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Want to beat Todd Frazier? Stay outside.

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The slugging third baseman just has two hits on pitches on the outside corner. A big reason why Todd Frazier is hitting .184/.300/.368 after two months.

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

It was great to see Todd Frazier take Chris Sale deep to left field Tuesday night. Two outs, down by three in the fourth inning, and the "Toddfather" golfed Sale's slider down and inside the zone out to the left field bleachers. Shoot, he had a big home run against Detroit on Sunday when Jordan Zimmermann's two-seam fastball got too much of the plate and Frazier crushed it.

Those two swings get fans excited for a player like Todd Frazier. It's fun watching his home runs sail through the sky into the left field bleachers. You may try to convince yourself that this is a player to build a lineup around and have him bat cleanup as he's always a threat to generate offense.

That is until you see his season slash line after two months: .184/.300/.368.

In a season which the White Sox needed Frazier to produce early to leverage him for more prospects, and a year Frazier needed to leverage a big contract in his first foray into free agency, the third baseman has greatly disappointed. I tackled this topic on Christmas Eve on how the Sox could handle Frazier.

Back to the three possible outcomes for Frazier, these are the results I would expect to see:

Two to three prospects in return for Frazier this offseason.

Two to three prospects in return for Frazier during the season.

An additional draft pick between the first and second round if Frazier signs for more than $50 million, or an additional draft pick between the second and third round if Frazier signs less than $50 million.

Well, option one didn't happen and the way this season has started, you can kiss goodbye option two.

Again, this start is unfortunate for Frazier. It began off on the wrong foot having a bout with the flu that knocked him out several games, and a nagging back injury. However, there is something else that is very noticeable that is disrupting Frazier's play to date: the outside corner.

Baseball Savant

As you can see above, Todd Frazier is not hitting pitches on the outside corner. Diving deeper into the data, those are zones 3, 6, and 9 according to Baseball Savant. 154 pitches have been thrown in those zones generating these results:

Todd Frazier

Zone % In Play % Foul Ball % Strike Swing/Looking % Ball
Zone % In Play % Foul Ball % Strike Swing/Looking % Ball
Zone 3 3 30.3 45.4 21.2
Zone 6 24.6 29.5 44.3 1.6
Zone 9 25.8 16.1 51.6 6.4

The two hits for Frazier in Zone 6 (Outside corner, belt high) are for extra bases. A double off Kansas City Royals starter, Nate Karns, on April 26th, and a home run on April 30th against Detroit, again off Jordan Zimmermann. That means in the month of May, a total of 27 games, Todd Frazier did not record a base hit on a pitch located on the outside corner. Fascinating.

Referencing again to his zone charts from Baseball Savant, Frazier is feasting pitches on the inside corner. This result is dramatically different from his 2015 season when he succeeded on anything mid to low in the zone.

Todd Frazier - 2015 Season Totals
Baseball Savant

So, what gives? How does a veteran, professional hitter like Todd Frazier suddenly forget how to hit pitches on the outside corner? My hunch is that Frazier is selling out for the home run. Why? Maybe he and his agent believe higher the home run total, the more money they can make in free agency. However, we saw this winter that's not the case with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion signing for far less than what the experts thought.

Hopefully, for his sake, Frazier can make the necessary adjustments to improve his numbers with pitchers on the outside corner. He's shown the power to punish those that test on the inside half, but if things don't change soon, pitchers are going to stay away. So will other teams this offseason.