muscosportsphotos.com

Yale baseball associate head coach Tucker Frawley will depart Yale to accept a position with the Minnesota Twins, he confirmed with the News on Tuesday.

After 12 total seasons at Yale, including eight as the Bulldogs’ associate head coach, Frawley will now serve as the Twins’ Coordinator of Skill Development and Assistant Field Coordinator. The New Haven native groomed Yale’s defense into one of the finest in the country, gaining national prominence and over 20,000 Twitter followers in the process.

This week is Frawley’s final at Yale, he said. He flies to Minneapolis next week to begin on-ramping.

“It’s the right adventure at the right time for me,” Frawley said. “Words cannot express how grateful I am to Yale Athletics for the opportunity they gave me these past twelve years. I grew up in Westville, [which is] walking distance to Yale Field, and used to sneak onto the field to hit with my dad and brother when we were little kids. To share a dugout with [head coach John] Stuper and help lead the program that I grew up following was nothing short of a dream come true. I am forever in debt relative to what the school, administrators, and coaches provided both me and my family these past twelve years.”

The new Twins coach will work to “drive practice philosophies across the system,” Frawley said, working primarily with the organization’s minor league affiliate teams. His work will involve improving “skill acquisition, motor learning and practice design” during Spring Training in February and March, mini-camp programs and with the Twins’ affiliate teams. Frawley said he looks forward to learning from people affiliated with the entire organization.

At Yale, the associate head coach specialized in training the Bulldogs’ hitters and infielders. The Blue and White have now led the Ivy League in fielding percentage in four consecutive seasons. Last season, Yale led all Division I baseball programs with 1.32 double plays per game. Their 0.979 fielding percentage ranked thirteenth nationally at the season’s conclusion.

In 2018, Yale led the country with a 0.985 fielding percentage, a mark that tied an all-time national record.

Stuper lauded Frawley’s “ability to teach infield defense,” declaring it the best he has ever seen. The Elis’ head coach, the winningest coach in Yale baseball history, also told the News his departing assistant has received interest from Major League Baseball teams before.

“Tuck has been courted for two or three years,” Stuper said. “He always said ‘No,’ but the right situation presented itself, and he decided to try his hand at professional baseball. While I will miss him greatly, I could not be happier for him. The Twins just acquired a hell of a coach.”

Frawley informed players of his new position last Monday afternoon, the team’s first day back from Thanksgiving break, Yale captain and pitcher Alex Stiegler ’20 said.

“For the most part, the guys were forced to acknowledge that a large piece of the Yale baseball puzzle was moving on, but at the same time, we can see that this is an opportunity that he needed to take career-wise,” Stiegler said. “As far as 2020 goes, it will be business as usual. [We’re] looking to make another run at the playoffs, nothing changes.”

Frawley grew up in New Haven’s Westville neighborhood, graduated from the Hopkins School in 2002 and played second base at Holy Cross. He graduated from college in 2006 as the Crusaders’ all-time leader in hits, finding his way to Yale after brief professional stints with the CanAm League’s Worcester Tornadoes in 2006 and the Frontier League’s Evansville Otters in 2007.

Twitter has helped Frawley make a name for himself in coaching circles and beyond. His own account, @INFChatter, boasts 20.7 thousand followers as of Monday afternoon. Tweets he posts on infield drills and mechanics routinely receive about a hundred retweets and a few hundred likes. In 2018, Frawley also served as a featured speaker at the 74th annual American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) National Convention, presenting on infield defense and footwork.

One of his own players, middle infielder Dai Dai Otaka ’20, has made a name for himself on the platform as well. Otaka breaks down the “intricacies of infield play,” as his Twitter bio states, and nearly 5,000 followers consume his analyses of infield defensive clips.

Frawley improves as a coach every year, Otaka said, simplifying defensive actions and offering new insight on infield play.

“As a former player and middle infielder, Tuck was able to use his knowledge from the playing side as well as what he saw from the coaching side to create cues that would help players become the best infielders,” Otaka said. “Our program has come a long way defensively even in my four years here, and it goes without saying that Tuck has been key to the success of our team.”

The search for Frawley’s replacement has already begun, Stuper said. Assistant coach Josh Schulman, who joined the program at the start of the 2018–19 school year, remains with Yale. He specializes in coaching baserunning and catchers and also serves as the Elis’ recruiting coordinator.

Yale opens its 2020 season with a three-game series at The Citadel in late February.

William McCormack | william.mccormack@yale.edu