Time to buy Todd Frazier?
Todd Frazier is starting to look like a legitimate Fantasy threat at third. Can he keep it up?
Reds third baseman Todd Frazier has arrived. After a promising rookie year, Frazier's numbers took a turn for the worst. While his sophomore stats weren't terrible, he hardly lived up to the expectations he set year one. In 2014, he's seen a return to his rookie numbers. Given the fact that Frazier has teased in the past, it's reasonable to wonder whether this recent surge will continue.
There are two main factors driving Frazier's recent hot streak, his batting average and his power. The batting average issues are likely linked to Frazier's .304 BABIP. The problem with digging too deep into that number is that we don't have an established baseline for what Frazier's normal BABIP should be. He posted a solid .316 his rookie year, but that dropped to .269 last season. His true talent probably lies somewhere in the middle, but it's possible last year was just a fluke. Concerning his batting average, there's just no real way to accurately predict where he'll end up.
It's a bit easier to spot some flukes in his power numbers. Frazier is a guy known for possessing solid power, but what he's doing now might be a little much. His 21.1 percent home run rate is far higher than his 14.7 percent career rate. Even during his strong rookie season, Frazier hit home runs on 13.2 percent of his fly balls. His recent number suggests he's been fortunate thus far.
That's confirmed by ESPN's Home Run Tracker. Frazier has been credited with five "just enough" home runs. A "just enough" home run is a ball that barely clears the fence. Even if we were to take all those away, it would still put him on a better pace than last season, which is good. However, it wouldn't put him on the same pace he was on during his rookie season.
Overall, not much about Frazier has changed. He's still showing the same batted ball profile, and his approach at the plate hasn't been significantly altered. The power seems destined to tailor, even though Frazier will still hit his fair share of home runs. The biggest question will be whether he can hold his batting average. If Frazier's true BABIP talent is around .300, he'll wind up being one of the more valuable third baseman in Fantasy. If not, he could be a Pedro Alvarez type with a better average, but not as much power. It's worth keeping him around to see if the former version is the one that wins out.
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