How Mariners’ Adam Frazier found his groove with the bat

Aug 8, 2022, 12:08 AM | Updated: 12:20 pm
Mariners Adam Frazier...
Adam Frazier connects on a swing against the Blue Jays on July 8. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

This current stretch of the Mariners’ schedule hasn’t been the easiest on them, and for a few reasons.

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Playing 13 of their first 20 games after the All-Star break against the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, the teams with the two best records in the American League, is one of them. Seattle’s struggles with getting (and staying) healthy is another. And an offense that has struggled to score consistently, at least partially due to the aforementioned health, is a third.

With that all taken into account, the emergence of Adam Frazier couldn’t have come at a better time.

Frazier, the starting second baseman on the 2021 National League All-Star team, was one of the key offseason additions the Mariners made, though he struggled with his own consistency at the plate for the first few months of the season. He’s been Seattle’s hottest hitter since the start of July, however, hitting safely in 24 of the Mariners’ last 30 games, owning a .318 batting average and .362 on-base percentage over that stretch.

He’s done that while being a Swiss Army knife of sorts for the M’s, too, playing second base and all three outfield spots defensively plus moving all around the batting order, including leadoff lately with 21-year-old All-Star Julio Rodríguez is on the injured list.

How has Frazier found his groove at the plate? He told Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Friday that it’s been “a little bit of everything.”

“Getting a little more comfortable, finally found where I was looking for with the swing,” Frazier said, “being in a good, strong hitting position to have the swing work. So that and then really kind of zoning in on an approach and getting pitches to hit instead of chasing, but I think that comes with finding the swing, as well.”

Frazier pointed to keeping things simple when talking about getting on a run of success with the bat.

“There’s definitely times where you don’t really realize a few things happening – that’s when you’re in a good place. But at other times, you know, it feels like there’s always something you’re working with. When it’s going good, yeah, you just try to simplify things, take it easy in the cage and not start thinking too much. So stay where you’re at, stay aggressive, being on-time is everything and I think that allows the swing to work.”

One of the things that always stays simple for Frazier is the short stride he uses in his swing, which is something host Bob Stelton has observed from watching Frazier this season and inquired about.

“It’s always been kind of, you know, pick it up, put it down or, or no stride at all,” Frazier said. “The timing’s easier to do that way. I’ll sacrifice a little bit in power but (it’s) more so a timing mechanism to where it’s easier to simplify things and not have to add that variable into the swing.”

The last two seasons for the 30-year-old Frazier has certainly been a whirlwind in comparison to his first five in the big leagues. After breaking out to make the All-Star team last year as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team who drafted him in 2013 and who he came up with, he was traded to the San Diego Padres ahead of the 2021 trade deadline. He had an uneven 57-game stint there, then was traded again in the offseason to the Mariners.

Though Frazier is set to be a free agent after the season, he seems to have gotten comfortable lately on the field, and based on his glowing comments about the Mariners’ clubhouse, that may have something to do with it.

“It really is a bunch of good dudes. Great clubhouse, everybody’s buddies, there’s no cancers or anything like that,” Frazier said of his Mariners teammates. “Everybody’s just having fun, doing what they can to help the team win, unselfish… and that starts from our old guys all the way down to Julio. Just going out to have fun, play hard baseball, play good baseball, and the goal is to win every night. So yeah, we just take it one day at a time, have fun doing it, and it’s turning into a pretty good team.”

You can listen to the full Wyman and Bob conversation with Frazier in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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