Braves Rumors: Todd Frazier to Atlanta, please

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Todd Frazier
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 17: Todd Frazier /
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Braves rumors
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 21: Todd Frazier /

Braves rumors: Establishing Value

Frazier, a two-time All-Star, would allow the Braves to lock down third with a reliable option that won’t break the bank.  Along with Mike Moustakas, he stands as the most attractive third base free agent on the market.  Considering the amount of money Moustakas is apt to make, Frazier is a better value.

Also, based on his 2017 season, he is not exactly a buy-low candidate, but the Braves might be able to buy lower than his actual market value.  MLB Trade Rumors projected Frazier to sign a three-year, $33M deal, which is well within the realm of possibility.  With Spring Training looming, he might be amenable to a slightly lower AAV (average annual value) if it means just getting a deal done.

Despite his .213 BA in 2017 (with a career-low .226 BABIP), he still posted a .344 OBP thanks to his lofty 14.4% walk rate and 14 HBP.  His 27 home runs and 19 doubles helped him to a .428 slugging percentage.  This was 31 points below his career average, and this figure could stabilize in 2018.

All of this swirled together to give him a 3.4 bWAR.  

His strikeouts were precisely on par with this career 21.7% rate, which isn’t bad for a guy with his power.  

When digging deeper into Frazier’s 2017 season, it shows his plate discipline took a significant step forward.  He swung at 40.2% of the pitches he saw, which is light years better than his previous career-best of 46.7%; this indicates heightened selectivity.  He swung at less at pitches in the zone (60.2%) but made more contact when he did swing (82.2%).  Also, he posted career-best metrics on contact on pitches outside the zone (67.1%).  His 9.3% swinging-strike percent was even the best of his career. 

For a guy who’s known as a free swinger, those are notable improvements worth building on.  A season with Kevin Seitzer could get his average to a friendlier place.

Frazier also grades out positively on defense, with 10 Defensive Runs Saved at third in 2017.  Alex Anthopoulos has declared emphasis on defense, which bodes well for Frazier.  He also can serve as the de facto backup for Freeman at first, should anything happen (God forbid).