Batter’s Box: There’s A New Frazier In Town

he MLB career of Yankees OF Clint Frazier is off to an impressive start, as the 22-year-old prospect has now homered three times in his first nine days in The...

he MLB career of Yankees OF Clint Frazier is off to an impressive start, as the 22-year-old prospect has now homered three times in his first nine days in The Show. He went 5-11, 2 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 K in the weekend series versus Milwaukee, providing the dramatic three-run homer against Brewers closer Corey Knebel to cap the Yankees’ comeback from a 3-0 deficit in walk-off fashion. Drafted fifth overall in 2013 by Cleveland, Frazier was one of the key components given up by the Indians to acquire star RP Andrew Miller from New York a year ago. He’s spent his time since the trade with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but finally got the call up shortly after Aaron Hicks went to the 10-day DL with a pesky oblique strain. Through 24 at-bats, Frazier has a .292 average with four runs and eight total RBI. The sample size is obviously miniscule, but it’s fun to see a hard contact percentage of 55.6 any day. It’s a stacked outfield in New York, though, so it will be interesting to see what happens with the 25-man roster when Hicks gets healthy if Frazier continues to rake. He may be worth an add already during this injury-riddled season, as the power is clearly promising and the opportunity to secure more playing time is in Frazier’s hands.

Let’s take a closer look at what some other notable hitters around the league accomplished this weekend:

Paul DeJong (2B/3B/SS, STL) 9-12, 4 R, 3 HR, 4 RBI, K. The fun part about having a nine-hit showing in a single series just 128 AB into DeJong’s majors career is that he seems like a bat-wielding magician by having upped his average from .267 to .313 in the span of 72 hours. Unsurprisingly, fantasy ownership of the utility infielder has gone up from 8% yesterday to 33% today in Yahoo leagues. DeJong also has five doubles since Wednesday, so to say he’s searingly torrid right now would be an understatement. He’s primarily batting eighth in the St. Louis order, but that hasn’t stopped him from amassing 20 RBI and 17 runs over a 36-game span. Kolten Wong suffering a triceps strain and the optioning of Aledmys Diaz to Triple-A Memphis have allowed DeJong to show his stuff. So even though Wong should be due for reactivation soon, I wouldn’t imagine manager Mike Matheny would be too keen on shelving DeJong when he’s gone 12-27 with a .963 slugging percentage this month. His owners had to have been extremely pleased with his performance against the Mets, and it will be entertaining to see what he does next.

Jesus Aguilar (1B, MIL) 4-10, 2 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI, BB, 3 K. Aguilar’s plate appearances in Milwaukee’s lineup have begun to become more frequent, as he’s progressed from a textbook PH to a frequent starter. This past weekend allowed him and Eric Thames to have a little flexibility with the 1B duties since the Brewers needed a DH for interleague play against the Yankees. In any case, Aguilar had 36 at-bats in April, 58 in May, and 56 in June; while his impact on games for the club is increasing, his chances may not be plentiful enough to be fantasy-relevant outside deep leagues and DFS formats. The 27-year-old had a two-bomb game Friday to push his season total to nine HRs, and he’s scored 26 runs and plated 34 RBI. A .294 average is really quite competitive, and he’s enjoying a hot .350 July right now. If you need him as a streamer, Aguilar circumstantially may provide value.

Manny Machado (3B/SS, BAL) 8-14, 4 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI, BB, 2 K. Now in the midst of a six-game hit streak as we commence the All-Star break, Machado had a hyper-productive four-game series in the Twin Cities and helped Baltimore split it with Minnesota. It’s been a letdown as a highly expectant and hopeful owner of Machado this year but he has begun July strongly, batting .333 through the first nine games of the month. Although the run-scoring and average have been lacking—36 and .230, respectively—Machado is on pace to record his third consecutive season with 35+ homers, as he’s already got 18. His BABIP is a career-low .239, so that would lead you to believe there’s got to be second-half heroics to look forward to. While his plate discipline and zone-specific numbers are down, his 40.2% hard contact is phenomenal and not to be glossed over. He’s still a top-tier keeper.

Adam Jones (OF, BAL) 3-10, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB (1 IBB), 2 K. If it seems like Jones had been quiet lately despite having a solid season overall thus far, you’re not crazy. Before Sunday’s explosion of offense, Jones had only homered twice since June 16 and had not batted a run in since June 27. With that being said, he’s still on pace to end up in the 80s for both runs and RBI, and he also has an outside chance of reaching 30 homers with 15 currently. His average has been consistently spending most of its time in the .260s range since the start of May. He’s no longer the 100-run fantasy stud he was in 2012 and 2013, when steals were still a secondary forte of Jones’, but he’s still an effective play.

Freddy Galvis (SS, PHI) 3-13, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 K. Galvis has managed 10 homers, 31 runs and 37 RBI all with a .251 average on one of the worst teams in baseball. He leads the team in triples, trails only Odubel Herrera in total hits, and trails Howie Kendrick in steals with six. Even though Aaron Altherr is hands-down the best hitter Philadelphia has, Galvis has some upside as a viable streamer at SS. He’s slightly better at home but his splits against LHP/RHP are as dead-even as possible, so that consistency is nice to be aware of.

Jose Reyes (3B/SS, NYM) 4-11, 2 R, HR, RBI. The components of Reyes’ 5×5 fantasy portfolio, in descending order of strength and importance, are his 10 steals, 36 runs scored, eight homers, 29 RBI and a .215 average. Overall, Reyes does not an very attractive body of work for 289 at-bats’ worth of chances. As far as mid-range fantasy players with SS eligibility go who are available in our Pitcher List staff league, Javier Baez, Orlando Arcia, and arguably even Tim Anderson stick out to me as better options. With 3B eligibility added to the mix, the list of viable upgrades from Reyes expands to include Matt Davidson, Nicholas Castellanos, Josh Harrison and perhaps Hernan Perez despite the Milwaukee infield being a little crowded. Or how about going with the aforementioned Galvis and DeJong?! Don’t waste your time with Reyes is the takeaway message.

Josh Bell (1B, OF) 6-13, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K. Bell has a five-game hit streak and is the owner of a .239 average that could rapidly improve if he maintains the .303 he’s batting in July. Bell has hit 16 homers—the last of which came on Thursday—and a pleasantly symmetrical 45 runs and 44 RBI round out his résumé, as the two steals don’t mean anything significant. He’s a rock-solid backup 1B at worst, with the average being the only true shortcoming. Having OF eligibility in Yahoo leagues is super handy as well, and I think that boosts his value a hair for me.

Troy Tulowitzki (SS, TOR) 4-10, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB, 2 K. He spent a month on the DL back in late April/early May, but Tulo’s production and counting stats still aren’t up to snuff. The decent series he had against Houston saw him plate five of his season-spanning 24 RBI, and five of his seven HRs have come after June 23. A good start to July doesn’t necessarily make him a wise fantasy play just yet, given how well other shortstops across the league are doing by comparison. Tulowitzki is batting a middling .250.

Josh Donaldson (3B, TOR) 4-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 5 BB, K. It was Donaldson’s first homer since June 11…! He started the month of July on a cringeworthy 0-13 note, but has since hit safely in four straight. He’s got nine homers overall and 25 RBI for his effort to go along with a .261 average. It just hasn’t been the elite year yet that we’ve come to expect of Donaldson based on the exploits of 2015 and 2016. A .308 BABIP suggests that this work rate may be what the second half holds in store, and unfortunately, I think that owners who expected a lot more will be lucky if he has 25 homers, 70 runs and 70 RBI by season’s end.

Kyle Schwarber (C/OF, CHC)4-10, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2 BB, K. Schwarber returned from Triple-A Iowa only to go 0-4 Thursday. He did have a serviceable series against the Pirates to bump his season average from .168 (yikes) to .178 over the course of the weekend. He’s got 13 homers, 33 runs and 29 RBI, but the average is a dealbreaker for me. I simply cannot recommend someone who’s hitting so sporadically. My logic is similar for not wanting to own Joey Gallo, whose power has at least been respectably prolific when he gets meaningful contact.

Andrew Todd-Smith

Journalistically trained and I have written for SB Nation. Fantasy baseball & football nerd, and there's a solid chance I'll outresearch you. I live in Columbus, pull for Cleveland and could learn to despise your team if you give me reason to. Navy veteran and wordplay addict with an expat background.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login