Jake Fraley’s batting average can’t overshadow Reds outfielder’s withering power

Jake Fraley
Jake Fraley / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Let’s face it. The Reds have fallen into another rut. Despite seeing flashes of greatness from multiple players this season, they haven’t been able to put it all together long enough to truly make a lasting impact on the standings. 

One of the highlights, as of late, has been outfielder Jake Fraley. Fraley and a red-hot Jonathan India are batting 20 points higher than anyone else in the lineup (.278 and .279, respectively), and their only real competition comes from Elly De La Cruz (.255, though he does have other talents). 

Fraley sticks out like a sore thumb in the outfield in terms of his offensive production, as his counterparts Spencer Steer and Stuart Fairchild aren’t holding up at the dish. Steer is currently slashing .243/.334/.416, but in spite of those numbers, he leads the Redlegs with 51 RBI, producing in the power department on occasion. 

The frustrating Fairchild, on the other hand, is slashing just .232/.304/.348 with a lower OPS+ than everyone outside of Santiago Espinal who has played in at least 55 games for the team. Yes, you heard that right. Fairchild has an OPS+ 3 points lower than Will Benson, who recorded his first hits since June 12 on June 27.

Reds outfielder Jake Fraley not slugging enough to lift struggling outfield

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that Fraley’s acceptable numbers just aren’t enough to really help the team when no one else around him is getting hits. The Reds outfield this season (Fraley/Steer/Fairchild) is batting just .250 as a whole, and it’s not like they have a fleet of sluggers out there who can afford to sacrifice average for homers.

The trio has just 15 homers and just 82 RBI on the season so far to go with their poor averages. Add in Benson's numbers, and it becomes 23 and 108.

Hopefully, with Noelvi Marte coming back to the lineup with a vengeance, he can add another rush of youth and get the team to rally around him. 

All that being said, with how weak the Reds’ outfield is at this point in time, it's possible the team seeks a solid outfielder at the deadline, offloading some mid-tier prospects to help make a playoff push. 

They have just over a month until the trade deadline, so they may need to start seeing some movement. No matter which way the Reds pivot, this outfield is in desperate need of something.