After pitching in the Padres organization for several years, relief pitcher Ernesto Frieri has found a new home in Anaheim. Signed in 2005, the 27 year old from Bolivar, Colombia came to play for the Eugene Emeralds in the summer of 2006.
Frieri split his 2006 summer between the Ems, Fort Wayne Wizards and Lake Elsinore Storm, but during his time in Eugene exhibited the best stuff of his 2006 campaign. He appeared in relief 27 times and accrued one start for the Emeralds with an ERA of 3.82. After he moved on from Eugene his numbers were not quite as impressive, having an ERA at 6.00 or above for the remainder of 2006.
2007 and 2008 were years of growth for the hard throwing right-hander with an ERA hovering between 1.50 and 4.09 in his various stops in the Padres farm system.
The 2009 season turned out to be one of the most important in Ernesto Frieri's young career. He began the season playing for the Double-A Missions, and while there he pitched 140 1/3 innings, tallying 118 strikeouts in 27 games. In addition to these impressive numbers he was awarded the Texas League Pitcher of the Week award for the week of July 27th and was also named to the Texas League All-Star Team.
Following his impressive performances in Double-A and the consistency with which he threw the ball, the Padres called up Frieri to the Major Leagues on September 14th. Frieri then made his Padres debut a little less than two weeks later on September 26th, entering the game in relief to face the Arizona Diamondbacks, tossing two strikeouts and allowing zero runs in his single inning of work.
Frieri only appeared in one more game during the 2009 season but did not give up a run in either of his appearances.
2010 and 2011 were consistently impressive years for Frieri, as his ERA for the two seasons was consistently under 3.00.
Entering 2012, Frieri continued putting up impressive numbers, and on May 3rd, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim acquired him from the Padres.
Since arriving in Anaheim, Frieri has continued to impress and this year as the Angels closer he has appeared in five games with an ERA of 1.69.
For the majority of his professional career Frieri relied heavily on his fastball. However, during spring training of this season he began developing two more pitches, a cutter as well as a changeup that coaches have been pleased with.