Rarely do I double dip on sleepers. If they don’t pan out the year I tap them on the shoulder with my sleeper amulet, there’s an issue that usually makes them suspect for the following year too. That brings us to my favorite sleeper from 2013 that failed to live up to expectations, Todd Frazier. If you just rolled out of a 12-month coma, it’s like nothing’s changed, except your family was sick of waiting for you to wake so they drew faces on coconuts and moved on to a new father who isn’t emotionally detached. That’s not your kid, that’s a coconut. Don’t worry, the guy with the creepy voice on Dateline will do you justice when he tells your life story. In 2013, Frazier hit 19 homers, which matched his 2012 total, but in 2012 he only had 422 ABs and last year he had 531. The batting average took a real spin around the toilet bowl and flushed out a stank .234 after he hit .273 the previous year. Obviously, Frazier’s not coming out of 2013 without his Napoleonic-sized hemorrhoids, but he can Prep-H those and still set things right. So, what can we expect from Todd Frazier for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
His aforementioned .234 average came saddled with a .269 BABIP, which is a tick below what we can expect from him. Last year’s expected average was only .248, but I’d contend — I’m contending, y’all! — that he can hit as high as .270 but settle in around .255. He dropped his K-rate from 22.2% in 2012 to 20.8% last year. This was counteracted by a falling line drive rate (22.4% to 18.1%). Make weak contact and balls get caught and your BABIP falls. His fly ball rate fell too. When a fly ball rate falls in a hitters’ park, your power numbers appear less than desirable. Cause and effin’ effect or effin’ affect or affin’ effect or affin’ affect. BTW, what’s a humpageddon? A pornmanteau. Take it, it’s yours. The good news is when Frazier did hit a home run, he hit them a long way (average distance was 403 feet). He was right there at the top of the league for guys who averaged the longest distance per home run. When he hit six homers in September in only 88 ABs, it showed the player he can be every month. Or, shoot, for at least four of six months. The bigger issue with Frazier is can he get back those fly balls and line drives he lost and stop hitting so many damn ground balls. Outlook: cloudy, but I’d sure rather gamble on a guy who was unlucky and is in a terrific ballpark. For 2014, I’ll project him for the line of 70/25/79/.252/6. And, if you think that projected batting average is optimistic, that is only ten extra hits if he gets 531 ABs again. One extra hit every 15 games. Thanks, rudimentary math!