Friday, August 31, 2012

Todd Frazier named one of ten top prospects finally living up to potential

More ink for Reds rookie Todd Frazier as Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus recently tabbed him as one of ten top prospects finally living up to their potential. It's probably a stretch to say that anyone around the Reds organization ever became frustrated with his development, but here's what Lindbergh had to say about him nevertheless:

Frazier's greatest problem has been a lack of opportunity, not paltry production. With Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Scott Rolen arrayed around the Reds' infield, Frazier didn't get his first crack at the majors until last season, at age 25. He showed good power in 121 PA, but a low BABIP sapped his slash line. With both Rolen and Votto doing time on the DL this season, Frazier has seen more action at the infield corners, and he's made the most of it. His 2.3 WARP leads all rookie NL hitters, and Votto is the only Cincinnati player with a better batting line.

With Rolen hitting well, Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick entrenched in the outfield corners and Votto close to returning, Frazier is about to see his playing time curtailed again. "Sometimes when you're on a really good team, you've got to wait your turn to play," Dusty Baker explained. Frazier learned that lesson long ago. Rolen is a free agent after this season, so Frazier's wait for a starting job will almost certainly end in 2013.

Cincinnati originally drafted the Rookie of the Year candidate 34th overall out of Rutgers in the 2007 Draft. Most probably don't realize it, but Frazier was indeed touted as a top prospect throughout his time in the minors. Baseball America pegged him as the no. 1 prospect in the organization in 2010, however, he was often overshadowed by fellow prospects Yonder Alonso, Devin Mesoraco, Zack Cozart and others, who all came up through the system at the same time.

Frazier is currently hitting .294 with 18 HR and 62 RBI on the year. He leads all NL rookies in slugging (.554), OPS (.907), triples (6), and total bases (19), and ranks second in both on-base percentage (.354) and homers.

Linbergh also makes mention of another guy who once occupied third base for the team, and that guy is Edwin Encarnacion. He is experiencing a breakout season north of the border for the Blue Jays.

See what he had to say about Encarnacion, as well as the eight other players, by following this link.

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