Back in November, I wrote a piece about The Value in Zack Cozart.  I have been meaning to write a “sequel” piece about the value of Todd Frazier, but I just haven’t able to find the time to do so.  However, with Frazier’s great success here in 2014, I couldn’t wait any longer.  Let’s begin…….

*please note: all stats include games played through 6/1/14

Frazier was seen as having a bad year in 2013 by many people associated with the Reds, but in reality he was actually about league average.  If you only looked at his .234 AVG, you would probably think he was bad offensively.  Frazier actually posted a 96 OPS+ and a 100 wRC+ (a 100 is league average in both statistics), two of the best stats at evaluating an offensive player.  Frazier’s .314 OBP was just above the league average mark of .312, and his .407 SLG was above the league mark of .389.  He also had an unlucky season looking at his BAbip, as in 2013 his BAbip was only .269 (average BAbip is around .300).  My personal favorite thing about Frazier’s under-appreciated 2013 season was that his BB% rate was 8.3, above the league average of 7.7, and the fourth highest on the Reds behind Votto, Choo, and Bruce.

Todd Frazier has flat out taken off in 2014.  He currently leads all NL third baseman in WAR (2.0) and wRC+ (126), is second in HR (10) and SLG (.480), and is third in RBI (29) and OBP (.342).

For all of the production the Reds are getting out of Todd Frazier in 2014, he is only earning $600,000.

Frazier is on pace to hit 29 homers, something that has not been accomplished by a Reds third baseman since 1970, and has only been accomplished three times.  Frazier is also on pace to put up a 5.9 WAR, something that also hasn’t been accomplished by a Reds third baseman since 1970, and has only been done by three third baseman.


If you are using WAR, each win on the 2013 free agent market was worth approximately $6 million according to Fangraphs.  That means Frazier is on pace to be worth around $36 million, and has already been worth around $12 million in 2014.  Now while clearly no team would pay $36 million for Todd Frazier in 2014, and he might not finish with anything close to a 5.9 WAR, this does show just how valuable he is worth.

The best way of seeing just how valuable Frazier is, would be to compare him to other third baseman.  We want to avoid the small sample size of just two months of 2014, so let’s look at 2012-2014.  Frazier is not on the same level as David Wright, Adrian Beltre, Evan Longoria, Chase Headley, or Miguel Cabrera (who moved to 1B in 2014), but here is how he stacks up against the next tier of high paid 3B:


(click to expand)

Frazier’s defense is stellar too.  Since 2012, he is tied for the 6th among 3B in both defensive runs saved (12) and UZR/150 (11.6).  Those two stats are the best advanced defensive stats.

For the Reds to be getting the level of production out of Frazier for the money he is making is remarkable.  The Reds are stretched thin payroll wise, and the Reds couldn’t afford $10+ million for a player of the same caliber as Frazier.  This is also a reminder of how important the draft and development of minor league players are, especially for teams who don’t have the payroll of the Yankees or Dodgers.  You need a few of these players producing at a high level in the majors on league minimum contracts.

11 Responses

  1. aktrainer

    Great post. I knew Todd was doing really well this year, but I didn’t realize how much of a value he’s been! Hopefully we can keep him for many years to come.

  2. WVRedlegs

    There is great value in Frazier’s contract. But that changes this winter when he becomes arbitration eligible. Same with Mesoraco. Maybe its time for Jocketty get them signed to 3-year deals that take up their arbitration years. Budget planning with these two eligible for arbitration will be difficult. Get them locked up. Two all-star caliber players emerging.

  3. Kyle Farmer

    Excellent post. I believe that Todd, more than any other Reds position player, deserves a spot in the All-Star games this year. Not sure he’ll get it, but he’s earned it in my book.

    • Grand Salami

      If someone had told me in March that the Reds two most deserving players for an All-Star appearance would be Todd F and Devin M, then I’d have said they are just fan boys. Yet, there doesn’t appear to be much competition from anyone other position player on the team.

    • jdx19

      A St. Louis Cardinal is the ASG manager this year; so, pretty much no shot of a Red getting in the ASG unless one is voted in. Unless, of course, none are voted in and they have to pick the token guy. If so, I hope it’s Frazier or Mes.

      Acutally, check that… Cueto will make it. No way you can leave him off unless he implodes.

  4. ToddAlmighty

    Meanwhile Todd Frazier isn’t in the top 5 voting of 3B in the All-Star game, and Bryce Harper is in the top 15 for OF, despite only playing in 22 games, with like 90 PA, and really only being averageish when he did play.

    Oh, and once again a ton of Giants are among the top vote recipients. We seeing another ballot stuffing going on?

  5. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Frazier’s value has definitely been how good he’s been along with how much he’s costing us. If you give him something like Wright’s money or Zimmerman’s money, I can’t help thinking he’s being overpaid and not the value.

    It’s like buying a top choice sirloin steak for $2. Who wouldn’t want that? But, then, make that $200, then you have to question if you would rather do McD’s, or Skyline, or BWW’s?

  6. dradg

    @TODDALMIGHTY – As a Reds fan, I’d be hesitant to throw the “ballot stuffing” rock at any other team’s fans.

  7. zaglamir

    The sad thing is: at this rate, he’s going to price himself out of the Red’s future. He’s over-performing even the most bullish expectations from his call-up. The names you link him with as his “tier” are all well compensated.

    One might even argue that the 2014 version of Frazier deserves to be on the fringe of the conversation with the Wright’s and Beltre’s of the world (assuming he maintains for a full season). If that’s the case, and teams think he’s not entering the down-slope of his career there may be a serious contract in his future. Realistically, given his late call to the show and the fact he’s still peaking, is a bad ball hitter (which seems to give veterans longer life, see Guerrero, Vladmir), and has become more than competent with his glove makes me think that he may be gone soon.

    If I were in the Redlegs FO, I’d be pulling for them to offer him a 3 year deal yesterday. For David Freese money each of those years, he’d be worth every penny. Something like 3yr / 15M, would be excellent for the Reds and a nice safety net for Frazier since there will be a number of questions about his sustainability in a few years.

    • zaglamir

      I just remembered he’s still pre-Arb. For some reason, I was thinking he was a FA next year. I take back all of what I just typed about that contract.

  8. SAL

    Todd is more to the reds his stats, he keeps the team loose and always smiling thats worth a million.