Lance McAlister made a great point yesterday on ESPN 1530 radio — no one is talking about Todd Frazier. People aren’t complaining about him and people aren’t praising him. That hardly ever happens in Cincinnati, where fans will find any excuse to be pessimistic. So why is Frazier an afterthought in Cincinnati?
After all, he is the backbone of the Cincinnati Reds‘ offense, leading the team in home runs (seven), runs batted in (21), runs (21) and slugging percentage (.508). Frazier also ranks third in batting average among active Reds players (.265), third in on-base percentage (.338), first in doubles (11), second in at-bats (111) and second in hits (35).
Over the last 10 days, the Reds have seen injuries befall starters such as Jay Bruce and Billy Hamilton. During that time, Frazier is batting .308 with three home runs and nine runs batted in with just five strikeouts in 39 at-bats (12.8 strikeout percentage) — with a hit in all 10 games.
As I have written before, the importance of Todd Frazier to this Reds’ lineup is second to none. With Joey Votto hitting just .262, Frazier is the glue in an offensively inconsistent roster. Ryan Ludwick is hitting for average (.262 BA) and reaching base (.339 OBP), but isn’t displaying the power he once had (two home runs, 15 RBIs). Brandon Phillips is quietly hitting at a high level (.285 BA), but his on-base (.309 OBP) and production numbers (two home runs, nine RBIs) leave a lot to be desired.
What Frazier is providing the Reds with is a consistent threat in a lineup that is void of one. He is the batter who gives the Reds the most confidence when at the plate. Ask yourself, with the Reds losing by one with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, who would you want at the plate right now? Hamilton and Phillips might get on base, but who is going to hit them home? Votto could hit a long ball, but chances are more likely that he would reach base some other way. Brayan Pena perhaps, but he has cooled off lately. Zack Cozart? Yeah right.
The player who instills the most confidence would be Frazier because of his ability to produce. That is why he is saving the Reds offensively. If this team can find a way to get healthy, he is a reason why they could become a force to be reckoned with later this summer. Currently, the Reds are 17-20 on the year, but can you imagine where they would be without the Toddfather?