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View Full Version : Will Todd Frazier be a bust?



fearofpopvol1
05-04-2011, 04:33 PM
First off, let me say I am not saying he IS a bust, I'm asking if you think he will be. And when I say bust, I'm referring to a bust given where he was picked, how well he previously performed and what his prospect status was around RZ.

The facts:

- 25 Years old
- He's being groomed for 3B mostly, and some LF, where the MLB league average OPS is around the .850 mark. Frazier over a full season in AAA OPSed .781.
- Frazier is off to an unexciting start this year, OPSing .742 after 1 month of this season.
- Defensively, Frazier is maybe average or adequate. Maybe below average. He's certainly not above average at 3B. Maybe he could be average in LF? He has struggled to OPS over .800 consistently in Louisville. He's not a plus defensive guy.
- He's not a speedy guy either.

For a while, many at RZ thought he was the 2B, SS, 3B or LF of the future. So what do you think? It's still early, but Frazier isn't getting any younger. And after a disappointing 2010, he's not been impressive thus far in 2011. You could say it's still early, and that's valid to a degree, but what if his numbers are similar at the end of May or June? How long do you give him?

Frazier could still be a backup, but given where many thought he would go, is that a success? Given the expectations?

cinreds21
05-04-2011, 04:40 PM
Someone with Baseball America said that a scout told him that he can play third, that he'd be fine there.

fearofpopvol1
05-04-2011, 04:47 PM
Someone with Baseball America said that a scout told him that he can play third, that he'd be fine there.

I'm sure he can play 3rd, but he's not going to be above average defensively. He's probably average or adequate. And given that he won't wow anyone with his defense, one would hope his offensive production is/was stronger.

cinreds21
05-04-2011, 04:50 PM
I'm sure he can play 3rd, but he's not going to be above average defensively. He's probably average or adequate. And given that he won't wow anyone with his defense, one would hope his offensive production is/was stronger.

Exactly. I wasn't disagreeing with you. I guess it was more of "for what it's worth" thing.

GOYA
05-04-2011, 04:57 PM
Hi defense at third shouldn't even be a part of the question. He's pretty good there. His offense however...

Something tells me he can improve his bat. There's something about his approach that isn't working for him and he just needs to find one that does work. He may be trying too hard right now. Whether he can get it figured out is something I don't know.

camisadelgolf
05-04-2011, 05:29 PM
I think it's all mental with him. A lot of people might try to point at his swing (and he does have a funky swing), but the mechanics of it are fine if you ask me.

_Sir_Charles_
05-04-2011, 06:02 PM
I was under the impression that the reds liked him defensively at third, so much so that they didn't feel like it was an issue at all and wanted to see if he could handle other positions.

But if they are serious now about wanting him to be a full-time 3b, then he needs to start playing there all the time to get more reps. I hate the way they've juggled him all around the diamond. IMO it's effected his hitting as well. Sort of in the same way Mesoraco's bat never really took the next step because all his focus was on improving his defensive skills...once he had those down, the bat jumped off the box scores.

Mario-Rijo
05-04-2011, 06:48 PM
I think it's all mental with him. A lot of people might try to point at his swing (and he does have a funky swing), but the mechanics of it are fine if you ask me.

I am a huge Frazier fan and have backed him all the way. That said his swing could indeed be the issue he is susceptible to the inside fastball, the lack of flexibility what with the armbar allows for him to be pounded in. I don't know if he is being pitched hard inside and soft away but I would guess so and not sure he can do anything about it unless he decides to do the unprecedented and fix that armbar. He has probably one of the best work ethics in the organization so I won't count him out but that armbar could cause him problems.

Benihana
05-04-2011, 08:48 PM
He has the upside of Mark DeRosa, but IMO is more likely to be a Miguel Cairo-type player without the 2B versatility and the 15 year major league career.

In other words, he'll likely be a backup corner player with a career OPS in the 650-700 range. Is that a bust for a sandwich pick? I'll let you decide.

RedsManRick
05-04-2011, 08:58 PM
The facts:

- 25 Years old
- He's being groomed for 3B mostly, and some LF, where the MLB league average OPS is around the .850 mark. Frazier over a full season in AAA OPSed .781.

I'm sorry, but this "fact" is just flat wrong and it's not really close. Here are the guys who attained 400 PA while playing primarily LF (31 guys) and 3B (26)



LF 3B
.950 and up 2 1
.850 to .949 4 5
.750 to .849 10 6
Below .750 15 14

LF Median: .758 (Gomes)
LF Mean: .782

3B Median .727 (Blake, Polanco)
3B Mean: .760

I appreciate your point. The bloom is off the Frazier rose. He's looking like a 2nd division starter or utility guy at best at this point. But let's be realistic. This isn't 2001. An OPS of .850 isn't average even among starters. It's very good for everybody this side of 1B (where it's still above average...).

GOYA
05-04-2011, 09:00 PM
Timely post

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110501&content_id=18523714&vkey=news_l117&fext=.jsp&sid=l117

mth123
05-04-2011, 09:11 PM
Someone with Baseball America said that a scout told him that he can play third, that he'd be fine there.

Same thing they said about him and 2B when they ranked him the #1 prospect in the system. 3B is his best chance to marry his offensive and defensive skills into a productive balance. He doesn't hit enough for 1B or an OF corner and he doesn't have the glove to play up the middle. He could probably spot in anywhere to some productive level, but as an every day player he'd be exposed if he can't play 3B. I hope he can. The Reds may need him as soon as, well, right now.

dougdirt
05-04-2011, 11:27 PM
Same thing they said about him and 2B when they ranked him the #1 prospect in the system. 3B is his best chance to marry his offensive and defensive skills into a productive balance. He doesn't hit enough for 1B or an OF corner and he doesn't have the glove to play up the middle. He could probably spot in anywhere to some productive level, but as an every day player he'd be exposed if he can't play 3B. I hope he can. The Reds may need him as soon as, well, right now.

Corner outfielders don't OPS .800 as a whole. In fact, in 2010 left fielders OPS'd .770, while right fielders OPS'd .784. The idea of what you ideally want in a spot and what MLB actually gets from a spot is usually quite a bit different.

fearofpopvol1
05-05-2011, 12:33 AM
I'm sorry, but this "fact" is just flat wrong and it's not really close. Here are the guys who attained 400 PA while playing primarily LF (31 guys) and 3B (26)



LF 3B
.950 and up 2 1
.850 to .949 4 5
.750 to .849 10 6
Below .750 15 14

LF Median: .758 (Gomes)
LF Mean: .782

3B Median .727 (Blake, Polanco)
3B Mean: .760

I appreciate your point. The bloom is off the Frazier rose. He's looking like a 2nd division starter or utility guy at best at this point. But let's be realistic. This isn't 2001. An OPS of .850 isn't average even among starters. It's very good for everybody this side of 1B (where it's still above average...).

Where did you get those numbers? I'm not saying they are wrong, I just couldn't find them.

I was going off of this list:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/average-is-as-average-does/

Now granted, it's from 2007, but it's definitely a lot newer than 2001. I didn't realize numbers have changed THAT drastically since 2007...but apparently they have?

camisadelgolf
05-05-2011, 12:39 AM
Where did you get those numbers? I'm not saying they are wrong, I just couldn't find them.

I was going off of this list:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/average-is-as-average-does/

Now granted, it's from 2007, but it's definitely a lot newer than 2001. I didn't realize numbers have changed THAT drastically since 2007...but apparently they have?
I'm just guessing hear, but the HBT article is the averages of starters, and the data Rick found is the averages of all players.

mth123
05-05-2011, 08:35 AM
Corner outfielders don't OPS .800 as a whole. In fact, in 2010 left fielders OPS'd .770, while right fielders OPS'd .784. The idea of what you ideally want in a spot and what MLB actually gets from a spot is usually quite a bit different.

Yeah, but a lot of those are reserve players and guys who play on teams like the Padres and the Pirates. League average is OK I guess if trying to move from horrid to respectable. I want the Reds to win and if the team had a guy who is league average out there, it would be the first place I'd want to upgrade.

RedsManRick
05-05-2011, 09:49 AM
Where did you get those numbers? I'm not saying they are wrong, I just couldn't find them.

I was going off of this list:

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/average-is-as-average-does/

Now granted, it's from 2007, but it's definitely a lot newer than 2001. I didn't realize numbers have changed THAT drastically since 2007...but apparently they have?

I pulled it manually from Fangraphs using a 400 PA cutoff. The problem with focusing on "starters" by some definitions is that you end up just 10, 12, 15 guys who happened to be good enough and healthy enough to accrue a full season's worth of PA. Even the THT study looked at only the top 25 guys by playing time, filtering out 1/6 of the league. I sort of understand his logic, but the reality is that there are still 30 teams who need to fill the position 162 games a year.

So if your question is what average is among guys who already count as starters, I guess his way has its merits. But if the question is, "Where will this guy rank among those who could play the position" you need to look at what every team is doing at the position. That there aren't 30 guys good/healthy enough to play everyday is a factor in favor of a guy like Frazier.

In any event, I think the conclusion is still essentially the same. He's not looking like the kind of guy you'd seek out to run out there 150 times a year necessarily. But he could still be 2nd division starter or solid utility guy. If the point is that Frazier isn't likely to be "the solution" in LF or 3B, I'm not sure you'd get any arguments.

--edit--

I wasn't sure just how much offense has changed since 2007, so I looked it up. The answer? A lot.


AVG OBP SLG OPS
2001 .264 .332 .427 .759

2007 .268 .336 .423 .758
2008 .264 .333 .416 .749
2009 .262 .333 .418 .751
2010 .257 .325 .403 .728
2011 .250 .320 .390 .710

The game has changed. I'm not sure our intuition has caught up.

mth123
05-05-2011, 12:07 PM
There may be 30 teams. But 10 or so have guys who stink. Why water down the objective? We want to build a 95+ game winner not a "shoot for 85, hope everything goes right and we sneak in" group.

You also need to look at the make-up of the roster. If the Reds can get this kind of production from Phillips and Stubbs and Mesoraco develop, it won't be necessary for the LF to be the middle of the order stud I'd prefer. That said, if Frazier can play 3rd credibly, it would be easier to find a decent LF than a different 3B. That's really the point. Heck Johnny Gomes isn't that far off from league average offensively and I'm not satisfied with him. Heck, even if he was a gold glover, I don't think he hits enough to be this team's LF.

dougdirt
05-05-2011, 02:59 PM
There may be 30 teams. But 10 or so have guys who stink. Why water down the objective? We want to build a 95+ game winner not a "shoot for 85, hope everything goes right and we sneak in" group.

You also need to look at the make-up of the roster. If the Reds can get this kind of production from Phillips and Stubbs and Mesoraco develop, it won't be necessary for the LF to be the middle of the order stud I'd prefer. That said, if Frazier can play 3rd credibly, it would be easier to find a decent LF than a different 3B. That's really the point. Heck Johnny Gomes isn't that far off from league average offensively and I'm not satisfied with him. Heck, even if he was a gold glover, I don't think he hits enough to be this team's LF.
Even those teams that stink will beat you. Their players count too.

But lets be honest, if Gomes were a true gold glover, meaning he were the best defender at his position, then I think you have some serious issues with what you expect out of a player if he still wouldn't hit enough to satisfy you. Sure, this season is interesting given his strange line, but lets say he is a .270/.330/.450 hitter and a gold glover.... that isn't enough?

mth123
05-05-2011, 03:10 PM
Even those teams that stink will beat you. Their players count too.

But lets be honest, if Gomes were a true gold glover, meaning he were the best defender at his position, then I think you have some serious issues with what you expect out of a player if he still wouldn't hit enough to satisfy you. Sure, this season is interesting given his strange line, but lets say he is a .270/.330/.450 hitter and a gold glover.... that isn't enough?

Not for me in LF unless I have players in the middle of the field who can hit 3, 4, 5. Otherwise, having 2 guys who hit like CF in the OF puts too much stress on the rest of the offense. If you have somebody like Tulo or Utley in the MI, then you can afford it, but even with Phillips hot streak, the Reds don't have that. Perhaps when Mesoraco arrives.

dougdirt
05-05-2011, 03:14 PM
Not for me in LF unless I have players in the middle of the field who can hit 3, 4, 5. Otherwise, having 2 guys who hit like CF in the OF puts too much stress on the rest of the offense. If you have somebody like Tulo or Utley in the MI, then you can afford it, but even with Phillips hot streak, the Reds don't have that. Perhaps when Mesoraco arrives.

So to you scoring runs is incredibly more valuable than run prevention? So much so that an "average" bat isn't close to being enough to play a great glove at an "offensive" position?

mth123
05-05-2011, 03:31 PM
So to you scoring runs is incredibly more valuable than run prevention? So much so that an "average" bat isn't close to being enough to play a great glove at an "offensive" position?

To me, if you come up short in the middle of the order, it drags the whole line-up down with it. So yeah, I'd say that is more important than defense in LF. I wouldn't downgrade the defense for 20 points of OPS, but if I had my choice of a below average defender (not 2006 Griffeyesque bad, but say Gomesish) who can OPS .900 and a gold glover who has an OPS of .780, then I'll take the .900 OPS guy.

RedsManRick
05-05-2011, 10:12 PM
To me, if you come up short in the middle of the order, it drags the whole line-up down with it. So yeah, I'd say that is more important than defense in LF. I wouldn't downgrade the defense for 20 points of OPS, but if I had my choice of a below average defender (not 2006 Griffeyesque bad, but say Gomesish) who can OPS .900 and a gold glover who has an OPS of .780, then I'll take the .900 OPS guy.

Just curious, how many runs difference do you think there is given 120 points of OPS over 600 PA?

mth123
05-05-2011, 10:31 PM
Just curious, how many runs difference do you think there is given 120 points of OPS over 600 PA?

Considering the impact on the rest of the line-up, a lot. A .900 OPS bat has to be accounted for each time through the order and changes how a team approaches getting all the others around him out. Get those 3, 4 and 5 spots real productive and all the others experience an increase in productivity as well. Skimp on those and it ripples through the others.

The other thing that is miised when a players individual production is viewed in such isolation is the other choices made as a result. A defense first guy in LF may lead to a guy like Renteria getting the nod at SS instead of a guy like Janish in order to recoup some of that missing offense. That may make the overall defense less effective than having the bat in LF and the glove at SS.

fearofpopvol1
05-06-2011, 04:12 AM
I pulled it manually from Fangraphs using a 400 PA cutoff. The problem with focusing on "starters" by some definitions is that you end up just 10, 12, 15 guys who happened to be good enough and healthy enough to accrue a full season's worth of PA. Even the THT study looked at only the top 25 guys by playing time, filtering out 1/6 of the league. I sort of understand his logic, but the reality is that there are still 30 teams who need to fill the position 162 games a year.

So if your question is what average is among guys who already count as starters, I guess his way has its merits. But if the question is, "Where will this guy rank among those who could play the position" you need to look at what every team is doing at the position. That there aren't 30 guys good/healthy enough to play everyday is a factor in favor of a guy like Frazier.

In any event, I think the conclusion is still essentially the same. He's not looking like the kind of guy you'd seek out to run out there 150 times a year necessarily. But he could still be 2nd division starter or solid utility guy. If the point is that Frazier isn't likely to be "the solution" in LF or 3B, I'm not sure you'd get any arguments.

--edit--

I wasn't sure just how much offense has changed since 2007, so I looked it up. The answer? A lot.


AVG OBP SLG OPS
2001 .264 .332 .427 .759

2007 .268 .336 .423 .758
2008 .264 .333 .416 .749
2009 .262 .333 .418 .751
2010 .257 .325 .403 .728
2011 .250 .320 .390 .710

The game has changed. I'm not sure our intuition has caught up.

Good post. Hard to disagree with too much here.

Vottomatic
05-08-2011, 11:11 AM
When a highly regarded prospect turns 25 and is still struggling, I think it's time to move on unless they're looking for him to be a utility guy or they have no other options to replace Rolen at 3B in the future and they're still hoping Frazier turns it around.

But he won't ever be a star.

lonewolf371
05-08-2011, 11:36 AM
So to you scoring runs is incredibly more valuable than run prevention? So much so that an "average" bat isn't close to being enough to play a great glove at an "offensive" position?
I think it's fine so long as you have a legitimate 3-hole hitter and a legitimate clean-up guy to protect him. Those are the two most important things, and whether those two guys come from the infield corners, the outfield, or even the middle infield it's okay.

I think the main thing is it's usually easiest to find those types that play LF because it's the easiest defensive position to play outside of 1B. Right now, with the Reds not having a legitimate clean-up guy you'd like to see them get that LF masher somehow. But we all know they don't grow on trees.

After all, Carl Crawford is a .345 career wOBA and Brett Gardner is a .338 career wOBA but I don't think anyone's concerned about the Red Sox or the Yankees offense over the course of this season.

mth123
05-08-2011, 01:00 PM
When a highly regarded prospect turns 25 and is still struggling, I think it's time to move on unless they're looking for him to be a utility guy or they have no other options to replace Rolen at 3B in the future and they're still hoping Frazier turns it around.

But he won't ever be a star.

This is a concern that I have in general. We tend to think of the upper minors as loaded with prospects, but these guys are all getting a little past prospect and toward suspect status. Frazier, Valiaka, Negron, Cozart, Dorn, Maloney and the entire pitching staff are in ths category. Basically Sappelt, Alonso and Mesoraco are the prospects at AAA now and Alonso really won't contribute much to Cincy and would be similarly blocked in a lot of other places. Cozart and Frazier still may contribute and Negron could be a utility 25th man type, but the team doesn't really have this stock of trade chips at AAA. They may be able to use these guys to backfill on the Reds roster while dangling more valued guys like Leake and Heisey of the team wants to deal, but I don't see anything beyond Mesoraco bringing much in trade from the AAA roster.

Lots of 12th men on the staff types and lots of end of the bench position players who could fill a role for cheap, but nothing to make a trade partner cough-up a valued missing piece.

cincyinco
05-09-2011, 03:38 AM
It's far too early in the season to get down about Frazier. Anyone see his slash over his last ten games? He's heating up, just like the weather. Let's hope he keeps the momentum going forward. It would be a big plus if he could reestablish his prospect status.

OnBaseMachine
05-11-2011, 01:20 PM
From Joel Luckhaupt:

Todd Frazier is batting .283/.359/.505 with 37 doubles & 20 HR in 516 PA since 6/1/10. If Rolen's not coming back soon, please call him up.

http://twitter.com/jluckhaupt

Scrap Irony
05-11-2011, 01:35 PM
Todd Frazier is batting .283/.359/.505 with 37 doubles & 20 HR in 516 PA since 6/1/10.

I don't know if it would translate to the majors (his swing is downright funky), but the sudden insistence that the Reds are somehow devoid of 3B prospects is laughable. He's not only a viable option, but would likely be around league average in production as early as September, IMO, if he were to focus on the hot corner.

Having said that, I'd prefer Cincinnati play him in as many different positions as possible, as I think a guy who can play at least five spots across the diamond without embarassing himself while also dropping an 835 or so OPS on the league in inherently more valuable than one who can only play 3B.

Too, Francisco plays 3B and I still maintain he could OPS around the same at the major league level, albeit with more power and less OBP.

Red Rover
05-23-2011, 10:31 AM
Frazier gets promoted per twitter and will play against Philly tonight.

Benihana
05-23-2011, 11:14 AM
Frazier gets promoted per twitter and will play against Philly tonight.

Wow, good to hear. While I'm happy to see his recent success, my projection remains the same: At the major league level, he'll likely be somewhere between Miguel Cairo and Mark DeRosa.

JaxRed
05-23-2011, 11:15 AM
Wonder who's off the roster?

Caveat Emperor
05-23-2011, 01:36 PM
Wonder who's off the roster?

I'd be shocked if it isn't Herrara.

The DARK
05-23-2011, 01:56 PM
I've heard a lot of ideas thrown around for the corresponding. Gomes/Volquez to DL with phantom injuries, Rolen to DL after last night's injury, Renteria on bereavement, etc. I doubt any of these players would be DFAed before a DL stint to try to work out their issues in the minors.

Personally, I hope it's Gomes. Giving him a stint in the minors could help him get his swing back.

As for the 40 man move, I wouldn't be surprised if Herrera's time has finally come. He's struggled a lot this season. It could also be Valiquette to the 60-day DL.

thorn
05-23-2011, 02:15 PM
Wow, good to hear. While I'm happy to see his recent success, my projection remains the same: At the major league level, he'll likely be somewhere between Miguel Cairo and Mark DeRosa.

Well, not to say you will be wrong, a lot of people tried this approach with Drew Stubs, lets hope Frazier's transition is as much as a success as Stubs was.

Benihana
05-23-2011, 04:39 PM
Well, not to say you will be wrong, a lot of people tried this approach with Drew Stubs, lets hope Frazier's transition is as much as a success as Stubs was.

What "approach" is that?

Stubbs was frequently compared to Steve Finley, which actually doesn't seem like a bad comp. Frazier has never been thought to have close the upside that Stubbs did. Stubbs was much more of a volatile stock, whereas Frazier has less upside and downside.

But I agree, let's hope Frazier can outperform (or at least consistently perform at) his career minor league numbers like Stubbs has. This club could really use a 3B/LF that can OPS over .850.

redsof72
05-23-2011, 06:13 PM
Really, really happy for Frazier, one of the best guys I have known in the minors. He is just a winner.

At the start of the season, there was a poll on here asking who was the best bet as a future left fielder and I was one of the extreme minority who still thought Frazier would be the best. Way too early to say what kind of future he has in the major leagues, but he is a guy that I would never bet against. Tremendous leader, a guy that will make everyone around him better (assuming he plays well enough to carve out a career as a regular). Some guys are just ballplayers.

RiverRat13
05-23-2011, 06:48 PM
Wow, good to hear. While I'm happy to see his recent success, my projection remains the same: At the major league level, he'll likely be somewhere between Miguel Cairo and Mark DeRosa.

FWIW, Frazier's minor league numbers blow away what both Cairo and DeRosa did in the minors.

PuffyPig
05-23-2011, 07:51 PM
Frazier has never been thought to have close the upside that Stubbs did.

Stubbs had more upside becuase of his speed and fielding at a premium position.

I think most felt that Frazier had more hitting upside.

Benihana
05-23-2011, 08:58 PM
Stubbs had more upside becuase of his speed and fielding at a premium position.

I think most felt that Frazier had more hitting upside.

Stubbs always had a lot more power upside. It's why he was a Top 10 pick and Frazier didn't go in the first round.

dougdirt
05-23-2011, 08:59 PM
Stubbs always had a lot more power upside. It's why he was a Top 10 pick and Frazier didn't go in the first round.

I don't think Stubbs has a lot more power upside. Just that Stubbs power for his position is more rare than the same power for Frazier's spots.

Ghosts of 1990
05-24-2011, 12:00 AM
I think you'll see Frazier turn into a Casey Blake type of guy at third. Would love to have him hanging around Scott Rolen, hopefully Rolen is up to the task of grooming him a bit.

mdccclxix
05-24-2011, 02:10 AM
Wow, good to hear. While I'm happy to see his recent success, my projection remains the same: At the major league level, he'll likely be somewhere between Miguel Cairo and Mark DeRosa.

That's a little low if you compare their minors numbers wouldn't you say? Even for DeRosa? His minors OPS was .719. Cairo's was below .700.