Todd Frazier has gone from being one of the most feared bats in baseball to struggling so badly on the cusp of free agency that one can’t help but wonder what’s next for the former All-Star.
The New York Yankees third baseman has looked better since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox earlier this season, but only ever so slightly. 2017 has still been a difficult year for Frazier, the exact opposite of what he needed in his contract year.
The truth of the matter is that nobody should worry about Frazier at all. He will not get a $100 million contract as a free agent this year, but Frazier will still sign a good deal.
There’s no doubt that 2017 has been a year to forget for Todd Frazier. He appears to have lost his stroke after slugging a career-high 40 home runs in Chicago last year despite hitting just .225.
The struggles with batting average continued this season. The 31-year-old is hitting just .211 with 21 home runs and 57 RBI. He has hit .221 with New York, which is an improvement over the .207 he batted as a member of the White Sox this year.
Between the power being down and his low average, this has not been the best of campaigns for the man who slugged 35 home runs for the Cincinnati Reds in 2015 and won that year’s Home Run Derby. With free agency looming, this is not the season for which he was hoping.
Frazier’s critics will not be too happy with this, but the two-time All-Star’s down 2017 is largely due to a long run of bad luck.
Frazier’s BABIP on the year is just .221 and his isolated power is only .211. That means that when he’s not hitting home runs, he’s either hitting singles or making an out. This would explain why he has just 16 doubles on the year.
It’s not as though Frazier is striking out more often than usual. He has struck out just 21.3% of the time this season, which is just barely under his career strikeout percentage of 21.7%. Frazier has also drawn a walk in 13.8% of his at-bats, over five points ahead of his career base-on-balls percentage (BB%).
Most important of all, Frazier’s line-drive rate (LD%) has not dropped significantly. His LD% for the year is at 19.8 and his career mark is 19.4, so his line drive production is right where it needs to be. Not only that, according to FanGraphs, Frazier is hitting fewer ground balls than he was earlier in his career.
That all being said, it looks like Frazier is on the receiving end of some excellent fielding by opposing teams. His line drive rate hasn’t changed much, nor have many of his batted balls, so it’s just a run of bad luck at the worst possible time.
Keep in mind that this is the same man who set new career bests in home runs and RBI last year in spite of a .236 BABIP and a low LD% of 15.7. Todd Frazier is still one of the best power-hitting third basemen in the game and shouldn’t be written off just because of another off year.
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