In 2018, the SF Giants selected pitching prospect Matt Frisbee in the 15th round out of the University of North Carolina - Greenbsoro. He came from a region that has deep roots in the organization both past and present.
SF Giants pitching prospect Matt Frisbee's roots run deep in the organization
Madison Bumgarner (North Carolina) and Buster Posey (Georgia) were drafted 11 years and 10 years prior, respectively. They became the foundation for a team that won three World Series rings in five years beginning in 2010.
In recent years, the Giants have reinvested heavily in that region. The Giant drafted Frisbee and Joey Bart (Georgia) in 2018, traded for Will Wilson (North Carolina) in 2019, and plucked Patrick Bailey and Nick Swiney out of North Carolina State University in 2020.
Frisbee did not play against Wilson, Bailey, or Swiney as an amateur prospect, but he did play on the Harwich Mariners of the Cape Cod League along with Bart in 2017. That region has produced nicely for the Giants and the hope is that it will continue to do so.
Frisbee has put together a nice career since being drafted in 2018. In four minor league seasons, he has registered a 4.48 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 9.5 K/9, and a 4.05 SO/W ratio while working primarily out of the rotation. This included a start in 2021 in which the right-handed hurler tallied six no-hitter innings against the Harrisburg Senators. Four pitchers combined to complete the no-hitter for the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Frisbee took some time to chat with me about his baseball journey so far. I appreciate his time in answering the questions and I hope you do as well:
JY: Let’s start with draft day. What was it like getting drafted by the Giants? Who was with you? Did you know that the Giants were going to select you?
MF: Getting drafted by the Giants was a dream come true. Getting drafted at all was a dream come true. All the hard work that I put in during college and working up to the draft paid off and it was a feeling I can’t describe. I remember being at a Neo Burrito in Asheville, NC when I got the call. I was with my wife at the time and we were in line waiting to order and my phone started to ring and I was like this burrito is going to have to wait.
JY: As a North Carolina native, what team did you root for as a kid? Did you play other sports growing up?
MF: Growing up in NC there’s not a lot of MLB teams that are near you. A lot of people grew up rooting for the Braves but I always loved the Red Sox. I also played football and basketball growing up.
JY: I realize that Candler, North Carolina, is not particularly close to Durham, North Carolina. That said, have the Durham Bulls become something of a tourist attraction given the fame of Bull Durham?
MF: My wife and I live in Durham NC now and a lot of people talk about the Durham Bulls and they relate it back to the movie. I’ve only been there a few times and it really is a beautiful park.
JY: The Giants have drafted heavily in North Carolina in recent years. Did you ever cross paths with Patrick Bailey or Will Wilson? What was it like playing on the same summer team as Joey Bart in 2017?
MF: I just remember hearing about Will and Pat during college. I was a year or two ahead of them so growing up I never got to play against them or anything. I’m a big fan of those guys now though. Getting to live out our dreams and being from the same place is something pretty cool. Playing with Joey in 2017 was great. One hell of a catcher lol. After being drafted we were in Salem together then San Jose and Sacramento last year. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well.
JY: What is the best piece of advice you have received since becoming a pro?
MF: The best piece of advice that I have received is to figure out what makes you, you. Don’t try and be someone you’re not. What I would tell someone who is coming into pro ball is keep your head down and get to work.
JY: Do you have a pre-game ritual on days that you pitch? What is your biggest baseball superstition?
MF: On my start days, I would say my ritual starts when I get to the field. I like to follow my same routine once I’m at the field. The night before I like to have a nice big steak. It gets me fired up for the next day!
JY: What does your offseason routine look like? Do the Giants monitor what you do?
MF: During the off-season, I spend my time golfing and fishing and hanging out with friends, family and of course my wife and puppies. I start to get after it after a few weeks after the season. Last year I spent some time at Cressey In Florida and it has changed me completely. I’ll be doing that program again this off-season.
JY: Who is the funniest teammate in the Giants organization right now?
MF: There’s a ton of guys in the organization that can get you laughing. It’s hard to put a finger on one. My buddy Blake Rivera is one the funniest guys I know. He has some of the best one liners in the game!