3B TODD FRAZIER
The expectations for Todd Frazier were palpable. As the biggest splash of the offseason, the New Jersey native was being called upon to form a dynamic duo with Jose Abreu in the middle of the order.
Frazier hasn’t disappointed. Through mid-May, he’s produced a .230/.324/.500 (.824 OPS) line with a league leading 12 home runs.
A slow April (.229/.299/.479) and a strike-out happy Frazier were cause for initial concern but it’s disproportionately skewed the overall perception of his year.
Frazier actually has posted the best BB/SO rates of his career thus far, at 11.8% and 18.8% respectively. His ISO is an astounding .270, really just what the doctor ordered for a power suppressed Chicago club.
Here’s where it gets fun. Frazier’s BABIP is a mere .210, significantly below his .270 career average. The batted ball profile shows that his soft-contact% is up nearly 10 percentage points, while his hard-contact% is down about 10 percentage points, per FanGraphs. So it’s not necessarily that Frazier has been unlucky, rather that he isn’t even squaring up the ball all that well yet.
I expect that we’ll see the batted ball profile and BABIP stabilize in the coming months and that’s a scary proposition for opposing pitchers. This means that the most patient Todd Frazier to date might begin to see sprinkle in a few more singles and doubles into his production output.
His .903 OPS in May is a good indiction of the Todd Frazier we should see moving forward.
On top of the potent bat, Frazier has been excellent with the glove. The metrics say he’s been just okay, but any White Sox fan who has tuned in this season can safely say Frazier is a monumental upgrade over the glove of one Conor Gillaspie. Frazier has flashed decent range, a strong arm, and shown an ability to truly pick it at the hot corner.
Frazier has also filled the leadership void in the clubhouse and seems to be the piece this club was missing all along.
The BABIP hurts his GPA a bit, but Frazier’s definitely made the honor roll.
Next: 2B Brett Lawrie