Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds – Outfielder
Triple-A (through June 30) – .274 (69-252), 14 HR, 39 RBI, 44 R, 12 SB
Drafted in the first round of the 2007 draft, Frazier literally had a one day stay with the Reds earlier this season. If he keeps playing the way he has this season, it won’t be his only one in 2011, especially since he has played all around the diamond during his minor league career (1B, 2B, 3B, SS and OF).
You would like to see him limit his strikeouts, however, as he has currently struck out 64 times (25.40% strikeout rate). It’s unfortunately not a new problem, as he struck out 127 times in 480 AB at Triple-A in 2010 (26.46% strikeout rate), which certainly doesn’t help matters. You generally expect the strikeout rate to increase when a player moves from the Minors to the Majors, meaning he has the potential to post an ugly number.
It’s easy to write off his power explosion, considering he had never hit more than 19 HR prior to 2011, but he is 25-years old. It’s not unthinkable that he has simply added power, is it? He did have 32 doubles in 2010 and 45 in 2009, so there certainly is hope. However, don’t consider it a lock.
He’s also never shown this much speed, with his career high being 14 SB in 2010. In other words, there are a lot of concerns.
His versatility would appear to make him a great option as a utility player for the Reds, though you never know if they are going to give him a bigger chance. He certainly deserves it with the way he’s played, but time will tell if he can maintain the power and speed. You also have the average risk hanging over him, thanks to the strikeouts, further making us question his potential value.
Brett Jackson – Chicago Cubs – Outfielder
Double-A (through June 30) – .252 (51-202), 7 HR, 27 RBI, 39 R, 13 SB
When we last checked in on Jackson at the end of May he was hitting .295 with 4 HR, 17 RBI and 13 SB. Looking at the numbers in the past month, it clearly wasn’t a very happy June. In 22 games he hit just .217 with 3 HR and 0 SB.
He missed some time in May due to a pinky injury, so you have to wonder if that had an effect on his performance…
However, would his pinky stop him from running? It certainly shouldn’t. He also struggled to simply make contact, striking out 27 times in 83 AB (32.53% strikeout rate). That was a red flag when we last looked at him (at that point he was at 26.79%), but he obviously has regressed another step recently.
At one point it appeared inevitable that he join the Cubs, but he needs to show a lot more at this point before that happens. He has a ton of talent and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him reach the Majors in 2011, so for now be patient.
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