It’s not uncommon for baseball players to play for both New York ball clubs and Todd Frazier is the newest addition to a long list of players who have done it. Joining the likes of Yogi Berra, David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Carlos Beltran and Curtis Granderson among many others, Frazier will be switching from the pinstriped “Bronx Bombers” to the Blue and Orange “Amazin Mets.” This signing was rumored early on in the offseason but when the Mets signed Jay Bruce and Jose Reyes, the deal seemed like it may have fizzled out. But late Monday (February 5th) Ken Rosenthal reported that an agreement had been made, pending a physical. Now it’s time for me to dissect his stats, what he offers and determine if the signing is a thumbs up, or a thumbs down. Here we go.
Frazier started his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 2011 and played there until 2015 when he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. During his 4 years in the Cincinnati organization though, Frazier was a 2x All-Star and the Home Run Derby Champion in 2015. When he was traded to the White Sox in 2016 he hit a career high 40 Home runs but (to that point) had his lowest Batting Average finishing the season with a mere .225 BA and a career high number of Strikeouts with 163. In 2016, Frazier along with fellow White Sox David Robertson were shipped to the Yankees. Frazier hit 11 homers for the Yankees in the regular season but his total numbers for the year were the lowest they’d been. Finishing with 27 home runs, he only raked in a .213 BA and 125 strike outs. BUT what he was able to do was increase his walk rate. Walking 83 times, his OBP was at a career high .344. Frazier has become a “three true outcomes” hitter. The three true outcomes (TTO) are a walk, strikeout or home run. So when Frazier is at the plate, he’s either hitting a home run, striking out or walking. But if his numbers continue to go down, he’ll likely become a two outcome player…striking out or walking.
The Mets led the National League in Home Runs last season and having another power hitter in the lineup is great, but the Mets have had a problem where they rely too heavily on the long ball to score them runs and win them games and that’s not an effective game plan. When playing on the road or in certain weather conditions, the ability to hit a home run could be hindered. There needs to be some understanding that not every ball is going to leave the park and that getting on base and helping score runs is the main priority. With Frazier’s spike in drawing walks, he’ll be able to help get some runs in (depending on where he’s positioned in the line up). The Mets finished the 2017 season 10th in the National League in OBP so having someone like Frazier who can draw walks, will hopefully increase that number drastically.
Frazier is a rather good Third Baseman though. Playing 7 seasons as a Third Baseman, Frazier has a .965 Fielding Percentage, 1400 Assists, 141 Double Plays and 69 Errors. He came in 2nd for most Double Plays turned as a Third Baseman last season.
A good defensive third baseman is something the Mets need desperately. Since David Wright has been gone the Mets have been scrambling to find a productive Third Baseman. The Mets had 7 different players play at Third Base last season and none of them were impressive enough to earn a full time spot there. A combined .938 Fielding Percentage and 24 errors for the 2017 season is enough of a reason for the Mets to look towards someone like Frazier for answers at the position. Frazier will be entering the season at age 32, but even with his age he should offer the Mets the consistency they need at Third Base. Frazier has also played a decent amount of games at first base as well. Playing 94 games over 5 seasons, he has a .988 Fielding Percentage while playing first base. While I wouldn’t rely on Frazier to be a first baseman, it’s good to know you have the luxury of putting either him, Bruce or Smith (if he’s called up) to fill in for Gonzalez if needed.
So, the million-dollar question: (actually, 17-million-dollar question) does this signing get a thumbs up, or a thumbs down? Well, the “Thumbs Down Guy” himself gave the signing a thumbs up. And for those of you unfamiliar with the “Thumbs Down Guy”, basically when the Yankees played the Rays in Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma, Frazier hit a 3-run homer and an older Mets fan in the stands was seen giving Frazier two thumbs down. The image went viral and Frazier, along with the Yankees embraced the thumbs down and every time they’d get a hit, the entire dugout could be seen giving them a big thumbs down. They even released some thumbs down t-shirts. Okay, now that I’ve successfully rambled on longer than I should have, I give this signing a…thumbs up. Even with Frazier’s inconstancies at the plate and relying too heavily on the long ball, I think he brings a good presence to the Mets and helps fill up a position that desperately needed filling. And, they got him for one heck of a deal. 17 million dollars for 2 years is a steal. It’s good to see the Mets filling the holes that needed the most attention even when the rest of the Free Agency market is ice cold. Welcome aboard Todd Frazier. You now have the approval from the “Thumbs Down Guy” and some guy with a blog. A lot of pressure, I’m sure.
As always, let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below, sending me a tweet @Keiths_Mustache or emailing me at Keithsmustacheblog@gmail.com . Thanks for reading! Also, I’m still looking for new ideas to write about until the season starts up, so feel free to send me some ideas if you’ve got any you’d like to see me write about! Also, this "Thumbs up or Thumbs down" thing is actually going to be a new 'series' of posts I'll be doing throughout the season. I'm not sure what they'll focus on, but most likely a game or a series and if it gets a thumbs up or a thumbs down.