Adam Frazier: Trade Breakdown

By Ryan Simpson

I can’t say I didn’t see this one coming. Adam Frazier (pending physical) has been traded to the San Diego Padres. The return for the Pirates is a group of three prospects, and I am here to break down their potentials and grade the trade.
The headliner of the return is Tucupita Marcano, a 21-year-old infielder who has already gotten his feet wet in “The Show.” Marcano was in class A in 2019, and after no minor league baseball season in 2020, he jumped to AAA. Through 44 AAA games, Marcano slashed .272/.367/.444 with six homers and 26 RBI. Getting more advanced, Marcano has a wOBA of .352 and a wRC+ of 101 (one point above the league average). Marcano’s 25 MLB games were rocky. His MLB stats are: .182/.280/.205 with 3 RBIs. wOBA of .232 and wRC+ of 45. Those numbers aren’t good but look a little better when stacked against Cole Tucker, who has a .245 wOBA and 49 wRC+ for his MLB career. I think it’s likely that we’ll see Marcano in AAA battling with Tucker unless he goes straight to Pittsburgh as Frazier’s replacement at second base. Overall, I like Marcano as a centerpiece. Hopefully, he’ll slot into the lineup for the rest of the year and hold his own at second until 2020 first-round pick Nick Gonzales is ready.

The next player (hopefully) coming to Pittsburgh is Jack Suwinski, a 22-year-old outfielder most recently of the AA San Antonio Missions. He’s a thumper, and his stats reflect that: 15 homers, 37 RBI, a 16.7% walk rate and 27.7% strikeout rate in 66 games. Additionally, Suwinski is slashing .269/.398/.551 with a .415 wOBA and a wRC+ of 153. The dude just mashes. He could be the type of power bat the Pirates haven’t had since Josh Bell. I REALLY like this play by General Manager Ben Cherington. Cherington has mainly emphasized pumping high contact rate/high average players into the organization and now has a true power guy to go with Mason Martin. At 22, Suwinski seems like he could be at PNC Park by 2023 per FanGraphs, which slots right in line with Gonzales and O’Neil Cruz. It will be fun to keep an eye on this guy the rest of the year to see if the power numbers continue to grow.

The last player in the haul is Michell Miliano, a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher. Miliano was in high-A for the Padres this year, but most of his 2021 numbers are from A-ball: 18 games, 25.2 IP, 18.2 K/9, 3.16 ERA, 4.49 FIP and a 3.49 xFIP over 18 games. Miliano is only 21 and still has time and room to improve. I love the 18.2 strikeouts per nine rate because it shows that the dude throws heat, which is a virtue in modern baseball. Fangraphs has his fastball rated 50/55 and curveball of 50/60; command is at 30/50. Like Suwinski, Miliano’s big-league ETA is 2023 per FanGraphs.

Overall, I give the Adam Frazier trade a B+. The Pirates got a solid, MLB-ready infielder, a true power hitter and another pitcher. All three have room to develop and help the organization. In particular, I’m excited for Suwinski and the potential of his power bat to join the lineup. I would send him to Altoona now, let him mash for the rest of the year, invite him to big league camp in March and then send him to Indianapolis to start 2022. I see Miliano finishing 2021 in A-ball and then maybe getting to Altoona within the following year. GMBC continues to make moves, and the next one might only be a few days away.

***UPDATE: Jason Mackey of the Post Gazette reported that Marcano will report to AAA, Suwinski to AA and Miliano to High-A***

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