Defense Continues To Plague Adam Frazier
Adam Frazier has had a very strong rookie campaign in 2016. However, defensive struggles continue to plague him.
On June 24th super utility man Adam Frazier made his Major League debut. Since debuting, Frazier has been one of the Pirates’ most consistent players. However, defense continues to plague him.
During his time in the Major Leagues Adam Frazier has played four different positions. These four positions are third base, second base, left field, and right field. The problem is that Frazier has not played good defense at any of these positions.
In no way, shape, or form has offense been an issue for Adam Frazier in the Major Leagues. He has hit both right-handed and left-handed pitching well, he has had a great approach at the plate, and he has been a line drive machine. All of this has culminated in Frazier owning a .334 wOBA, 110 wRC+, .355 on-base percentage, and a 32.2 percent line drive rate this season.
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Despite his strong offense, there are still questions if Frazier can be an everyday player in the Major Leagues. These questions are due to his defense. Because there is no position where he rates strong enough defensively to play everyday.
Frazier’s best defensive work has come at second base. And his numbers at second base are abysmal. He has zero defensive runs saved, a .938 fielding percentage, and a -30.5 UZR/150 in 100 innings at second base this season.
Believe it or not, Adam Frazier has been even worse in the outfield. In 167 innings as an outfielder this season he owns a .935 fielding percentage and he has -2 defensive runs saved.
Adam Frazier’s defensive struggles run a lot deeper than just the stats and defensive metrics. His outfield routes are, to put it kindly, very poor. Also, his arm is not strong enough to play the corner outfield spots with any kind of regularity and he is not nearly athletic enough to play center field.
At second base he has had a lot of problems with decision making. In-between hops have caused havoc for Frazier. He has also struggled immensely turning double play balls while at second base. All of these things are concerning.
Offensively Frazier is more than good enough to play everyday at the Major League level. His defense, however, may make this impossible. I would love for Adam Frazier to supplant Josh Harrison as the Pirates’ everyday second baseman in 2017. But due to his defense that is very unlikely to happen.
My only real question mark/worry about the Pirates’ offense in 2017 is the lead off spot. Without a doubt Adam Frazier could step in and be a good lead off hitter due to his ability to get on base and set the table. Due to his poor defense, however, I do not believe this will be a possibility.
Undoubtedly Adam Frazier has a future in the Major Leagues. However, it appears his ceiling might be as a super utility bench player. That is, unless his defense can drastically improve and fast.