Cincinnati Reds: Todd Frazier’s Woes Continue


On July 13, Todd Frazier was the toast of the Queen City, winning the Home Run Derby in front of his home crowd. The Todd Father raised his trophy over his head in triumph after defeating Joc Pederson with a walk-off blast. A standing ovation occurred as the 35,000-plus in attendance rose to their feet, crowning not only the derby king, but the new face of the Cincinnati Reds franchise.

Four weeks later and the crowd is silent, home runs are not leaving the park and Frazier’s bat seems to have never returned from the All-Star break.

Since the Reds took the field to start the second half on July 17, the third baseman has collected just 11 hits in 79 at-bats. Along with his abysmal .139 batting average, Frazier has struck out 20 times during his previous 21 starts. Comparing these numbers to his first 21 games of 2015, something is seriously wrong with the face of the franchise. His batting average was not MVP worthy, but it was almost 100 points higher at .238. The most glaring difference can be seen when looking at FlavaFraz’s power numbers. He started the season with seven home runs and 16 runs batted in in games 1–21. Since the All-Star break, his power numbers read like a struggling minor leaguer trying to stay afloat with just two home runs and 11 RBIs.

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It does not help Frazier’s cause that Joey Votto is getting on base in front of him at clip never seen before in Major League Baseball history. Frazier has been tough to watch with runners in scoring position all season, hitting just .223. With no one on base, he is stroking the ball 51 points higher at .274. A startling statistic for an entire season from your number three hitter, add in he has only walked six times to begin the second half and Frazier’s in trouble at the plate.

Posting an on-base percentage of .187 in his previous 21 games, it is obvious the former first round pick is struggling to see the ball. The question is why is he struggling to see the ball? Some individuals in the press have asked if the Home Run Derby ruined his swing. Frazier has answered that with a resounding and emphatic “NO!” He told reporters he kept his natural swing in the derby. Others, including the Reds broadcasters have suggested his swing is out of whack due to fatigue. He did answer that question by saying he did not get as much rest as he should have over the break, but he does not feel that is the issue. Manager Bryan Price gave his third baseman the day off in the finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, hoping rest will do him good.

The Todd Father will look to get back on track against the San Diego Padres out in California. PETCO Park won’t help Frazier’s power numbers, but the spacious outfield could help him drop in a few extra-base hits to get jump started. Ian Kennedy will be the first arm up to start the series for the Padres, before Odrisamer Despaigne and finally, James Shields. Frazier owns above a .300 batting average against Kennedy and Despaigne, but has never faced Shields. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back from the biggest slump of his young career.

Next: Reds' Bench A Glaring Weakness