||Born: December 16, 1985
Height: 5′ 11″
Drafted: 3rd Round, 98th Overall, 2007
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Friday had a strong sophomore year, earning a first team All-America nod from Baseball America. He fell off a little in his junior year, except for cutting down on strikeouts. Like the team’s first two picks in the 2007 draft, he looked like an overdraft. He’s a reliable defensive player with solid range who’s probably better suited to second than short. He has good but not great speed and hasn’t been a good base stealer, with just a 61% success rate in his career. He’s been overtaken by other shortstops in the system and is functioning as an organizational infielder in AAA. Injuries have been a problem for Friday in every season, some of them coming at times when he seemed to be elevating his game.
Took over as the regular shortstop at State College after signing in late July. He had a solid debut, helped by a 12-for-26 stretch in his last seven games. He didn’t show much willingness to take walks, but that didn’t remain a problem after 2007. He had a platoon split of 150 OPS points. An ankle injury hampered him some.
The Pirates jumped Friday to Lynchburg, where he had a solid season that was interrupted by back problems. He adapted quickly to the higher level and seemed to be breaking out with .319 average in May, but the back problems flared up at that point and he missed most of June and July. He posted only a .692 OPS in August, which may have been due to his back.
Friday spent the season as the regular SS at Altoona. He started fast, hitting .500 in his first six games, but then went out for over a month with an inner ear infection. He slumped in June, hitting only .206, and his hitting numbers hovered around their final levels the rest of the year. On the plus side, he had good walk and K totals. He had some trouble with errors, committing 25 despite missing over a fifth of the season, but his error totals have generally been low in other seasons.
Friday was the primary secondbaseman for Indianapolis, playing 69 games there and 20 at short. By year’s end, Pirates had added Argenis Diaz and Pedro Ciriaco, and also had Chase d’Arnaud and Jordy Mercer at Altoona, which explains the move. He was very consistent in the field, with just eight errors all year, including rehab appearances. Offensively, he continued to be pretty much the same player, drawing walks, showing a little gap power, and hitting for a decent average until a late season slump dropped him to his final line. He missed a chunk out of the season’s middle part due to an ankle hurt in an infield collision. It seems likely that the injury affected him late in the year. Prior to it, he was hitting 277/352/439. After he returned he hit 233/342/308.
With d’Arnaud, Ciriaco and later Mercer all at Indianapolis, Friday became a utility player, spending half his time at second and dividing the rest between short and third. He struggled at the plate. RHPs were the main problem, as he had a .588 OPS against them, compared to .883 against LHPs. He got hurt at the beginning of July and didn’t return until the last few days of the season, limiting him to 67 games.
Friday will return to Indianapolis in 2012 as a utility player. He’s obviously been passed on the depth chart by various infielders, including d’Arnaud, Mercer, Josh Harrison, Yamaico Navarro, and possibly Rule 5 pick Gustavo Nunez if the Pirates find some way to retain him. Friday won’t be eligible for minor league free agency for two more years and he went unselected in the Rule 5 draft in 2010 and 2011.
|2012: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $355,000
MiLB Debut: 2007
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 7, 2007: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 3rd round, 98th overall pick; signed on July 13.|