Adam Frazier on his long-ball production so far in 2023

O's second baseman Adam Frazier’s career high for home runs is 10. He has eight already in 2023 and at his current pace would finish with 19 or 20. He hit three last year with Seattle in 156 games. Now he has eight in 67 team games of which he has played in 65.

What gives? Why has Frazier hit this many homers already?

“Really just using my body the right way,” he said yesterday in the Baltimore clubhouse. “I have always tried to keep it simple but been a little more handsy in the past. Flicked the ball all over the field. Now I’m (staying) on my backside more and using the big muscles to hit the ball maybe more so than arms and hands. So, that is where I’m at right now using the bigger muscles and the hips are able to work better.”

Frazier averaged one homer every 180 at-bats last year and one every 140 at-bats over the last two years. When he hit a career-high 10 homers in 2018, he hit one every 31.8 at-bats and he hit 10 the following year with one every 55.4 at-bats. Now he is hitting one every 26.5 at-bats.

He said the subtle changes he made were a collaboration of thoughts from the O’s hitting coaches and some of his own.

“A bit of a group effort,” Frazier said. “These guys are really good and some drills we have been working on helped with that. A couple of weeks ago, my college roommate, the one thing he said was push my butt back and that went along the lines of everything we had been working on here. A couple of weeks felt like some things were inconsistent with my swing and that one cue made things more consistent. Little bit of a combination of those things.”

Frazier’s homer percentage – the percentage of plate appearances that end in a home run – are at career-best 3.4 for him this season. His previous best homer percentage was 3.0 in 2020. His slugging percentage, at .311 last year is at .410 now.

And the best news is he is not giving up plate discipline to get the added pop. His walk rate is up from last year’s 7.6 to 8.1 in 2023.

“Yeah, and I’d like to walk even more,” he said. “I know my hand-eye coordination is really good, so this swing allows me to put a barrel on the ball and cover the whole zone and not feel like I have to cheat to get to things. Pushing the butt back and my hips working the correct way now using the back chain, the swing plays. Able to drive some balls to the pull side that in the past I had to cheat to get. That has led to the power surge I guess.”

No one is going to confuse Frazier with a slugger anytime soon but going into last night’s game he had as many homers as Adley Rutschman and just Ryan Mountcastle (11), Gunnar Henderson (10) and Anthony Santander (9) had more on the team.

Does he wonder what is the top-end for him with the longball? How many can he hit this season?

“I try to take it one day at a time. Homers are accidents. It’s not like I am trying to hit them. The last two have been breaking balls below the zone. Couple of days ago it was a two-strike count, and I was just trying to put the ball in play,” he said.

But so far in 2023 Frazier is hitting with more pop while maintaining his walk rate and he's headed for a new homers career high.

Maybe by the All-Star break.

Series finale today: Behind right-hander Tyler Wells (5-2, 3.24 ERA) the Orioles will look to end their six-game homestand with a win over Toronto this afternoon.

The Blue Jays won 3-1 last night and the teams play the rubber match today. The Orioles will have a 5-1 homestand with a victory.

Baltimore is 6-4 in rubber match games and 3-2, winning three in a row, when the rubber match is an AL East matchup. 

Orioles lineup vs. Blue Jays in series finale
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