Frandsen wins AFL's Stenson award

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Kevin Frandsen punctuated his 2006 season with an exclamation point when he was named the Stenson award winner in the Arizona Fall League. Winning an award that exemplifies his life skills and baseball talent gives him and the San Francisco Giants plenty of reasons to be proud.

Kevin Frandsen draws comparisons to another National League second baseman with good reason. Craig Biggio is a hit by pitch magnet and Frandsen is acquiring such a label after taking a few for the team this past season, including the one that broke his jaw. Frandsen could mirror Biggio's hitting style in due time. They even look somewhat alike.

It's Frandsen's commitment to playing the game the right way that earned him the 2006 Arizona Fall League Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award. The prize is given to the player who best demonstrates unselfishness, hard work and leadership in the AFL season.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that Frandsen also leads the league in hitting and on-base percentage at .418 and .511 respectively. It is rare that the best player also turns out to be the best person.

His best work this year has come with the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. After a year that was literally up and down, spent mostly in Fresno with frequent stops in San Francisco, he has put together an impressive slate in 22 games with the Scorpions. He has four home runs in AFL play to five homers in 114 games in both the majors and minors.

His development at the major league level was slowed by a combination of poor defense and spotty hitting. The aforementioned broken jaw kept the gregarious one out of action on the field and in clubhouse conversations. Simply put, torture for the young eager infielder.

Another comparison to the future Hall of Famer Biggio: a donation will be made in Frandsen's name to the charity of his choice. Biggio has worked with the Sunshine Kids, a charity dedicated to children with cancer, for a decade.

Cancer has touched Frandsen's life and is one of his inspirations to play and live as he does. He lost his older brother DJ to cancer two years ago and his brother's lifelong fight against the disease molded Kevin's character into the form that won him the Stenson award.

Frandsen's outstanding effort here should make some people sit up and take notice as he will compete for the starting second base job on the 2007 San Francisco team. Timing is everything and his is right on.



Chris has been a Giants fan since her days in utero. She loves baseball and writes about whatever she can get her hands on…even the Athletics. She's a Bay Area gal through and through. This is her 24th season of fandom. Love/hate mail can be sent to seasond_salt@yahoo.com, where the love mail gets top priority and the hate mail gets used for kindling.

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