Consider Lafreniere alone, but not lonely

By Josh Jackson / MiLB.com

The ranks of Minor League Baseball are about as diverse as any group of athletes anywhere. There are players from all walks of life and from all over the world.

But you don’t find a lot of Quebecois ballplayers, do you? We recently had occasion to put the question to Montreal native and Braves pitching prospect Frank Lafreniere.

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“Not really,” he said. “I haven’t played with very many [in America]. There are only four or five in the whole Minor Leagues, I think — maybe not even that many.”

Lafreniere attended Ahuntsic College in Quebec before transferring to St. Petersburg College in Florida (whence the Braves drafted him). During one summer, he got to play for his country’s collegiate team.

“But even on Team Canada,” he said, “there were not a whole lot of French guys.”

Still, Lafreniere never feels lonely, or different than any other player, he insisted.

“Everybody is from all over the place, anyway,” he said. “I’m just trying to blend in and be a good teammate and hang around as long as possible.

“This is my fifth season, and I’m focused on playing some good baseball and moving up the ranks as much as I can.”

In the meantime, he has at least one countryman to root for. When Russell Martin homered twice for the Pirates in last year’s Wild Card game, Lafreniere took to Twitter to celebrate.

 

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