Adam Frazier has stepped in nicely for the Pirates this season. But, can fantasy owners trust him as a waiver wire add?
The Pirates have not had too many bright spots this season as they currently sit four games under .500 and have struggled to right the ship so far. One of the most notable storylines from the team in 2017, was the PED suspension of Starling Marte. This, of course, left the team reeling having lost their best overall player. But, enter in Adam Frazier.
Adam Frazier was drafted in the sixth round by the Pirates in 2013 out of Mississippi State University. The 5’9 25-year old was a pretty polished player coming out of college and that showed during his ascent through the minors. He is a career .300 hitter over his five seasons at the minor league level, continually showing his advanced bat skill which forced the team to promote him in 2016. Over 66 games in the majors, he ended 2016 with a .301/2 HR/11 RBI/4 SB/.767 OPS line.
Frazier made the big league club out of spring training in 2017, even leading off for the team on opening day. He impressed in April, posting a .306/1 HR/5 RBI/.819 OPS line. But, a hamstring injury would cause him to go down in for nearly three weeks. He returned on May 12 and has picked things right back up where he left off. He has notched 13 hits already in May, giving him a .438 AVG for the month.
Looking further into his batted ball data, the youngster shows the type of profile that a slap hitting lefty would possess. He only strikes a minuscule 12% of the time and makes contact at an 87% clip. He has a solid 25% LD, 49% GB, 25% FB, 51% Med and 27% Hard contact rates. It is clear that the 49% GB rate drives down his HR rate, but he only had three homers in the minors.
But, he makes plenty of solid contact and his ability to spray the ball, 39% Oppo compared to 24% Pull rate, further shows why the AVG is for real. Now in terms of his counting stats, Frazier has routinely been slotted atop the order. While the Pirates offense is not a juggernaut unit, there are enough producers behind him to allow him to offer decent numbers.
Frazier’s SB ability could use some work. He has three seasons of more than 10 SB, but his success rate has dropped as he has climbed the ranks. He has one steal this season but has been caught three times. The Pirates do not have a speed option in their lineup, but it may be hard for the Pirates to allow him to keep running thanks to his ineffectiveness and the hammy flare up.
In terms of a waiver wire add, AVG only producers are often tricky adds because AVG is the hardest stat to predict. But, based on his batted profile and his track record, Frazier is a safe add. Hopefully, with David Freese back, and what appears to be a Josh Bell breakout, Frazier will be offered even more chances to build his stat line moving forward. Make the move.