The addition of Todd Frazier by the New York Mets gives the team another pure power hitter that they don’t need.
The New York Mets officially signed third baseman Todd Frazier, who became a fan favorite in his half-season with the New York Yankees after turning a thumbs down gesture a fan gave into a running joke. It seems like it has come full circle in a way, as the fan is, in fact, a fan of his new team.
— New York Mets (@Mets) February 7, 2018
At the surface, it makes sense. The Mets were in need of another infielder and Frazier will presumably start at third base for the team. However, he wasn’t the best option and doesn’t bring anything that the team didn’t already have on their roster.
Frazier is a pure power hitter who struggles to hit for contact. He has 175 home runs over his seven-year career, averaging a home run ever 5.36 games played. The third baseman had his best power outputs from 2015-2017, when he hit 29, 35, and 40 home runs. In those years, he still only hit .251 with a paltry OBP of .316.
His career numbers are similar, as he owns a career slash line of .245/.321/.459. During his 66 game cameo as a Yankee, he did nothing to change that reputation, as he cranked 11 home runs but hit a meager .222.
Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce each average 32 home runs per 162 games. Michael Conforto averages 28, and Adrian Gonzalez averages 27. ESNY’s Nicholas Santuccio explained why building a lineup around slow-moving power hitters limits a team too much and isn’t a recipe for success. This is especially true at Citi Field, which is still a larger stadium and is more difficult to hit home runs in.
What the Mets already have is plenty of power in their lineup. What they needed — and had a chance to add — is a fast running contact hitter, something that the team lacks in their lineup other than Amed Rosario. Eduardo Nunez or Josh Harrison would have fit better into the Mets lineup than Frazier does.
Nunez, who plays third base, shortstop, second base, and even some outfield, has racked up 129 stolen bases in eight seasons, and a 162 game average of 31. Harrison is a career .281 hitter under team control through 2020 (one year longer than Frazier) with a 162 game average of 16 stolen bases.
Even former Met Neil Walker would have been a better fit. He has a career OBP of .341. Each of them would bring a dimension that the Mets lack offensively. Frazier is just more of the same.
The Mets missed the mark with what could be their last offseason move. Frazier will bring more of what the Mets already have, while they’ll still have the same weaknesses. This signing gets a thumbs down.