Cincinnati Reds' Todd Frazier Still Looking To Regain Opening Week Magic

By Thom Tsang
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Remember when Todd Frazier was among the hottest hitters in all of baseball in 2013? Yeah, me neither.

Maybe that’s because it lasted all of about seven days or so, culminating at the end of Opening Week when he was carrying a cool .414/.485/.793 triple-slash after six games and looking every bit like an emerging All-Star at the  hot corner. Little did he know that the wrath of the sample size was waiting just around the corner, waiting to strike …

This is a ‘what have you done for me lately?’ kind of game, however, and for the Cincinnati Reds, the fact of the matter is that Frazier hasn’t done much since then.

Especially not in May, either. As if it wasn’t disappointing enough that he’d let the fantastic collapse into a .240/.315/.479 line by the end of April, Frazier has managed to take his slump one step further down the spiral in May, ending it with a .634 OPS that resembled more of Scott Rolen in his twilight years than the young gun who was stepping in to replace him.

Including Thursday’s 0-for-4 performance against the Cleveland Indians and Scott Kazmir, Frazier finds himself without a hit in his last eight at-bats. On a less micro level, it was the 12th game out of 24 that he’s played in the month in which he has failed to register a hit, bringing his batting average down to a dismal .218 for May.

The most alarming thing, however, isn’t even that he’s not hitting — it’s that he’s not hitting for power in the rare times that he gets the bat on the ball.

After hitting six home runs in the first month (three after the Opening Week explosion), the 27-year-old has been stuck on that total. Yes, that is to say that if he does not homer on Friday, he’ll have tallied a grand total of zero long balls through 95-plus PA for the month.

That’s probably got something to do with his fly ball rate dropping from 45.7 percent in the opening month to 32.1 percent in May, I suppose. Regardless, with his BABIP at a relatively healthy .298 (thanks to an improved line drive rate of 19.6 percent to 12.9 in April), you can’t even really blame luck on Frazier’s woes.

What there is, on the other hand, is simply a whole lot of out-making from a fly ball hitter who isn’t hitting the ball in the air right now — a trend that Frazier has to stop if he wants his numbers to soar again.

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