Todd Frazier has been having the best consistent offensive showing of his young Major League Baseball career. Now, to say that Frazier having a great year is shocking does not truly sit well with me, because the Cincinnati Reds organization has known that he is capable of having the kind of season he’s had so far this year. The reason that Frazier’s season has been so surprising is not because of his production and outstanding defense, but because he has been able to really take over the leadership role with this team.
So far this season, Frazier is batting .272, higher than his career average of .253. He leads all Major League third basemen with an OPS of .857. In a year where the Reds having only scored more than two runs in two-thirds of their games, Frazier has been the lone consistent bright spot in the anemic offense of Cincinnati.
Frazier has really stepped up and been the voice of this team this season and that is the surprising factor to me. A few weekends ago he called out the Reds for “going through the motions” and felt as if his fellow teammates were not enjoying the game of baseball anymore and just got too comfortable in their roles. Frazier was trying to spark a fire under the Reds, get them going, and find some offensive production. Since Frazier called his team out, they have scored at least four runs in all their wins since. The Reds needed the presence of a leader, especially with veterans like Joey Votto and Jay Bruce spending time on the disabled list this season, and Frazier has stepped up to fill those roles and he looks like he is there to stay.
Frazier has really worked on being a presence at the plate and it shows. He has been more patient and selective with his pitches this season and the numbers speak for themselves. He has 15 home runs so far this season, and the Reds can depend on him for a clutch hit when he comes up to the plate. Frazier is in his fourth season at the major league level with Cincinnati now and he feels as if he can step up and be the guy that his teammates depend on for the big hit or the leadership advice they need when they are going through a rough patch. When you have players like Frazier on your team along with the Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, that leads to a lot of talent and a lot of encouragement from player to player. Frazier’s surprising emergence as a leader and hitter this season will certainly be one of the main reasons the Cincinnati Reds make the playoffs if they can go on an impressive run this summer and contend for first place in the National League Central.