If there is one thing that has become evident over the last few years, it’s that the Philadelphia Phillies have had a tough time filling the third base position. And, quite honestly, third base has become a premium position across baseball. Simply put, there just aren’t many good ones out there, and if you have one, you’re a lucky team.
The Phillies simply could not keep Placido Polanco healthy over the past couple of seasons, leading to many questions about what direction the team would go this off-season. In the end, the Phillies decided to acquire Michael Young via trade to fill their hole at third base.
Polanco’s injury did do one thing: it gave an opportunity to Kevin Frandsen, who will return this season as a bench player behind Young. Frandsen made the most of his opportunity, and he will be a valuable player to have behind Young if he performs the way he did last year.
Frandsen hit .338/.381/.451 at third last year, and while he did make some flashy plays at third base, he struggled with some routine grounders. Accordingly, his advanced metric numbers at third grade him out as an average third baseman in 2012.
Frandsen didn’t walk a whole lot last season, but he didn’t strike out much either. A .366 BABIP is probably not sustainable, so hopefully Frandsen can work the count a bit more often and find himself on base via the walk a few more times in 2013. Frankly, that’s something that most Phillies hitters need to improve upon.
It is hard to ignore what Frandsen did last season, and with Young coming in, it gives the Phillies a great option off the bench. Frandsen has been a bit of a journeyman throughout his career, but he may have finally found his home in Philadelphia. He may be on the bench to begin 2013, but for Frandsen, it’s a heck of a lot better than his previous alternatives.