You guys! We did! Praise be to our Thor-d and Savior, in the name of the Gary, the Keith, and the Ronald Darling! We have a third baseman, and his name in Todd Frazier.
“WITH THE METS SIGNING OF JAY BRUCE IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THEY ARE GOING TO GO ALL IN AND SIGN TODD FRAZIER. WHY IS THIS IN ALL CAPS? BECAUSE I AM TRYING TO DRILL IT INTO MY HEAD THAT JAY BRUCE IS A MET AN LORENZO CAIN IS NOT AND I NEED THEM TO GET A BAT AND A SOLID PLAYER AND I THOUGHT THEY HAD THOSE IN LORENZO CAIN, BUT I GUESS NOT AND I JUST DON’T KNOW ANYMORE. I PUT ALL MY EGGS IN THE LORENZO CAIN BASKET AND NOW I’M NOT QUITE READY TO PUT WHAT IS LEFT OF MY EGGS IN THE FRAZIER BASKET. WHAT DO I DO? HELP.”
So you can tell just how excited I was about this signing, and frankly, you should be too for a plethora of reasons, but let’s look at the bigger picture.
The Mets have closed the book on David Wright for 2017 and it’s the right move. There will be a time and place for us to have the longer discussion about the Mets moving on without David Wright, but this move says volumes. Is Todd Frazier a stand-in for the Captain? For two years, yes. There will, however, be a turning point where we all fall in love with Todd Frazier. That love will envelop all of us.
Why do I say that?
LOOK AT THIS THOUSAND WATT SMILE?!
Go back and watch Todd Frazier’s final round of the 2015 Home Run Derby and tell me you don’t already love him. You can’t. The guy set Cincinnati on fire. He can do the same in Queens.
Sur there are some glaring areas of concern with Frazier’s performance in the last two years, especially across the RFK in the Bronx.
In his 5 years as a Cincinnati Red, Frazier was a solid piece of their lineup, putting up a .257/.321/.463 slash and a .784 OPS. In his last year, he hit 29 dingers and racked up 43 doubles.
After his successful 2015 season, Frazier was shipped off to Chicago in a three-team deal that sent prospects and current starters to the Reds and Dodgers. The White Sox seemed poised to make a run, but after tensions sparked in the clubhouse before opening day, the ChiSox were tossed aside.
Frazier never seemed to find his stride in Chicago, but that’s to be expected when they already had a solid lineup before he got there. hitting in the 5th and 6th spots for the majority of the season, Frazier struggled to get his average north of .230 in either batting positions. That trend stayed when he was sent to the Yankees with Tommy Kahnle and Dave Robertson.
To say that Frazier was less than advertised when he came to the Bronx would be an understatement, but at that point, I don’t think we were paying that much attention. Why do I say that? Because he saw an uptick in production in New York and you just flat out believed me.
Was it much of an uptick? No. There is, however, a very big difference between hitting .207 in Chicago and .222 in New York, even though they feel about the same. Despite hitting .213 during the 2017 regular season, Frazier managed to hit 27 home runs, keeping on track with his season average.
How does that translate to the Mets?
Good question. This is a bit of a wait-and-see situation with Frazier, but it’s better than the other options.
The infield carousel the Mets have been using for the last few seasons hasn’t done anything productive, aside from creating room for Amed Rosario. With Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera, Lucas Duda and the occasional Flores/Wright/Reynolds combo at third base, the Mets saw defensive fluctuations and an inconsistent offense depending on who was at the plate.
Now a lot of that was Terry Collins and his inability to trust players to do their job in their respective positions, and his penchant for playing games without a full defensive scheme. What Frazier brings is stability. With Third base occupied Asdrubal Cabrera moves to second, Rosario stays at short and Wilmer Flores becomes a full infield utility guy. With Adrian Gonzalez and Dominic Smith trading off at first, for the time being, the Mets infield is solid. It’s complete. It’s better.
At the plate, however, is where my concerns start.
This lineup is … incredible.
However, the 4-5-6 spots are what worry me. While everyone is touting the reunion of Frazier and Bruce, there wasn’t really a whole lot to their relationship onfield. The glue that held the Bruce/Frazier relationship together was Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. So putting the two Reds back to back is only going to put more pressure on Cespedes, Cabrera, and Conforto to produce. That’s the opposite of what the Mets should want.
This team motors when Conforto, Cespedes, and Cabrera are hot. Look at 2015 and 2016’s second-half numbers, that success is tied to those three guys performing when they are needed the most. Historically, Bruce and Frazier see a complete drop in their numbers from the first half to the second half, both of them by around 20 points. Add a struggling Adrian Gonzalez to the mix and the middle of the lineup begins to look like Slump City.
Stacking that many power bats in a row may seem like a great idea when you’ve been left bereft of offensive power, but the Mets need a lineup that pushes getting on base and knocking those guys in. We saw what happens when power is stacked on top of power when Granderson his 30 dingers and knocks in 50 runs.
This is a New Mets Era
I know this is a simple theorized lineup, but is it really? This is pretty accurate in how to play this group of guys. So it’s going to be a wait-and-see situation, as I said before.
But that doesn’t mean that this isn’t cause for celebration! The Mets landed a big player for much less than his market value. #FRUGALITY! Mets Twitter will probably be crying over the end of David Wright’s 2018 hopes, but what they really should be doing is embracing this new Mets team. 2018 are in a much better place before Spring Training even began than they were a year ago. We need to remember the little progress the Mets made last winter and how great this signing is.
It’s all about perspective, and this signing should prove that the Mets are shifting theirs going into the 2018 season.
This signing is a real THUMBS UP.