Ask and you shall receive. Readers have been asking for us to chime in with our thoughts on Cincinnati Reds 3B, Todd Frazier. So what should you make of the current 14th ranked hitter in 5×5 roto leagues?
Frazier has had quite the 2014 season thus far: .280/50/17/45/9. The line he has posted is remarkable for any ball player. He is currently the 14th ranked hitter on Yahoo in 5×5 formats, far exceeding his ADP of 248 according to fantasypros.com. The question is: how much stock can we put in the season that Frazier has had so far – and further to that, what can we expect from him the rest of the way?
We’ll start by taking a look at his advanced stats, and see if anything jumps out:
- BB rate is roughly the same this year as it was in 2013: 8.4% vs 8.3%
- K rate is up a slight tick: 21.7% vs 20.8%, but nothing substantial
- BABIP has improved a great deal, sitting at .314 vs .269 in 2013 (his career average is .292) – higher, yes….but nothing outlandish
- LD rate is up at 22.7% vs 18.1% in 2013, so he is hitting the ball hard, often
- HR/FB is up drastically, sitting at 19.8% vs 11.7% (career rate is 14.6%)
Based on the spike in HR/FB alone, he is a prime candidate to see his power numbers regress. That much is obvious. However, if you look at his average fly ball distance this year, you will see that it is up to 298 feet vs 286 feet – so a slight uptick in HR/FB should be expected year over year. He is a pretty safe bet to be a steady source of power(19HR in both 2013 and 2012), and he should be able to hit double digit HR's the rest of the way in 2014.
Perhaps even more intriguing with Frazier than his power has been, is the speed he has brought to the table so far for fantasy owners. Let’s call a spade a spade – getting nine bags from Frazier in half a year was not in anyone’s forecasts for 2014. He isn’t a burner by anyone’s admission, however he is still running frequently. However, is it likely to continue? One might form the conclusion that he just ‘knows when to pick his spots.’ Despite the fact he does have 9 SB’s, he has been thrown out 4 times (69.2% success rate). Over his career, he has only been successful 19/30 attempts, it is pretty clear that he doesn’t really know when to pick his spots….he just likes to run. A 63.3% success rate is flat out poor, and really, given this figure, if any member of the Reds’ brass has these same numbers that are available on the world wide web, he could be shut down on the basepaths. Even if he doesn’t receive the formal red light, I would not expect him to approach double digit steals the rest of the way.
So Brad, where do I go from here?
There are a lot of things to like with Frazier, but there are also red flags as well (large increase in HR/FB rate, sudden 2014 SB spike). I don’t even think the readers that asked us to break down Frazier were expecting to extrapolate his current numbers over a full 162. What I see from Frazier in the second half is a line somewhere in the neighbourhood of: .265/40/12/40, while chipping in with 3-4 bags. He isn’t someone that I am ready to endorse as a true fantasy superstar, like his numbers so far suggest – but he is an option that will fill up all five categories in some capacity, and I do expect to remain a very solid option at 3B. If you own Frazier and someone is offering you a trade that treats him like a top 30-40 player then I would pull the trigger. If you don’t own Frazier, odds are that the current owner will value him too highly for you to acquire on the cheap – unless they are specifically looking to sell high on him.
Have a different opinion on Todd Frazier? Do you want us to break down any player you and your friends are debating about? As always – feel free to let us know!
sources: www.fangraphs.com, www.baseballheatmaps.com, www.fantasypros.com