June 22, 2021 - 7:00 am
Updated June 23, 2021 - 7:00 am
When it was announced that Frank Schwindel was the Triple-A West Player of the Week, it put a ribbon on what was the best week of the 28-year-old first baseman’s professional career.
“That’s definitely one of my best weeks,” Schwindel said when asked how his performance the week of June 7-13 compared with other hot stretches in his career. “It came at a good time. The team was playing well, and those weeks are always fun. You just you to ride them for as long as you can.”
During the six-game stretch, Schwindel batted .429, drove in 10 runs and a hit home run in five straight games (six total). He also went 12-for-28 at the plate and only struck out twice.
As a team, the Aviators went 4-2 during that stretch, including an 18-run performance against the Reno Aces in which Schwindel hit a home run and had two RBIs.
“Baseball’s a streaky game,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I was changing much (during that hot streak). I was getting some good pitches, and I wasn’t missing them. It just takes a couple of homers to get going. I usually hit them in bunches.”
This is Schwindel’s first season with the Aviators after signing a minor league contract with the Oakland A’s in November. So far this season, he is batting .329, with 16 home runs and 40 RBIs. All these categories lead the team for Aviators with at least 3.1 plate appearances per team game played.
“This year’s tough because we have these six-game series, so these pitchers are seeing you six games in a row instead of three,” he said. “So if you’re hitting well, they’re going to game plan, and if you’re not hitting well, they’re going to stick to it and drill you.”
Coming off his career week. Schwindel’s has continued to be solid at the plate. Over his last eight games since his hot streak, he has hit five home runs, driven in 16 runs and is batting .352.
Schwindel is looking to stay consistent and avoid dips in his productivity that he feels have plagued him earlier in the season.
“I want to be a little more consistent. I feel like I’m either really hot or, not necessarily cold, but not where I was last week,” he said. “Just be more consistent with my pitch selection, take a couple more walks and take what they give me.”
Schwindel has provided a steady veteran presence for the Aviators. Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2013, Schwindel bounced around with several minor league teams, including in 2018 when he made an appearance in the Triple-A All-Star game while playing for the Omaha Storm Chasers
He made his MLB debut in 2019 when he was named to the Royals’ opening day roster, appearing in six games and going 1 for 15 at the plate before being released in May.
Schwindel saw the experience as one that he could grow from and knows that nothing comes easy in the game of baseball.
“Kansas City was great. I had some good coaches along the way and a lot of great players I learned from,” he said. “You’re going to go through some tough times and just getting through that is a battle. What I learned with Kansas City is that you can let bad games or weeks affect you.”
Schwindel said isn’t concerned with his numbers or any awards. He is just looking to help put his team in the best possible position to win, wherever that may be.
“If I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m going to end up with a solid year,” he said. “I just want to stay ready in case that opportunity comes where we need some help in Oakland.”
Contact Aidan Subira at firstname.lastname@example.org