I’m all about finding me a late-round flyer for the corner infidel slot. Last year, it should’ve been Edwin Encarnacion. This year watch it be Alberto Callaspo (no effin’ way). What do Luis Cruz, Josh Donaldson, Jeff Keppinger, an Eric Chavez/Chris Johnson platoon, Chris Nelson, a Luis Valbuena/Ian Stewart/Josh Vitters blahtoon, Matt Dominguez and the aforementioned Callaspo have in common? Well, besides being unrecognizable to anyone outside their respective families, they’re currently penciled in as their team’s 3rd baseman. True, pencils have erasers, but this crapoika needs a giant bucket of White Out. You have a 3rd base class that will have you looking for the cream of the crap in 2013 drafts. Oh, and don’t even think about how Longoria, Wright and Zimmerman are being looked at as pillars of health and reliability. This year you don’t even have to be of Greek origin to think Moustakas looks downright delicious. The state of 3rd base brings me to Todd Frazier. So what can we expect of Todd Frazier for 2013 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
For 465 plate appearances and under, he ranks number two for homers by 3rd basemen (in 1st was Plouffe, I’ll save him for another day). For those in the ‘don’t know,’ Frazier’s 19 homers in 128 games isn’t terrible. He’s currently penciled in as the everyday 3rd baseman in such a great ballpark, they named it that. So, at 27 years old, he should be good for 25 homers without any uptick in skills or luck. Out of all Reds position players with 120 plate appearances at home, Frazier had the highest fly ball percentage, but only the fifth highest homers per fly ball. If I had to choose one player to hit 35 homers that will go widely undrafted, it’ll be Frazier. I think he could be this year’s Edwin Encarnacion. I don’t say that lightly. Or heavily. I just say it. He’s currently better than 50% of the league’s 3rd basemen, but the only thing that is making him a lot more ordinary is his lack of a track record. He hit .273 last year with a manageable K-rate and decent walk rate. None of it was buoyed by crazy luck. He bats righty, and he hits righties. He is currently slotted into the sixth spot in a very nice lineup in a terrific park. Oh, and he has some speed. Honestly, Dusty did us all a favor last year by playing Rolen so much, because it kept Frazier’s stock under the radar. Which brings us to the negative, I wouldn’t put it over on Dusty to play Jack Hannahan more than he should. At least in April. Frazier will have to make it impossible for him to keep occasionally playing Joel Hanrahan’s brother from a misspelled mother. I, over-the-internet friend, am very excited about Frazier. For 2013, I’ll give him the line of 72/29/89/.268/5 with upside of 35+ homers and the potential for a guy that could shoot up to the top rounds for 2014.