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Todd Frazier has been quietly very solid

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And I say we need to give him more credit for that.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
gotta get those thighs loose
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Among the Yankees' numerous July acquisitions, Todd Frazier hasn't exactly been lauded as a particularly great catch. There were questions about him from the start - his numbers were clearly trending down, and it was unclear where he would fit on the roster with Chase Headley playing well. It's been two months since Frazier's arrival, and the mention of his name still doesn't generate any buzz. However, when you look at his production since coming to the Bronx, he's actually been of considerable value to the Yankees down the stretch. Let's take a closer look at the other man behind the “thumbs down” meme.

First, let's look at his offensive production. In 62 games and 231 plate appearances with the Yankees so far, Frazier has slashed .216/.364/.427, good for a 114 wRC+. His batting average might be too low to stomach for some, but at this point it's an inevitable feature of his offensive profile. Frazier's plan is avoid grounders - he's too slow to do anything with them - and hit dingers, which he's always been pretty good at doing. He's taken this approach to heart, as his GB/FB ratio of 0.72 this year ranks 14th-lowest in the majors. This approach is killing his BABIP, and thus his batting average, but it's also allowing him to maintain his above-average power output. And hey, who cares if a guy is hitting .216 when he's getting on base at a .364 clip? By increasing his walk rate by nearly 5 percent, Frazier has remained productive even while his batting average continues to decline. Add it all together, and he's been the Yankees' 5th-best hitter in the 2nd half (min. 100 PA).

His defense hasn't been too shabby either. Since arriving in the Bronx, Frazier has compiled 5 DRS at third base in 510.2 innings, making him the best defensive infielder on the Yankees by that metric. UZR likes him a little less, grading him as 0.2 points above average. Granted, single-season defensive metrics are flaky as heck, but Frazier has graded well in those metrics throughout his career. It's probably safe to say that his above-average defense hasn't dropped off since coming over to New York.

What Frazier has done defensively is even more crucial when you consider Chase Headley's performance at third base, who hasn't exactly lived up to his reputation. Headley has been worth -8 runs by DRS and -2.0 UZR in 742.0 innings at the hot corner, a far cry from his heyday as a Gold Glover. Frazier's solid defense has allowed Headley to move to 1B, where he's done much better (0 DRS and 0.6 UZR in 323.0 innings). A run saved is just as good as a run scored, and it seems like Frazier has helped the Yanks greatly in that aspect as well, both by just playing well individually and by allowing the Yankees to optimize their positional allocation.

Put his offense and defense together, and Frazier's been worth 1.2 WAR in 62 games with the Yankees, which translates to just under 3 WAR over a full season. He hasn't been a world-beater, but he also hasn't been Chris Carter. He's been a solid regular, a guy who Girardi can run out there every day without putting too much thought into it. The Yankees are filled with explosive players - think Judge, Hicks, Holliday, Chapman, Betances - but they've all suffered through extended slumps during which they were hurting the team. On such a volatile roster, the presence of guys like Frazier is all the more appreciated; players who are consistently solid mitigate the effect of other players' slumps. Todd Frazier's been much more than the man who made the “thumbs down” meme possible, or the guy who met Jeter at the LLWS that one time. He's been a constant presence among a roster of uncertainties.