Ex-Little League star working to make it big
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar.../SPORTSFRONTBy Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
"He may be two years into pro ball, but Waikiki BeachBoy Todd Frazier isn't big-leaguing anyone when it comes to the Little League World Series. The Cincinnati Reds prospect — he plays the whole infield, as well as left field — is well aware that the latest champions reside in Hawai'i. He's not afraid to say he still watches the annual youth-league tournament held in Williamsport, Pa.
"Everybody's busting my chops whenever it comes on," Frazier said. "But I was watching Hawai'i just dominating. I'm happy for them. It's good stuff."
The 22-year-old should know how good it is. He starred for the Toms River, N.J., team that won the title a decade ago. So it's easy to see why he still follows the event.
"It looked like they were having some fun out there, just like our team did," Frazier said of the Waipi'o team.
Meanwhile, life's still fun for Frazier. The New Jersey native is the envy of the Frazier household for drawing the Hawaii Winter Baseball assignment.
"Idaho was as far west I'd ever been," Frazier said. "Coming to Hawai'i, I know it's a great place to be. Everybody at home is kind of jealous. I was excited and for the most part, it's been great here. I wish I could live here my whole time because the weather's perfect."
Frazier is here to improve on all aspects of his game. The 34th overall selection in 2007 out of Rutgers started this season at Low-A Dayton of the Midwest League, batting .321 with seven home runs, 10 doubles and 20 RBI. He was promoted to High-A Sarasota of the Florida State League, where he hit .281 with 20 doubles, three triples and 12 homers and 54 RBI. Baseball America recently listed him as the 11th-ranked prospect in the FSL. The report said there are no doubts about his hitting ability. The only question is what position he will play.
"I was a shortstop growing up and I played all through high school and college there," Frazier said. "So my natural position is shortstop. But I don't mind playing the other positions. In the summer, they wanted me to work a little third, a little short, little first base and a little outfield. I have all kinds of gloves that I can use."
Same thing is happening in HWB. He plays a different position nearly every game. That versatility could expedite his trip to the majors.
"That's definitely a plus," he said. "We'll see what happens."
His bat is sizzling in HWB. Through yesterday, he was seventh in the league in hitting at .355. He is tied for the league lead with nine RBI, is second with five doubles and second with a .613 slugging percentage.
Frazier's fun isn't contained to the field. During an off day last week, he snorkeled at Hanauma Bay. That's where he met the honu. No, not the players from the North Shore Honu.
"My hand hit something," he said. "I looked up, it was a turtle. I started screaming, seeing these sea turtles scared me a little bit. Started screaming and everybody's going, 'What's happening?' The sea turtle's hanging out out there. It was great. I saw three of those and a lot of different fish."
Fellow Reds farmhand Yonder Alonso, a first baseman, joined the BeachBoys Sunday. In his HWB debut, he went 1 for 4. Alonso was the seventh overall pick in the June draft out of the University of Miami. He played in just six games with High-A Sarasota, batting .316 with a double and two RBI."