Adam Frazier serves as a late bright spot for the Pittsburgh Pirates

Despite the rapid downhill plummet of the Pittsburgh Pirates over the last two months, several players have stood out over the dismal stretch. After an inconsistent first half, Adam Frazier has put together an impressive post-All-Star break resume.

Since July 27, the Pittsburgh Pirates are 19-35 and no longer eligible for the 2017 MLB Postseason.

What has gone wrong in the last couple months has already been dissected by Pirates Breakdown and will continue to be until the 2018 season begins. Instead of continuing the negative discussion, it’s time to take a look at what has gone well during this down stretch.

Much has been made of first baseman Josh Bell and his assault on the team’s rookie record books, but another player has flown under the radar as of late: Adam Frazier.

All he does is hit

Frazier has pulled 32.2% of pitches in 2017, up from 27.3% last year. As his spray chart indicates, he’s now spraying balls all over the field.

Since the start of MLB’s second half, Adam Frazier is slashing .326/.388/.474 with 13 extra-base hits. Since Aug. 1, Frazier has gotten on base in 19 of 25 games that he started.

Frazier briefly spent 10 days on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, but it hasn’t bothered him since then. Since coming off the D.L. on Sept. 8, Frazier is slashing .304/.385/.565 and has collected at least one hit in all but one of the seven games.

Frazier’s playing time has slightly reduced in the second half, but he’s made the most of it. Prior to the All-Star Break, Frazier played in 67 of 89 games (starting in 79 percent of them) but missed 18 of those games while on the D.L. In the second half, he’s played in 44 of 60 games and missed 10 games because of a D.L. stint. In the second half, he’s played in 44 of 60 games and missed 10 games because of a D.L. stint. Frazier has started in 73 percent of post-All-Star Break games.

All in all, Frazier boasts a .281/.353/.397 slash line for the 2017 season. As spectacular as Frazier has been in the second half, struggles earlier in the season sank his slash line.

Mid-season struggles

Frazier’s success as of late is even more impressive given his struggles in the middle of the year. His .234/.305/.319 slash line in June was the worst of any month in his young major-league career. Frazier also struck out 14 times, his career-worst in a month.

It was a quick turnaround after such a strong start to the year. Frazier’s batting average was at .369 on May 21 after collecting 31 hits in his first 84 at-bats of the season. That includes a .457/.486/.514 stretch in the first nine games after Frazier returned from the D.L. on May 12 after missing time due to a left hamstring strain.

Frazier looked to be headed down a similar route as 2016: a hot start before cooling off the rest of the way. A year ago, Frazier slashed .356/.396./.578 in June and July before dropping to .277/.339/.337 in the season’s final two months. Unlike last year, Frazier turned it around after hitting a slump in 2017.

Looking towards next season

In 2017, Frazier has proven that he was not a fluke with a stellar rookie year in 2016. He excelled, but also dealt with adversity this season. The hot start, a tough June and early July then a strong finish to the year has made for a very solid season at the plate for Frazier. Through his play,

With his bat, Frazier has shown he deserves a spot in the lineup. Frazier is an above average option at the plate regardless of whether he is in the infield or outfield.

Photo credit – flickr creative commons

Joel Norman

Joel Norman is a journalism major at West Virginia University. In addition to writing for Pirates Breakdown, Joel covers WVU sports for the Daily Athenaeum and writes game recaps and features for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. Joel also does play-by-play broadcasts of WVU hockey and baseball for WWVU-FM in Morgantown.
  • GN

    He looks like a reliable hitter for the near future. His hits to the opposite field makes you believe he is thinking through the entire at-bat. He ended up being an acceptable left fielder but is still a bit unproven at second base. He needs to be a better fielder in any position if he is going to have a place on the team into the future. He has been the brightest performance for the year.

    • leadoff

      He has 10 errors on the year, not bad for a young player asked to play all over the field, unfortunately he has most of his errors at 2nd base, a position he is best suited for.