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OnBaseMachine
04-08-2008, 01:46 AM
Tom Archdeacon: Dragons' Frazier is this season's hit

By Tom Archdeacon

Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

DAYTON As the first home game now gives way to the first month of baseball, then the first half of the season and right on through an entire summer of Dayton Dragons baseball, you'll forget those Opening Day skydivers, the F-16 flyovers, that little girl with the big pipes who belted out the national anthem, the postgame fireworks, even the evening's perfect 72-degree weather.

You probably won't even remember the Dragons edged Fort Wayne 3-2 at Fifth Third Field on Monday night, April 7.

But one thing you won't forget as the season goes on, manager Donnie Scott promised, is Dragons shortstop Todd Frazier.

"This guy is pretty legit," he said of the Cincinnati Reds No. 1 pick in the supplemental draft last year. "There's something special with his bat the way the ball jumps off it. There's a different sound to it. A major-league sound. For people around the game for a while, you can tell the difference. ... And believe me that's what he's here for to hit."

And so far this season at least when he gets a chance to swing he's hitting .385 and has one home run. He doubled and scored a run Monday, but was walked twice giving him eight in Dayton's first five games by pitchers who know his reputation.

Just as important as his lumber is his leadership, Scott said: "I know there's been a knock in Cincinnati years back that there really weren't any leaders in the clubhouse. Well, this guy's gonna be that guy, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

"This guy's makeup is off the charts. Common sense, a sense of humor, extremely competitive, tough he's a natural born leader."

Phew! That's a lot to dump on one guy, but Frazier a 6-foot-3 22-year-old from Toms River, N.J. appears able to handle it.

He's got the genes. His dad, Charles, a 6-foot-8 prep star in Toms River, set several records playing basketball and baseball at Morehead State in Kentucky. His mom, Joan, was an Olympic-caliber freestyle swimmer at Trenton State.

His oldest brother, Charlie, played 6 years in the Marlins organization, and brother, Jeff, is with the Detroit Tigers Class AA team in Erie, Pa.

Yet no branch on the family tree is quite like Todd's, both in soaring accomplishment and grounded attitude.

As a first-round pick, he got an $875,000 signing bonus, yet he drives a 1998 Toyota Camry with 100,000 miles on it. He's a home run hitter and yet his favorite player wasn't a swing-for-the-fences big-leaguer, but instead Pete Rose.

As for being a top draft pick, that's not even his most celebrated achievement. As a 9-year-old, he won the national Punt, Pass and Kick competition in Kansas City.

Three years later, he led his Toms River team to the Little League World Series title, going 4-for-4 and hitting a home run in the championship game against Japan.

"Playing in front of a packed house 42,000 was an unbelievable feeling," he said. "And when we got home, the whole town just shut down. They took us all over Toms River on a fire truck. People still talk about it. It's something folks back there said they'll never forget."

When it comes to Todd Frazier, that's the way it still is.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/dragons/2008/04/08/ddn040808sparch.html

RedlegJake
04-08-2008, 07:29 AM
I've also heard the Reds haven't written him off as SS of the future either. Comp was to Cal Ripken, similar range and style of play at short. Not prototypical range but strong arm and gloves everything he does get to. You know, after watching Kepp play SS I'll take that. A steady glove and great bat go a lot farther in today's offensive game than a great glove/range and weak bat.

redhawk61
04-08-2008, 07:39 AM
Yeah he needs to be the SS of the future, for one our lack all around prospects at the posistion. And with how well he hits the ball, I am pretty sure his run production will make up for any runs, plus more, that he gives up cause his lack of range. Hopefully he can get up here soon, to push Kepp to 3b and provide a great infield both offensively and defensively in Kepp, Frazier, Phillips, Votto

Kriv and his guys are doing a great job down their with the drafting and player development, which is why I think regardless of how this year goes, he needs to be signed to an extension

medford
04-08-2008, 08:44 AM
As soon as I read he was Tom Rivers, I began to wonder if he was on one of those Tom Rivers squad that made the LL world series. When I read about his brothers, I figured one of them had to be on there. What a cool story, hopefully he'll be hitting the game winning home for the Reds in the big league WS one day.

camisadelgolf
04-08-2008, 12:04 PM
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