From the ashes, it would seem that Jake Fraley has risen back to prominence in the fantasy baseball world, as he has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball over the last couple of weeks. The start of Fraley’s career has been far from that of a storybook. He was traded from Tampa Bay to Seattle in a deal that sent himself and Mallex Smith to Seattle in exchange for Mike Zunino, Guillermo Heredia, and Michael Plassmayer in 2018, and then four years later he was traded to his new home in Cincinnati along with Justin Dunn, Brandon Williamson, and Connor Philips in exchange for Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez. This brings us to today, where Fraley has found himself as the hottest hitting outfielder over the last two weeks, which should make him a prime candidate for this week’s FAAB runs as he is owned in just 27 percent of Yahoo leagues. Let us takes a look if this streak from Fraley is just a flash in the pan or if he is a player we can look to make an inexpensive investment in moving forward on a struggling team.




Fantasy Baseball Player Spotlight: Jake Fraley

The first question we want to answer is “why look at Jake Fraley at all?” Over the last two weeks Fraley leads all outfielders with a .643 slugging percentage. In that same span he has hit .286 with four home runs, 13 runs scored, eight runs batted in, and a stolen base. These are numbers that certainly any fantasy baseball team, no matter the league size, could have used, but how sustainable are these numbers and will the Reds continue to give him playing time? One of the biggest advantages that a player in Fraley’s situation has is that as long as he is playing well there is no reason for the Reds not to play him. While it is unlikely that Fraley will still be a part of this Reds team by the time they are ready to start contending for the playoffs again, he is a valuable piece to them nonetheless as he is another player they can move to add more prospects to their farm system in the future, especially as he starts to enter his prime years. 

The other advantage that he will have at least from a fantasy perspective is that he has a great home park to hit in. It isn’t a coincidence that many call Great American Ballpark, the Great American Bandbox or Great American Smallpark. According to ESPN’s park factors, Great American Ballpark has the second-most home runs hit per game at 1.44 (less than one-tenth of a point behind Colorado), and it is also second in hits and third in both runs and doubles. When we take a look at his numbers, there is reason to believe that even in his short sample size as a member of the Reds (130 plate appearances), that he could be a real power threat, especially in that park. He has an ideal launch angle at 15.6 degrees and has been in the top third of the league in average exit velocity at 86.4 miles per hour. These underlying numbers have led to him producing a .456 slugging percentage, with an expected slugging percentage of .441 and based on his performance over the last couple of weeks those numbers could very well be on the rise. In addition to that, it is positive to see his walk numbers improve as well. He has consistently produced impressive walk numbers at all levels including a 14% mark in Triple-A this season, and we saw his walk rate as high as 17% across more than 300 plate appearances while he was in the Seattle system in 2021. He did that while keeping his strikeout numbers under 20 percent. All of these statistics are particularly important as they should allow Fraley to stay in the leadoff spot for this Reds team and we all know how important those extra plate appearances can be.

When you think about the usage of your FAAB this weekend. Jake Fraley is going to be worth a bid if you are in need of some outfield help. It is difficult to say if he will continue his hot play, but opportunities always come at a cost, and he should stay relatively low and you should feel confident that he will continue to get at-bats at the top of the Reds lineup, and while the Reds are certainly no juggernaut they have proven capable of scoring runs in bunches and in weeks where they have a lot of home games that should give you a reason to get him into your lineup and have him help your team down the home stretch of this fantasy baseball season.


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