Todd Frazier
2012 Slash Line: .273/.331/.498
2013 Projection: .260/.320/.440

2012 WAR: 2.8
2013 Best Guess WAR: 3.0
Projected Difference: +0.2
2013 Floor: 1.5
2013 Ceiling: 4.0

Okay, here’s the part where I really make some people unhappy. I love Todd Frazier, I do. I’m glad the Reds have him, and I’m glad he’ll have the starting job. But I don’t think he’s the player he seemed to be last year.

Last year in, 465 plate appearances, Todd Frazier slugged .498. His minor league slugging percentage was .475. That’s strike one.

Last year, his BABIP was 22 points higher than it should have been given his batted ball profile. That’s strike two.

You can breathe easy because there isn’t a third strike. I’m not sure Todd Frazier will regress, but I think he will, as you can see from my slash line projections. You’ll note, somewhat incongruously, that I project him to do a little better in the WAR department. That’s because he didn’t get a full season of playing time last year. If you project his performance from 2012 over a full season, he actually comes in as a 4 win player. So, a projection of only 3 wins, is a pretty steep drop.

3 wins is still pretty good, though. The idea is that 2 wins above replacement is an average player, so we’re still talking about the Reds having an above average third baseman, just not a world-beater.

What the Reds have in Todd Frazier is an old sophomore, entering his prime years (he’ll be 27 this year). He’s fine on defense (but not great) and a pretty good hitter. His age is a red flag which tells us we shouldn’t expect him to be god for a long time because really excellent players rarely take this long to establish themselves in the majors. In the end, Todd Frazier is probably just Todd Frazier, solid player. He’s almost certainly good enough to be a major league starter for a few years, but we shouldn’t expect it to last and we shouldn’t expect the “super” to stick to the front of his name.

Redleg Nation Season Preview Schedule

Joey Votto – 2/27
Brandon Phillips – 3/1
Todd Frazier – 3/4
Zack Cozart – 3/6
Ryan Ludwick – 3/8
Shin-Soo Choo – 3/11
Jay Bruce – 3/13
Ryan Hanigan & Catcher #2 – 3/15
Bench – 3/18
Johnny Cueto & Mat Latos – 3/20
Aroldis Chapman & Mike Leake – 3/22
Homer Bailey & Bronson Arroyo – 3/25
Bullpen – 3/27
Updates & Preview Wrap-Up – 3/29