Credit to Mets third baseman Todd Frazier for a solid first half
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier finished the first half of 2019 with some good numbers. Following a disastrous 2018 and poor start to this year, he deserves a little credit.
Search long enough at Citi Field and you may be lucky enough to find a New York Mets fan who supports Todd Frazier.
When the Mets signed him prior to the 2018 season, there were mixed feelings about bringing the veteran third baseman onboard. While we watched as Mike Moustakas put together a better year with the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers for far cheaper, we were left wondering “what if?” The Mets appeared to have chosen the wrong keeper of the hot corner.
A year later, Frazier is producing. After an early stint on the IL, he has stayed healthy. Lately, he has been productive, too.
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Frazier led the Mets in RBI in the terrible month of June. Often, he was the guy coming up with big hits to keep them alive or even put them ahead. Compared to his lifetime statistics, the Toddfather is having an above-average season minus the power.
Frazier’s batting average and OBP are both above 20 points higher than his career total. The slugging percentage is a little closer yet still higher than what he has produced on average.
The thing about Frazier is that his career has been unpredictable at times. In his early years with the Cincinnati Reds, he hit for a pretty good average in the .270s and added good power. As his average steadily declined, he added home runs. This culminated in a strange year with the Chicago White Sox back in 2016 when he launched 40 home runs but hit a putrid .225.
The following year, he split time with the White Sox and New York Yankees where he hit .213 while swatting 27 home runs. Something did change about his game. Frazier was suddenly drawing a lot more walks. The increased visits to first base via walk made him a worthwhile gamble for the Mets.
As your children’s history books show, Frazier struggled for much of 2018 with the Mets. In his 115 games played, he batted .213/.303/.390. Without the benefit of walking as much as he did the year prior, his OBP dropped 31 points and the .213 batting average stuck out.
I wouldn’t say Frazier has “bounced back” this year because he’s having the kind of season he did back in 2012 when he played his official rookie season. Frazier’s batting line is similar to the .273/.331/.498 he posted that year. The major difference is he has about twice as many home runs as doubles.
Frazier’s career is an unpredictable one with batting averages making huge swings and home run totals doing the same. Unlike Khris Davis who hit .247 each year from 2015-2018 and has a chance to do so again in 2019, you don’t want to bet on where Frazier’s numbers finish.
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He doesn’t necessarily evolve or adapt on the field. However you want to phrase it, Frazier is having a quietly productive year. For Mets fans, there’s at least some solace the team can flip him for anything at all in July.