Todd Frazier

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Todd Brian Frazier (born February 12, 1986) is an American professional baseball third baseman for the Cincinnati Reds of Major League Baseball (MLB). Frazier is 6’3, 215 lb, right-handed, was a shortstop in college, and was converted to the outfield in 2009. Frazier is the Reds’ starting third baseman, and he has also played first base. During his successful 2015 Home Run Derby campaign, Frazier earned the nickname “The Main Highway”.

Early life
Todd Frazier was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey as the youngest of three boys and of partial Scottish ancestry from his father’s side. He grew up in Toms River, New Jersey.

He was also a member of the 1996 Junior Pee-Wee National Champions. He played high school ball at Toms River High School South.

Frazier played in college for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. In 2007, he started all 63 games for Rutgers, posting a .377 batting average, a .502 on-base percentage, and a .757 slugging percentage. He won Big East player of the year in 2007 and was named a Rivals.com All-American.

He now lives in Toms River, where his name now graces the Little League field called Frazier Field House.

1998 Little League World Series

In 1998 at the age of 12 and measuring a mere 5’2″ and 104 pounds, Frazier was a star on the Toms River East American Little League All-Star team that won the New Jersey state championship and then the US East regional championship to advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Dubbed the “Beasts of the East” for their skill, power and lucky charm stuffed gorilla, the team went undefeated in the tournament, and Frazier saved his best performance for the world championship game against the Far East and International champion Kashima Little League from Kashima, Ibaraki, Japan on August 29 at Howard J. Lamade Stadium. Beginning the game at shortstop, not only did he go 4-4 with a leadoff home run, but he was also the winning pitcher and recorded the game-winning strikeout that sealed a 12-9 Toms River win and the world championship – the first American Little League world championship since 1993.

To celebrate their world championship, the Toms River team was invited by the New York Yankees to Yankee Stadium on September 1, 1998 as the Yankees faced the Oakland Athletics, and each Toms River player was introduced publicly to the crowd and invited to stand next to his Yankee position counterpart during the national anthem, which meant Frazier, as shortstop, was standing next to New Jersey-born Derek Jeter. Fittingly, when he made it to the majors, Frazier would not only play against Jeter in the 2014 All-Star Game—Frazier’s first and Jeter’s last—but just days later would also help the Reds honor the Yankee captain’s final year in baseball in a special pre-game tribute.

Professional career

Frazier was drafted 34th overall by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft.
On July 11, 2007, Frazier made his professional debut as a designated hitter for the Billings Mustangs the Reds’ Rookie-Advanced farm team in the Pioneer League—going 2-for-4 with two singles, an RBI and a run scored. Frazier finished the 2007 season with the Dayton Dragons.

Frazier during his tenure with the Louisville Bats, Triple-A affiliates of the Reds, in 2010.
Frazier played multiple positions for the Louisville Bats, the Reds’ AAA team in the International League. He also spent the 2010 preseason as a non-roster invitee to the Reds’ training camp. After the 2010 season, he was added to the Reds’ 40-man roster.

On May 23, 2011, Frazier and Matt Maloney were called up to the majors, with Edinson Volquez and Jordan Smith optioned to Louisville. Frazier struck out in his first major league plate appearance facing Michael Stutes while pinch-hitting for Maloney. On May 24, 2011, Frazier was optioned back to Louisville to add an extra relief pitcher, Carlos Fisher.

On July 31, 2011, Frazier hit his first career home run, a solo shot off of Barry Zito’s 1-1 hanging curveball. On May 16, 2012, Frazier hit two home runs against the New York Mets. On May 23, 2012, he hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth against the Atlanta Braves.

On May 27, 2012, Frazier homered off of the Colorado Rockies’ Jamie Moyer in a 7-5 Reds’ win. The home run was unusual because Frazier’s bat slipped out of his hands as he was swinging.[16] The same day, he had saved the life of a man choking on a piece of steak by administering the Heimlich maneuver. Of the latter experience, he said, “I gave two pumps and it came out . . . It was pretty surreal. I have never done that before.”

On November 5, 2012, Frazier was named the National League’s Outstanding Rookie by the MLB Players Association. On April 18, 2013, Frazier hit a homer for Reds’ honorary batboy Teddy Kremer, an adult with Down syndrome.

On July 6, 2014, Frazier was named a National League All-Star for the first time in his career, along with teammates Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Devin Mesoraco and later Alfredo Simon. On July 8, he was selected to participate in the Home Run Derby. In the Derby, where Frazier’s brother Charlie served as his pitcher, he won the National League bracket and represented the NL in the final, where he lost to defending champ Yoenis Cespedes.

On February 8, 2015 Frazier and the Reds reached an agreement on a two-year, $12 million contract. The deal will pay Frazier $4.5 million in 2015, including a signing bonus, and $7.5 million in 2016.

On April 21, 2015 Frazier hit his first career grand slam, against the Brewers.

On May 12, 2015 the Reds announced that Frazier would serve as the 2015 Major League Baseball All-Star Game spokesperson.

On July 13, 2015, Frazier won the 2015 MLB Home Run Derby on his home field in Cincinnati. Frazier beat the 2012 Derby champion Prince Fielder, in the first round and defeated Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson in the second round and then beat Joc Pederson in the final round.[26][27] He became the first hometown participant to win the derby since Ryne Sandberg won the Home Run Derby in 1990.

Personal life

On December 14, 2012, Frazier married his longtime girlfriend Jackie Verdon, a former Rutgers gymnast, who is also a New Jersey native. In March 2014, they had their first child, who is a boy named Blake.

Frazier has two older brothers who also played professional baseball. Jeff Frazier played in nine major league games in 2010 for the Detroit Tigers and played a total of nine seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals, and the Chicago Cubs. Charlie Frazier played for six seasons with the Miami Marlins.

Frazier is a fan of fellow New Jerseyan Frank Sinatra, and often chooses Sinatra’s songs to play when he walks up to the batter’s box before an at-bat during home games at Great American Ballpark.