This past offseason, after the Dodgers seemingly let Zack Greinke walk away and join the Arizona Diamondbacks, everyone expected that the team would make a blockbuster move to replace him. The fans anxiously waited to see if the team would sign one of the many aces on the free agent market or whether they would make a big trade for one of the many All-Stars rumored to be available. They watched as David Price signed with the Red Sox. They watched as Ben Zobrist signed with the Cubs. They watched as rival San Francisco Giants signed Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija.
Then one day in December, fans got news that the Dodgers were part of a three-team trade with the Reds and the White Sox. Dodgers fans rejoiced. Everyone assumed that if the Dodgers were involved in a trade with the Reds that Todd Frazier must have been coming to Los Angeles. It had been rumored that he was going to be on the move and even though it didn’t exactly make sense for the Dodgers, given that they already had Justin Turner manning the hot corner, fans were hopeful the All-Star would be in blue.
It didn’t take long before the news broke that Todd Frazier would not be coming to Los Angeles. Rather, the Dodgers would be acquiring three more prospects than they already had even though they had just acquired multiple prospects in another three-team trade with the Braves months back and already had one of the top farm systems in the majors. It wasn’t exactly the blockbuster deal that Dodgers fans had been waiting for.
What the fans didn’t realize at the time, but are quickly finding out, is that the Dodgers may have made one of the biggest blockbusters of the offseason. The headliner for the Dodgers was flamethrower righty Frankie Montas. But after an offseason surgery that put Montas on the disabled list and after news broke that Andre Ethier was going to miss significant time with a fractured tibia, Trayce Thompson took over the headlines.
In 49 games this season in Dodger blue, Thompson has racked up an impressive .271 batting average which ranks third on the team behind only Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez. Compare that to Todd Frazier, the biggest name of the trade that landed Thompson in Los Angeles, and you get a first glimpse of just how well it has worked out so far. Frazier currently boasts a .221 batting average. That average not only is the 11th best on the White Sox, it would also rank him 11th on the Dodgers. Thompson also has a higher on base percentage than Frazier by .045 and a higher slugging percentage by .54.
The one thing that Frazier has going for him is that he has 213 at bats compared to Thompson’s 129 at bats. This could possibly explain some of the difference in their slash lines. However, this likely wouldn’t make up for such a large difference and actually works against him should you consider the rest of the stats. For example, Thompson’s 10 home runs are less than Frazier’s 19 home runs. However, Frazier is hitting a home run every 11.2 at bats and Thompson is hitting one every 12.9 at bats. When it comes to RBI it again looks like Frazier is the clear leader with 42 compared to Thompson’s 22. However, Thompson is hitting one every 5.86 at bats and Frazier is hitting one in every 5.07 at bats.
Considering that there is only a 1 at bat difference between home runs, less than 1 at bat difference between RBI and the fact that Thompson is only 25-years-old and could potentially be in a Dodgers uniform for many years to come, I would rather have Thompson and his slash line than Frazier’s. Even if Frazier edges out Thompson at the moment, the Dodgers still have Frankie Montas and Micah Johnson who have yet to make their debuts. All things considered, it has become pretty apparent that the Dodgers came away the winners in that trade that did not land Todd Frazier in Los Angeles.
Trayce Thompson likes walk-off homers.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 8, 2016
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