The next second round matchup in our “Best Red Ever” tournament features a one-time strikeout leader and one of the Cincinnati Reds’ most recent all-stars.
Jose Rijo’s first round win (88 percent) over Greg Vaughn in our Best Cincinnati Reds Ever tournament — along with a detailed write-up — can be found here.
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Jose Rijo was a mediocre his first four years in the league — but to his credit he was 19-22 years old. Then the Cincinnati Reds acquired him for his age 23 season and his career skyrocketed. In that first season Rijo pitched in 49 games — 19 starts — had a 2.39 ERA and struck out nearly a batter an inning. He maintained a sub-3.00 ERA through the 1993 season — his sixth with the Reds — once leading the league in strikeouts, once in WHIP and earned twice earned Cy Young and MVP votes.
In 1990 Rijo was the go-to pitcher against the Oakland Athletics in the World Series, earning two starts — winning both — while posting a 0.59 ERA, 14 strikeouts and just nine hits allowed in 15 1/3 innings. He won the World Series MVP that season in the Reds’ most recent title team.
— ranks 20th in career wins (97) with the Reds
— ranks 10th in career ERA (2.83) with the Reds
— ranks fourth in career strikeouts (1,251) with the Reds
— ranks 10th in career batting average against (.237) for the Reds
— All-Star selection
Retaining rookie status for the 2012 season, Frazier broke out with 19 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .273 AVG as he finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting behind Bryce Harper and Wade Miley. He struggled in his sophomore campaign hitting at just a .234 clip, posting another 19 home runs, but in 150 games.
But in 2014 and 2015, FlavaFraz — a name he became known as as a play off of his Twitter handle — became a fan-favorite and an established All-Star at the hot corner. In 2014 Frazier hit 29 home runs, stole 20 bases, slashed .273/.336/.459 and made his first All-Star game. The ToddFather followed himself up last season by smashing a career-best 35 home runs, 43 doubles, 89 RBIs and sported a .498 SLG. He made his second All-Star appearance and won the Home Run Derby in storybook fashion at Great American Ball Park.
— ranks 24th in career home runs (108) for the Reds
— former top 100 prospect in two consecutive seasons
— two-time All-Star selection
— Home Run Derby champion
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One of the best arms the #Reds have ever had squares off against a recent fan favorite! Who gets your vote & why?!
— Blog Red Machine (@blogredmachine) June 21, 2016