Pittsburgh Pirates: Adam Frazier Needs To See A Reduction In Playing Time

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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Adam Frazier hasn’t had a ton of success this season offensively or defensively. It is time to reduce his role as the starting 2nd baseman and give a guy like Kevin Kramer a shot to prove himself.

Adam Frazier is slashing .256/.367/.682 this season in 270 at bats for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has hit just 3 home runs while collecting just 19 RBI’s thus far. In his previous seasons with the Bucs, Frazier has been very good at collecting hits and getting on base.

Many believed he could win a batting title one day. But, he hasn’t lived up to his potential in the first half of this season as he is striking out more than he is accustomed to. Frazier struggled mightily at the top of the lineup forcing Clint Hurdle to drop him to the bottom, where he continues to struggle as well. He exceled last season with a 2.7 WAR that projects as a starter in this league, but with only a 0.8 WAR this season, he is more valuable as a bat reserve player off the bench. Defensively, Frazier has been lackluster and invaluable. His arm is not very strong and is rather slow turning double plays.

The Pirates have a couple of options with what they can do with the second base position. They can give Kevin Kramer a shot at being the everyday starter, or allow Kevin Newman to slide over to second and call Cole Tucker back up to be the everyday shortstop.

Kramer was a September call up last season and he didn’t perform well in 40 plate appearances batting only .135. Entering play on Thursday, Kramer has hit .283 in 226 at bats at AAA. He is also hitting for a decent amount of extra base hits with 5 home runs and 20 doubles. He will be turning 26 years old in October, so Kramer isn’t getting any younger. It may be time to get him an extended look at second base for the Pirates.

If not Kramer, then the Pirates can bring Tucker back to Pittsburgh and make him the everyday shortstop while Newman slides over to second base. This may be the best defensive option currently that the Pirates can deploy. Tucker had looked very smooth and natural at shortstop in his first stint in the Majors.

His bat wasn’t where it needed to be, but he came on right before his demotion and continued to rake in Indy after he was sent down. He looked as if he was finally settling in and priming for a positive sample size at the plate. At the start of play on Thursday he was slashing .322/.379/.570 this season at AAA. He isn’t striking out a bunch in the minors, he is hitting the ball over the fence, and he can steal bases for you at a steady clip.

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Tucker has more of a future with the Pirates than Kramer, but both of these options can fill a void at second base. Frazier just hasn’t been good enough to be a starter thus far, so a change is necessary and could come into fruition within the coming weeks.

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