The Adam Frazier trade seems so long ago in the barren wasteland that is the 2021/2022 offseason that many have almost forgotten the Mariners had acquired the 2021 All-Star infielder from the Padres. Frazier was excellent with the Pirates in the first half of last season, but fell back down to earth after he was traded to San Diego. What can we expect from Adam Frazier in Seattle?
Frazier exploded last season before the All-Star break, slashing .324/.388/.448 for the Pirates in 98 games. However, he struggled after the trade to San Diego, slashing .267/.335/./335. The slugging percentage closely resembles that of Dee Gordon, a terrifying thought no doubt. He was a hitting machine, but without the on-base skills and slugging numbers you would like to see. However, Frazier has a solid enough track record for us to expect better in a Seattle uniform.
Zips has Frazier projected for 2.4 WAR, to the tune of a .270/.332/.381 slash line. This is very believable, as it closely resembles Frazier’s numbers from 2016-2019 in Pittsburgh. The one concerning part is that Zips sees the struggles in Frazier’s slugging to continue. The hope is that he can return to a slugging percentage hovering around .400, further away from the .335 he posted in San Diego.
There is a lot to like and a lot to dislike if you dive deep into Frazier’s advanced numbers. Per Baseball Savant, he ranked in the bottom 10% in hard hit percentage, barrel percentage, and average exit velocity. He also only ranked in the 30th percentile in BB %, another concern.
The good news, however, is Frazier is elite at his ability to control the zone. His K% and Whiff % both rank in the 98th percentile in all of MLB according to Baseball Savant. He will be a player who can set the table and put up quality at bats on a consistent basis, but we should not expect the same kind of results from his All-Star 2021 season.
Overall, the risk with Frazier is minimal, with potential for a large reward. He has one year of club control left, acquired by the Mariners for prospects Corey Rosier and Ray Kerr. Neither of those prospects are likely to kill Seattle in the long run. Frazier has the ability to play second, third, and outfield, so if he is nothing other than a replacement for Dylan Moore, it will be a huge upgrade.
With the addition of a player like Trevor Story or Kris Bryant, Seattle can move Adam Frazier around the field where needed, and his ability to be an above average hitter and defender across the field will be crucial for the Mariners in lengthening their lineup.