No, it’s not a clown question, bro.
I submit the following letter to those that have been overtaken with all that the hype machine has to offer…
To All the Baseball Media,
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there’s an awful lot of hype surrounding one Bryce Harper. In many ways, I think this is a monster most of you have created. I think some have even gone a little overboard with your praises. Sure, Harper’s a good player. I don’t there’s anyone that could argue that point. What I can argue is that some have become so enamored with one player that you are missing another rookie having an outstanding season.
Let me introduce him to you. His name is Todd Frazier and he plays for the Cincinnati Reds.
If you go to MLB.com and look under “Top Rookies” you will find that Frazier is in some ways having a better season than Harper. Frazier has more home runs (9 to 8). Frazier has also driven in more runs than your “phenom” (29 to 25). You consider those important numbers, right? If so, why are you turning your head?
You may counter with that Harper has more hits (70 to 50), but take into consideration that Harper has 68 more at-bats in order to collect those additional 20 hits. Counter with batting average and on-base percentage? Okay. There’s only a four point difference in batting average (Harper – .282, Frazier – .278) and a nine point difference in on-base percentage (Harper – .354, Frazier – .345). Here’s a massive difference. There’s is a HUGE disparity in slugging percentage where Frazier’s is .556 and that dwarfs Harper’s .472.
Since some of you like to use the OPS, I will do the same. Frazier’s is .901 while Harper’s is .826. I’ll save you the time. That’s 75 points. In fact, the only NL rookie that owns a higher OPS than Frazier is that of Anthony Rizzo who has an OPS of 1.055…and he’s only had 48 at-bats.
One aspect of Harper’s game we continually are fed is “how he plays the game”. Have any of you watched Frazier play? Look at the pic here. That’s Todd, every day. I honestly believe that if you were to ask all the Reds players and all within the organization, they would tell you the exact same of Frazier.
Here’s another detail that while it won’t go into determining how great of a baseball player Todd Frazier is, it speaks volumes of him as a person. Some of you may be aware of the events in Pittsburgh where Todd performed the Heimlich Maneuver in order to save a fellow patron from choking. Do you know that Frazier was presented with the Save-A-Life Award for his deed? Frazier was presented the award by Dr. Henry Heimlich himself.
So while you’re all gathered in Kansas City for the next couple of days, might I suggest that you take a moment to recognize that there honestly is more than one rookie in the National League that is also posting good numbers.
And in some areas, even better than the player you’re “Harp”ing.
Steve…and every Cincinnati Reds fan