For the last reason to be optimistic for the 2014 season, we'll return to the offense. More specifically, we'll look at Todd Frazier and his potential to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 season.
After a breakout rookie campaign in 2012, Frazier struggled through most of the 2013 season. The 28-year-old managed just a .234/.313/.407 slash line with 19 home runs, 29 doubles, 73 RBI and 63 runs scored.
Frazier's peripheral stats were actually quite good, and his 96 OPS+ suggests that he was right around the league average, despite an otherwise disappointing slash line. What makes Frazier a bounce-back candidate, though, is the fact that he was rather unlucky last year.
Despite his well-above average line-drive rate, HR/FB rate, home run percentage, extra-base hit percentage and walk percentage—he even improved his strikeout percentage between 2012 and 2013—Frazier saw his batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage dip by 39, 17 and 91 points, respectively.
Frazier's bad luck in 2013 is reflected perfectly by his .269 BABIP. Frazier's four-year average in the category is .288, and the league average last season was .297. A career average or league average BABIP would have provided Frazier with a much more appealing slash line as well as some additional extra-base hits, RBI and runs scored.
BABIP is one of those stats that tends to regress or progress back toward its mean. So, providing things go the way they should, and Frazier experiences even a modicum of good luck this season, he'll have a much better experience in 2014.
In fact, to start the year, Frazier already has two hits, a walk and a stolen base in his first four plate appearances of the season.