he signed out of the Dominican Republic in November 2015. Seeing the potential in that combination, the D-backs moved him to the mound early in his career and watched him blossom into one of the more electric, high-ceiling pitching prospects in the system. He showed flashes of dominance in 2018 during his first stateside campaign and was the organization’s most improved pitching prospect in ’19, riding a jump in velocity and sharper secondary pitches up to Class A Kane County.
Frias is the epitome of a power pitcher with his combination of physicality and stuff. He generates big-time velocity with a lightning-quick arm, touching 99 mph with a fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper 90s deep in starts. A spike curveball gives Frias a second plus pitch, thrown with huge vertical depth and hard, 12-to-6 downer action that befuddles same-sided hitters. Frias’ enormous hands allowed him to add a split-changeup in 2019. The pitch registers in the upper 80s and bottoms out as it nears the plate, giving him a potential weapon against left-handed hitters.
Frias is an imposing presence on the mound and much heavier than his listed weight of 180 pounds, so he’ll need to keep his conditioning in check going forward. That Frias is athletic for his size and has a very loose arm action helps mitigate some concerns about his high-effort delivery, and club officials are more optimistic than ever about his long-term starter potential after the right-hander’s breakout performance.