Todd Frazier: Have bat, will travel
By John Fay • firstname.lastname@example.org
• April 5, 2009
As a 12-year-old, Todd Frazier proved he was pretty good in the spotlight. He went 4-for-4 with a home run to lift Toms River, N.J., over Japan in the 1998 Little League World Series.t
He went on to an All-America college career at Rutgers.
Frazier was a shortstop from Little League through college through his first two years in the minor leagues with the Reds.
He's risen to No. 2 on Baseball America's Reds prospect list, and there's pretty much no question Frazier will make it to the big leagues - possibly sometime this year. The only question is, where will he play?
"He's really one of those kids (who) wherever there's a need, you could put him there," Reds minor-league instructor Bill Doran said. "Left field, first base, third. He came up as a shortstop.
"Not only is he a good player, he's versatile. It's a unique combination."
Frazier got his first taste of the big-league camp this year as a non-roster invitee.
"It was huge, just seeing the different pitchers and being around these guys and learning from them," Frazier said. "That was huge. I kind of know what to do when I get up here. I'm going to love every second of it."
Frazier's body type indicates he's a corner infielder. He's 6 feet 3 and 220 pounds.
Frazier is sure-handed - 27 errors in 177 minor-league games - but his range is limited. He compensates for that well.
"He's an instinctive player," Doran said. "He can swing the bat. He's going to hit."
Frazier has hit in his two years in the minor-league system - both for average and power.
In 2007, he hit .319 with seven homers and 30 RBI in 47 games combined with Billings and Sarasota. Last year, he hit .291 with 19 home runs and 74 RBI in 130 games for Dayton and Sarasota. He played shortstop, third base, left field and first base last year.
He probably will start this season at Double-A Carolina; he's jumped a level each of his first two years in pro ball.
If he ends up at Triple-A Louisville, that would have him on track to be in the majors in 2010. The taste he got of the bigs this spring has made him want to come back.
"Up here, you have a bunch of guys having fun all the time and enjoying the game," he said. "They're all here to help. In minor-league camp, everybody's trying to get that job. It's a little different."