Mariners Hitter #2: Jake Fraley
I don’t know what to think of Jake Fraley anymore. I really, really, really want him to succeed. Jake Fraley has faced harsh criticism for his lack of performance and he took time last year to refocus on what really matters to him: “It’s definitely not the game of baseball that I play. It’s a passion.”
Jake Fraley is clearly a hard worker because he has battled injuries and managed to come back from them. He also reported to Spring Training having lost some weight, just like Justin Dunn and Yusei Kikuchi.
At the moment, his offseason work has only shown up in one game. Through 18 at-bats, Jake Fraley has just two hits (a double and a home run). Before the game against the Dodgers, Fraley was hitless. He has also drawn five walks and is tied for most strikeouts with seven.
His stat line: .111 BA, .304 OBP, .333 SLG, .638 OPS
It’s not exactly what Mariners fans want to be seeing since Fraley is fighting for a spot in the outfield. It is even more relevant now that Jarred Kelenic will be sidelined for at least a month.
Like we’ve said before, Jake Fraley has been good in the Mariners and Rays farm system. He has a .286 minor league career batting average, .362 OBP, .40 slugging percentage, and .842 OPS. It is completely fair to assume that Fraley can be a part of the Mariners future, but we just haven’t seen it yet.
The 25-year-old outfielder has played 19 games for the Mariners and owns a .152 batting average. I am almost starting to think that Jake Fraley just needs a change in scenery. Maybe it will help him clear his mind and relieve some of the stress that is put on him. Playing in Seattle isn’t the same as playing in Boston or New York, but the Mariners are clearly putting pressure on Fraley because we are on the verge of something special.
Although his offensive numbers aren’t great, he has shown up with his glove. That is always the nice thing about Jake Fraley; he has a reliable glove. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up winning a Gold Glove at some point in his career. But to do that, he needs to be in the lineup.
Let’s hope Jake can build off of his big game against the Dodgers.