Name: Kevin Vincent Frandsen
Nickname(s): Pig Pen (Ed: Because I’ve been listening to this song, I’ve been calling him ” I’m the Frand “)
DOB: May 24, 1982
From: San Jose, California
Position: Bench Utility Player (Infield, Outfield and Emergency Catcher)
With the Nats Since: Signed a one-year major league contact with the Nationals on March 26, 2014.
Just Who Is This Guy?: One word describes Kevin Frandsen and that word is versatility. Throughout his eight-year MLB career, Frandsen has played in 411 games with four different teams (San Francisco Giants Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Philadelphia Phillies and now the Nationals). Versatility is a great word to describe him because he knows his role on the team, meaning, he knows that he is a fill-in player and does whatever he can for the team. He’s doesn’t play the game just to boost his own stats; he just wants to get the “W” (or in this case, the Curly W) at the end of the day.
Throughout his career, Frandsen has played second base (115 games), third base (108 games), first base (44 games), shortstop (32 games), and the corner outfield positions (13 games in left field and three games in right field). In his eight seasons, he has a career .973 fielding percentage and a career 0.3 WAR. At the plate, Frandsen has a career slash line of .261/.318/.360 with 14 home runs, 94 RBIs, and seven stolen bases.
Overall, Frandsen doesn’t add much pop, drive in a lot of runs, or steal bases. He does, however, hit for decent average and doesn’t strike out much. He can play virtually anywhere on the diamond, and provides excellent leadership in the clubhouse, especially in a clubhouse with as many young players as the Nationals have. He’s a gritty player who goes out there each game just trying to do something for the team. Frandsen isn’t going up to the plate swinging hard, trying to smash a homer; he’s going up there to try and get on base and give someone else in the lineup an opportunity to drive him in. He is the definition of a team player and I love what he brings to this team because of it.
What Happened in 2013: Playing in the highest number of games in his career last season (119), Frandsen made starts at first base (40 games), second base (20 games) and third base (four games) with a .234/.296./.341 slash line. He hit five home runs, drove in 26 RBIs and had a 0.5 WAR for the Philadelphia Phillies. Frandsen only made four errors total last season, showing mastery of each position he played.
Frandsen actually had a couple of firsts in 2013 as well. His first career MLB ejection came on May 26 against the Nationals. He struck out swinging in the fourth inning and was thrown out for arguing balls and strikes by home plate umpire Mike Winters. Later in the year, against the New York Mets on June 22, Frandsen hit his first career walk-off home run, giving the Phillies an 8-7. Frandsen’s homer came on a 1-0 fastball, on the inside of the plate, from reliever Carlos Torres, and it landed in the left field seats after bouncing off the second deck ribbon scoreboard.
What’s expected in 2014?: In terms of what to expect for 2014, the outlook is all dependent on how healthy the Nationals are. So far, they’re a little banged up (I’m not in panic mode, but that’s a whole different blog post) so Frandsen will get some early at-bats this season. In my personal opinion, Frandsen will play in ~75 games, hit three home runs and drive in 15 runs. Pretty average. I also think he will play the majority of his time in the outfield with an occasional start in the infield, giving a starter the day off. But that’s the life of a super-utility player.
If It All Goes Right: The Nationals will stay healthy (which obviously hasn’t happened so far in 2014) and Frandsen won’t be needed to make a lot of starts. The only starts that he will need to make are ones that allow the starter a day off. Since the Nationals have a plethora of players on the DL already, Frandsen will be called on to make more starts. He will give you a couple home runs and drive in a few runs as well, but the main thing that he will bring to the Nationals is the ability to play almost every position on the diamond and a positive attitude. Being a utility player and having a positive attitude are two of the most important things that he brings to the team.
If It All Goes Wrong: Frandsen will get hurt and he won’t be able to fill in or help give starts off days throughout the season. He won’t find his way on base much, either.