By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Cole Frenzel spent most of his first summer on Coney Island getting acclimated to the transition from college baseball to life as a Brooklyn Cyclone.
Playing virtually every day, using wood bats instead of the aluminum he wielded at the University of Arizona and finding his way around our fair borough were all major adjustments for the 22-year-old first baseman.
"Last year, I got here halfway through the season," Frenzel noted after going 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored in Monday night's 3-0 victory over Hudson Valley at MCU Park. "This year, being here the whole year, I know where I'm going in the city. I feel more like I know the routine now than I did. Last year, I just got my feet wet. Now, I can help guys out."
A pro neophyte in 2011, Frenzel batted .238 with one homer and 20 RBIs in 43 games as the Cyclones made a late-season charge to grab the New York-Penn League wild-card spot before falling in three tough games to the arch rival Staten Island Yankees in the first round of the playoffs.
Thus far this season, the North Dakota native and former seventh-round draft pick is saving his adjustments for the playing field, and enjoying the results.
Though six games, Frenzel leads the Baby Bums with a .409 batting average (9-for-22) while driving in four runs and scoring five. Perhaps more importantly, the second-year Cyclone has provided a steadying presence for the youngest roster in the 12-year history of the franchise. Whether he's giving subway directions or simply informing his younger teammates on what gear to wear for that's day game, Frenzel has become one of the Class A franchise-by-the-sea's go-to guys.
"We're a little bit younger this year," Frenzel admitted following Brooklyn's third consecutive win following a two-game losing streak. "We have a lot of high school guys. Talent-wise we're just as good as we were last year. We have really good players and we're a good pitching team. Guys are coming up to me and asking me questions."
As a member of the Wildcats, who captured the College World Series title Monday by knocking off defending two-time champion South Carolina, Frenzel was All-Pac-10 as a senior, hitting .346 with a .461 on-base percentage while reaching safely in a school record-tying 59 consecutive games.
After a dose of reality at the pro level last summer, he appears to be finding his niche with the Cyclones in 2012, a development he credits, at least in part, to some sage advice from second-year manager Rich Donnelly.
"It's like Rich always says, 'In baseball, there are those who are humble and those who are about to be humble,'" Frenzel recalled in a recent interview on the team's website (www.brooklyncyclones.com).
"One day, you might go 4-for-4 and the next go 0-for-4. You can't get too high or too far down. You just need to go out there and work as hard as you can."
Whether he's taking instuction from batting coach Bobby Malek, a member of the Cyclones' inaugural team in 2001, or honing his craft at first base, the 6-foot-2, 208-pound Frenzel is intent on doing whatever it takes to bolster his standing as a Mets prospect and rising through the ranks of the organization's system, even if that means saying goodbye to Surf Avenue.
"This summer, I want to work on everything — taking swings, fielding groundballs, agility, strength," added Frenzel, who committed just one error in 371 chances last summer to lead all NY-Penn first baseman in fielding percentage at a dazzling .997 clip. "There’s never really just one thing. I think there’s always room for improvement in every area.”