Deep into a July summer night, a sold-out, standing-room-only crowd could be heard across the Ohio River chanting, "Let's go Frazier!". Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier had just hit nine home runs in two minutes to tie rookie Joc Pederson in the 2015 Home Run Derby.
With the first swing of extra time, Frazier sent Great American Ball Park into a frenzy. At that moment, Frazier had the entire city of Cincinnati in the palm of his hand. In a year where Reds baseball wasn't fun to watch, he gave the hometown a reason to be excited again.
It's hard not to wonder why the reception Todd Frazier received that night wasn't regular for him. Frazier was a fan-favorite, there's no denying that, but for what he was to the Cincinnati Reds, one would think he deserved more credit than he received.
Why Todd Frazier was severely underrated during his time with the Reds.
A third-place finisher in NL Rookie of the Year voting, Todd Frazier had a career slash line of .257/.321/.463. Perhaps part Frazier's lack of recognition was his age upon making it to The Show. When Frazier made his major league debut, he was already 26 and played his rookie season at the age of 27.
Another reason Frazier may have been overlooked is the fact that his first season and a half was spent with Hall of Famer Scott Rolen still playing at third base. That's not necessarily Frazier's fault, however, it always can be tough for a young player to stand out when placed in a position like that.
Being a part of that 97-win team as a rookie in 2012, it's easy to see how Frazier could have been overshadowed. Playing alongside guys like Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, and a resurgent Ryan Ludwick who smacked 26 home runs, Frazier himself hit .273 with 19 homers and a .829 OPS.
Unfortunately, it always seemed as if Frazier was traded away just as he reached his height with the Reds fanbase. Frazier was a big reason why the Cincinnati Reds reached the postseason in 2012 and 2013.
Todd Frazier was also a big reason why Reds fans held onto hope during the early years of what would be a failed rebuild in Cincinnati. Frazier might have never been an MVP-caliber player, but he was the type of player that defined what baseball is all about in the city of Cincinnati.