One of the more underrated moves that any team has made this offseason was when the Mariners traded away Ray Kerr and Corey Rosier to the Padres in order to acquire Adam Frazier.
This isn’t a what to expect piece (not really), as we’ve already done that. I just want to make sure people know what we have with Frazier, and that fans aren’t forgetting about him.
All offseason I have seen people mention that Frazier is a nice utility piece. Someone who can bounce around and fill in at spots all over the field, leaving Toro to man second base. It’s true that Frazier can play multiple positions since he has spent a bit of time in LF each season dating back to 2017 when he split time between second and short.
Since 2018, he has mostly been a second baseman and a darn good one at that. For those who say “hey, what about 2020. He was bad then!” I suggest you take a look at his BABIP, which was way down at .246, which is 70 points below his career average. Also, that was the short season. If you are putting a bunch of faith into any stats being indicative of a player’s ability, then I’m not going to try and reason with a fool.
Adam Frazier is a stud, and the Mariners are going to reap the benefits
First, he’s been a positive oWAR and dWAR player every season of his career since 2018. Even in 2016 and 2017, he was a -0.4 on defense, but still positive on offense. According to Baseball-Reference, he’s put up WARs of 2.7, 2.5, 1.9 (0.7 *2.7), and 4.0 over the last four seasons. Averaging out 2018, 2019, and 2021, he’s put up about a 110/111 OPS+. That’s pretty good for a second baseman since OPS+ is based on OBP and SLG compared to the league average.
It’s kind of the perfect acquisition for 2022 for what the Mariners need. BA, OBP, malleability, and utility. Oh, and at a pretty darn good level too.
I’m not saying that we should expect insane numbers from Frazier. He isn’t the kind of guy who is going to hit .320 and hit 30 homers. I do think that we should expect to see him hit near .300/.360/430. He’ll flirt with 10/10 HR/SB, and he’s good for about 30 doubles. Honestly, he’s gonna give you JP Crawford numbers with a bit more speed potential and a better batting average, but not the same level of defense (unless Perry Hill has something to say about it).
For all those saying he should move around, I think it would be better to supplant him at second, and let Toro move around. Frazier is going to bring a great BA/OBP combo to this team, and putting him at the top of the lineup with Crawford is going to make a nice serving plate for the likes of Haniger, France, and hopefully Bryant/Story/Suzuki.
Alas, we were able to get him for a relatively cheap price since he is a one-year rental. If the team can sign a Story/Bryant type, then we will be free to let him go (for a comp pick, hopefully) and then call up Marte in the near future. So, things are looking good.
In the meantime, Adam Frazier is a really good player. He’s going to make the Mariners a lot better, especially at a position that was incredibly weak for the majority of 2021. The Mariners, pending one of those big names, could go from one of the most imbalanced and uncertain infields in 2021 to one of the best in baseball, and Adam Frazier will be a large part of that.