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The Utility Player: Frazier, Dragons, Reds Worth

Frazier hits an RBI double during the 2nd inning vs. the Padres at Goodyear Ballpark. (Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE)

Kind of ironic that TUP starts out this week with the guy that may be the Reds ultimate utility player in Todd Frazier. In case you’re out of the loop, Frazier has been putting up some decent numbers over in Goodyear. The slash line of .265/.324/.706 is not the best on the team, but his SLG is good enough for 2nd best based on players with 20 or more AB. Frazier leads the Reds in runs scored (9) and home runs (4) and RBI (9).

And this creates a problem, as has been discussed on every blog, forum, site, etc. What to do with Frazier come time to make the final cuts?

The quickest answer is that Frazier will not make the 25-man based on one issue: he has options remaining. Wilson Valdez (who has played some outfield this spring) and Juan Francisco do not. Willie Harris signed a minor league deal and may not be perceived as in the mix, but I personally do not rule him out of still being in play here although the chances are looking a little on the slim side.

We all know Frazier can play a multitude of defensive positions: left field, third base, and first base just to start. Last season, he even played shortstop and second base for the Reds. Give him a glove, tell him where to go, and he will go.

Frazier may not be a prototypical player at any one position, but his flexibility is sure to make Dusty and Walt’s final say a tough one.

Dragons Honored

SportsBusiness Journal recently extolled a tremendous honor on the Dayton Dragons as one of five nominees for “Professional Sports Team of the Year”. The other nominees are the Boston Bruins (NHL), the Texas Rangers (MLB), Sporting Kansas City (MLS), and Stewart-Haas Racing (NASCAR). The Dragons make the nomination even more impressive on two counts.

First, the Dragons are the first minor league franchise to ever be nominated in this, the fifth year of the award. Second, a boat load of this nomination can also be as much as a nomination for the fantastic support from the Dragons fan base. Ever since joining the MidWest League, the Dragons have sold out for every home game.

As some of you may remember, the Dragons set a new mark in that category when on July 9, the 815th consecutive sellout was announced. That broke the old record (for North America) previously held by the Portland trail Blazers of the NBA. The Dragons are also the fastest franchise to amass a total attendance of 6 million at the A level. And yes, the Dragons have led all Single-A affiliates in attendance for each and every year of their existence which is 12.

Blog Red Machine offers a hearty congratulations to the Dragons. It is a first class organization. If you have never been to Fifth-Third Field, it is a must. But tickets are sparse, even for lawn seating. Still, it truly is a family event.

To read the Dragons release of this honor, go here.

Reds Valued as 24th MLB Franchise According to Forbes

Every year, Forbes valuates and ranks all professional franchises as to their estimated value. The Reds rank as the 24th most valued MLB team with an estimated value of $424 million, a 13 percent rise from last years valuation. That is the same jump as the previous year. While 24th is a slip of one spot compared to last year’s overall rankings, the fact that the Reds continue an upward trend in value is encouraging.

An increase in attendance is one again a portion of the cause for the rise. Considering the Reds remain one of the most “fan-friendly” tickets in the league continues to pay dividends. Another plus is the Reds continue to perform well within their TV market scoring a 7.2 rating. The only negative would be that the Reds are now a resident of baseball’s smallest market.

Here’s the breakdown of all the NL Central teams…

4. Chicago Cubs – $879 million, up 14% (previous rank – #4)
11. St. Louis Cardinals – $591 million, up 14% (previous rank – #11)
13. Houston Astros – $549 million, up 16% (previous rank – #14)
22. Milwaukee Brewers – $448 million, up 19% (previous rank – #22)
24. Cincinnati Reds – $424 million, up 13% (previous rank – #23)
28. Pittsburgh Pirates – $336 million, up 11% (previous rank – #30)

Note: Factors that aid in determining this value include revenue sharing, city market and size, home stadium and branding.

I also suggest reading the article that accompanies the list. You will find a couple of more nuggets within it.

FWIW

My sincere apologies to all Xavier fans. On last week’s TUP, I picked the Fighting Irish to win the first round NCAA tournament matchup against the Muskies. This crow is starting to grow on me. Now, X has a chance to advance to the Elite 8 with a win tonight. Talk about Baylor’s PJ III all you want. I want to see the point guards (X’s Tu Holloway and Baylor’s Pierre Jackson) in this one. PJ III has a penchant for disappearing. In the two Baylor NCAA tourney games, PJ III has scored 9 points and pulled down 15 boards…total.

FWIW, Pt. II

Reds fans have read or heard of the issues surrounding the Cardinals Chris Carpenter and his bulging disc. While I know many Red fans rejoice in this news, I don’t. I’m not crazy. I’m not a Carp fan either. The added “advantage” seems nice, but hear me out as I ask one simple question.

Wouldn’t you rather beat a team at full strength? Makes winning taste that much sweeter when they are.

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Topics: Baseball, Chris Carpenter, Cincinnati Reds, Dayton Dragons, Forbes, MLB, St Louis Cardinals, Todd Frazier

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  • beeker

    One simple way to make room for Frazier is to trade Heisey…

  • Steven Engbloom

     @beeker Good thing you don’t use your real name here ;) You know how well that would go over with some fans.