Monday, July 30, 2012

Todd Frazier for NL ROY?

by: Sara Spurr
Staff Writer

So far this season the rookie Reds have truly earned their spots on the roster, with one of them quietly standing out at third base... and first base... and left field. Last week Sports Illustrated pointed out something Reds fans known for months: Todd Frazier has been overshadowed by that 19 year old you-know-who in Washington. Although both seem to be hardworking and driven, Frazier does differ from Harper: when interviewed, he does not speak himself but instead deflects attention to the team’s overall success. In fact, when asked about possibly receiving ROY votes, Frazier actually mentioned the Reds’ success AND Bryce Harper. Pretty humble, huh?

These aren’t clown questions, bro: Why aren’t we hearing more about Frazier? Should we focus our attention on him for a Rookie of the Year (ROY) nod?

Frazier, unlike Bryce Harper, isn’t a young gun by any means. At 26, he wasn’t mentioned in any “the next big thing” predictions prior to Opening Day. In fact, Frazier was optioned to Louisville the day before Opening Day as the Reds’ final roster move before the season began. Meanwhile, Harper was soaking up all of the attention and premature praise in D.C.

Frazier led the club in total bases, HR and RBI during Spring Training but did not secure a spot on the roster until April 17th when Miguel Cairo went on the disabled list. Although primarily a left fielder in the minor league, he has seen playing time in the outfield and infield this season, specifically filling in for Scott Rolen and Joey Votto during their time on the DL.

We cannot compare Frazier (or others) to last year’s NL ROY, Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel was the first pitcher since 2003 to receive the award. For comparison purposes, we can look at 2010 winner, Buster Posey’s statistics. Stats for 2012 are as of July 28th.

Games Played
At Bats
Batting Average
Home runs
Stolen bases
Posey, B (2010)
Frazier, T
Harper, B

Despite not having a spot in the lineup every day, Frazier leads NL rookies in slugging and triples and is second in RBI (25), extra-base hits (31) and home runs. Filling in for an MVP hasn’t overwhelmed him either as his average since Votto’s departure has been .298 with 1 HR and 5 RBI. It is difficult to predict what the rest of the season holds for Frazier. Although he is doing well at first base, he too is looking forward to Votto’s return. What will that mean for the rest of Frazier’s impressive season? Where will he find playing time?

Oh yeah, and we can’t narrow down the NL ROY field to just Frazier and Harper, though. Arizona starting pitcher Wade Miley has garnered a lot of attention for his consistency on the mound.

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