Nothing grabs my attention faster on Twitter than posting something about one of the guys I own in my keeper league and on Monday, Ray Flowers of Baseball Guys quickly got my attention with his post on Cincinnati Reds 3B Todd Frazier.
Now, I’ll let you read Ray’s analysis of Frazier for yourself but his conclusion regarding Frazier’s value is what prompted me to make Frazier the topic of this post. Essentially, Ray regards Frazier as the next Casey Blake but as a Frazier owner in a keeper league seeing that comparison, I’ve decided it’s time for me to make my own analysis and answer the question, is Frazier a keeper?.
2013 season: Standard stats include a .234/.299/.407 triple slash with 63R, 19 HR, 73 RBI and 6 SB. Skill stats include a 9% BB%, 24% K%, .173 ISO and 55% SB%.
Pre-2013: A first round pick of the Reds in 2007, Frazier appeared on Baseball America’s Top 100 list in 2009 and 2010, ranking 60th and 43rd, respectively. In 534 AB over 169 games in 2011 and 2012, he’s posted a .264/.323/.485 triple slash with 72 R, 25 HR, 82 RBI and 4 SB. His skills over that period include a 7% BB%, 22% K%, .221 ISO and 67% SB%.
Type of player: Power-hitting 3B.
Case for Frazier: Of all the players that logged at least 100 games at 3B last year, Frazier was a middle-of-the-pack option. If 2012 was one of his better seasons and 2013 was an off year, Frazier should be capable of a .250-.260 BA with 20-25 HR and 75+ RBI. That doesn’t make him an elite fantasy option, even at 3B, but it makes him better than a lot of the other choices out there. BABIP will be the biggest key for him as the changes in his value will be tied to his BA. With a .316 BABIP in 2012 he was able to post a .273 BA but with a .269 BABIP last year he only hit .234.
Case against Frazier: If Frazier continues to hit like he has the last two years, he could very well be a Blake clone. That’s not a bad thing but Blake was never a really strong keeper option either. If Frazier can’t take another step forward in his development, he will only ever be a useful late-round flyer and will continuously disappoint those hoping for more. Player development is never steady or consistent so he’s just as likely to stay at this level as he is to further his development.
Verdict: I agree with Ray that Frazier will never be a superstar but at age 27 he’s entering his physical prime and plays his home games in a park suited to sluggers, meaning there could be a few special seasons in store for him. He may not be a guy you want to build a team around but he should be a solid complimentary player and is a keeper in deeper leagues. Perhaps I’m a bit biased since I own Frazier in my keeper league but I’m willing to take the chance he amounts to more than Blake.