A Hero Emerges in Greensboro
|Photo Credit: MiLb.com|
The amount of support that I received with my new site has been overwhelmingly humbling, and I want you to know that your support hasn't gone unnoticed. I've also seen the comments and know what you guys want regarding my next subject. My next subject has been a man on a mission so far in 2021. This young man is a 23-year-old outfielder for the stacked Greensboro Grasshoppers team, and he has emerged as a guy everyone has been talking about.
If you haven't figured out who I'm talking about, the young man I'm speaking of is Matt Fraizer. Fraizer has come out of nowhere like my previous subject in JC Flowers and Jase Bowen. Fraizer is another prospect drafted in the 2019 draft, and if we're fair, this draft will be the legacy of Neil Huntington. I know people will remember him for the Archer trade, but the 2019 draft looks to be a good class, and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Frazier in 2019, if you ask him, he'd tell you he had a sub-par year batting just a .221/.287/.266 slash line, and his advanced statistics were not any better with a .266 wOBA and 71 wRC+. Some people thrive when faced with obstacles and adversity, and I think the 2020 pandemic separated the wheat from the chaff. The break definitely helped Fraizer from what it looks like, and Pirates fans better start recognizing another Fraizer name.
During that 2019 season and being 21 years old at the time, to expect a monstrous season off the bat is a little unrealistic and, quite frankly, foolish. The former 3rd round draft pick in 2019 definitely had some room to grow, but the Pirates must've liked what they saw during the 2020 shutdown because they brought him up to Greensboro, and by god, it was the right call, at least so far.
So far on the 2021 season, Fraizer has been tearing the cover off of the ball with a .320/.423/.524 slash line. His advanced numbers have improved significantly across the board with a wOBA of .418 and a ridiculous wRC+ of 162, and if you believe in the ISO numbers, it's up to a .204 as opposed to 19's season with a .045. Now
One thing that jumped off the page for me was his splits. He hits good against both right and left handed pitchers, he hits well with runners in scoring position, and he gets on base with 2 outs pretty consistently. If he can maintain this kind of performance, we very well could see Fraizer aiming for that roller coaster at PNG Field in the not-so-distant future.
I know what you must be thinking, "CODY, IT"S EARLY!" I hear you loud and clear, and trust me, I'm taking these numbers with a grain of salt, but this year feels a lot different for him than his 2019 season. Call it a gut feeling, but he seems to be another special player in that 2019 draft class. When Greensboro's games are televised, you best believe I'll be watching Matthew Fraizer and a slew of other talented young men that call Greensboro home!