2013 Reds Grades by Position: 3B


David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

On field or off field, Todd Frazier does some amazing things.

It’s time to round out the infield with arguably the most likable guy on the Reds, Todd Frazier.

After a RoY-quality start last season, there may have been some high expectations for the sophomore in 2013. Even National League players noticed his incredible rookie year by voting him the Outstanding Rookie in the Player’s Choice Award poll.

This is a favorite image of mine from last season.

Let’s start by saying the 2012 season was statistically better for the RoY candidate overall. The ToddFather stepped up when Joey Votto was hurt last year, and that was a huge factor in the success of the 2012 team.

So let’s move on to this past season.

Our third baseman had over 100 more at bats in 2013 than 2012, but only produced 9 more hits and 6 more RBIs. His home runs equaled out at 19 for both seasons. Frazier did draw 14 more walks than last season. His slash lines in the last two years: .273/.331/.498 (2012) and .234/.314/.407 (2013).

Here are some stats for thought.

Compared to other third basemen in MLB:
-Tied for 5th in triples (3)
-Tied for 6th in SB (6)
-9th in doubles (29)
-9th in HR (19)
-10th RBI (73)
-10th for Extra base hits (51)

For those of you who like the WAR stat, Frazier’s did improve from 2.1 (2012) to a 2.7 (2013).

Looks like the ToddFather learned from first-year teammate Shin-Soo Choo when it came to being hit by pitches because he led all third basemen with 14 HBP in 2013.

Unfortunately, Jersey fell on some hard times in July and early August with his career-long slump of 0 for 31. That is only second to the longest slump by a Reds player (Drew Stubbs 0 for 32).

After a few words from the hit king Pete Rose and watching the Little League World Series, Frazier brought everything back into perspective and started hitting the ball again.

Grade: C

Here is where it gets tricky. Todd Frazier also compared very well to other third basemen in the majors on defense. However, his improvements at 3B were greater than the numbers listed below.

Stats for the numbers people:
-5th least amount of errors (10)
-8th in Fielding Percentage (.970)
-Tied for 5th in DP (27)
-7th in DWAR (0.7) compared against 3B who played 130+ games

Frazier also showed an impressive UZR at 9.7, making him “above average” as far as defensive statistics are concerned.

For this category, the grade for Frazier is somewhat based on statistics, but also how he plays the position. He has played every infield and outfield position for the Reds organization since 2011 and has adapted seamlessly to each. When Scott Rolen did not return after last season, Frazier was the man to fill the vacancy at third base. And he did. He made some incredible plays in 2013 (enter crazy catch in wild card game here) and plays the position smart. Whether he bare-hands a slow roller, anticipates a bunt, or makes an incredible throw to Brandon Phillips or Joey Votto, Jersey knows how to play his position.

Grade: B

You have to like the guy. He blamed a slump on switching up his cereal routine to Pops instead of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. So General Mills sent him FOUR cases of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. What did Frazier do? Kept one for the clubhouse and donated the other three to the Freestore Foodbank.

I’d be remiss to not mention the heartwarming relationship Frazier has with Cincinnati’s favorite bat boy, Teddy Kramer. After Teddy told Frazer to hit a homerun on April 18, 2013, the Toddfather delivered.

Frazier also donated $10,000 to the Baseball United Foundation for the Grand Slam for Sandy charity to help repair damage made to his hometown in Toms River, NJ.

Okay, okay enough off-the-field stuff. Our third baseman came off a RoY-caliber year and put up some great numbers paired with solid defense. While there are areas for improvement, Todd Frazier is an above-average player and has a strong future in Cincinnati. I look forward to seeing him in a Reds uniform for years to come.

Overall Grade: B-