For New York Mets third baseman Todd Frazier, the 2018 season was a year to forget. For the first time in his career, the New Jersey-native suffered multiple injuries, forcing him to miss significant amounts of time.
Also after moving cross-town from the Bronx, he set career lows in multiple offensive categories. Over 115 games, he hit .213/.303/.390 with 18 doubles, 18 home runs, and a 95 OPS+ and .693 OPS.
This offseason, the Mets went out and added to their infield depth. Brodie Van Wagenen acquired infielders Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, J.D. Davis, and top prospect Pete Alonso seems primed for his call to the big leagues.
With all of that in mind, Mets fans were calling for Frazier and his $9 million in guaranteed money to be shipped out via trade.
However, Spring Training games started this past week and Frazier is still a Met. The Mets may’ve been right to hold on Frazier, as he just might bring more value to the 2019 roster than if they were to trade him.
And despite suffering from an oblique injury early on in camp, I think Frazier seems primed to make an impact during the 2019 season.
Offensively, Frazier is still a solid bottom of the order bat. He brings an advanced plate discipline, and some pop to the bottom half of a lineup. Though he’s shown some signs of decline, Frazier did hit 40 home runs and drove in 98 RBI with the White Sox in 2016.
He also showed his true colors at times throughout the 2018 season. Frazier was performing well in April and May, when the Mets were one of the hottest teams in baseball. Over 26 games, he hit .256/.395/.444 with 20 walks and an .839 OPS.
His injuries dragged down his stats and playing time in the middle of the season, but late in the season Frazier was performing well again. During the month of August, Frazier posted a .799 OPS while hitting five home runs and driving in 20 RBI’s over 28 games.
And of course defensively, Frazier adds to the Mets infield depth. He would give the Mets a solid defender who is capable of playing both corner infield positions. His presence opens up even more scenarios for Mikey Callaway to provide his infielders with a day of rest when needed.
Frazier’s ability to play first base provides a solid major league caliber insurance policy in case top prospect Peter Alonso falters upon receiving the call to the big leagues. Much like Robinson Cano to Amed Rosario, Frazier also provides a nice mentor for Alonso.
Though it doesn’t seem to make much sense, the Mets holding onto Frazier is a good thing. He not only brings so much to this roster, but after a down year last year Frazier will be as motivated as ever to bounce back. The only question that remains, is after suffering an injury early in camp, can Frazier stay healthy?