Frazier, Nunez or Walker?

Obviously, all Mets fans know we need another infielder. Mets are looking at various Second and Third base options. Three players that fit are Todd Frazier, Neil Walker and Eduardo Nunez. I’ll explain what their strengths and weaknesses are, and tell you who I want the Mets to sign.

NEIL WALKER

Clearly Neil is the player Mets fans are most accustomed to. The Mets traded Jon Niese for Neil Walker in the 2015 offseason. At that time, this trade looked like a steal, but Walker’s time as a Met didn’t go as planned, mainly because of injuries. In 2016 Walker slashed .282/.347/.476 with a .823 OPS and 122 wRC+. He banged out 23 home runs that year(which tied his career high). He also played a solid second base; he only had a 0 DRS at second base but accounted for a 9.3 UZR. He had a 3.7 WAR in this season but unfortunately he missed 50 games(including the wild card game) due to back surgery. 2017 was a rough season for him, the Mets traded him to the Brewers in August and he again missed significant time due to injuries(missed 51 games in 2017) and saw a decrease in power and regressed significantly on defense. His slugging percentage was .439 compared to .476 in 2016. Defensively, he really struggled. At second base he had a -5 DRS and -1.5 UZR. These are huge regressions from a 0 DRS and 9.3 UZR just the year prior.

TODD FRAZIER

Now first off, Todd Frazier is not the same hitter now as he was with the Reds. He still provides home runs(had 27 last season and 40 in 2016) and still provides very good defense at third(10 DRS and 6.7 UZR last season) but overall as a hitter he is not the same. The past two seasons he’s wRC+ has been 108 last season and 104 the year prior. In his final two seasons with the Reds he posted a 122 and 116 wRC+ respectively. However, he is still a good player but his value goes beyond the diamond. He is a very good guy in the clubhouse and plays his heart out every game. He had a huge impact on a young Yankees team last season with players like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, etc. He can do a lot for the young players we have like Amed Rosario, Wilmer Flores(yes it feels like he’s been on the Mets for a while but he is still only 26), Brandon Nimmo and Dom Smith. Frazier also brings tremendous defense which the Mets desperately need. In his seven seasons in the major leagues Frazier has posted a DRS of 5 or above four times. Frazier and Rosario on the left side of the Mets infield would be a huge upgrade from years past.

EDUARDO NUNEZ

Nunez is probably the best hitter out of these three but is also the worst defender. He brings speed, athleticism, and he doesn’t strike out, three things the Mets lack. The Mets have almost zero team speed and strike out a lot. Nunez would be a nice change of pace offensively. Last season Nunez slashed .313/.341/.460 with a .801 OPS and 112wRC+. He doesn’t provide a lot of power(only had 12 homeruns last year) but he hit 33 doubles last season and had 24 stolen bases. He stole 40 bases two seasons ago. However defensively he is atrocious. I see a lot of people say he is very versatile defensively but is he really? Sure plays a lot of positions but he doesn’t play them well. Last season he had -4 DRS and -1.8 UZR at second base, 0 DRS and -1.9 UZR at third base, and an -5 DRS and -1.6 UZR at shortstop per fangraphs.

CONCLUSION

Obviously neither of these three players are perfect fits but they are the ones that are available. All three have their strengths and weaknesses just like every other player in baseball not named Mike Trout and Jose Altuve. Personally the player I’d like the Mets to sign is Todd Frazier, he doesn’t hit for a high average for you average geeks (hit .213 last season) but had a spike in his walk rate last season(14.4%) which isn’t much but is his career high by far, and it is seen in his OBP last season(.344) which is also a career high. He also brings a great veteran clubhouse presence and will help the Mets defense significantly. Let me know who you want to see the Mets sign in the comments and thanks for reading!

LGM!

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