The Reds were conservative with their Opening Day roster assignment for the 22-year-old Frazier, who the Reds picked 34th overall in the 2007 draft out of Rutgers. In his professional debut, Frazier played shortstop and hit .319/.409/.513 in 186 plate appearances with 18 walks and 22 strikeouts in the Rookie-level Pioneer League, where he was the league’s top prospect.
Though he appeared to be ready for more advanced competition, Frazier began the year with Dayton, as the Reds already had Valaika at shortstop in Sarasota. Frazier responded to the tune of .321/.402/.598 with seven home runs and 10 doubles in 127 plate appearances with the Dragons.
Frazier began the year as Dayton’s shortstop and committed six errors in 16 games. Ojnce fellow 2007 draftee Zack Cozart, a defensive wiz at short, joined the team Frazier had spent the last five games playing three different positions, trying his hand at third base, first base and left field. With Juan Francisco at third base in Sarasota and Valaika now in Double-A, Reds farm director Terry Reynolds said that Frazier will play multiple positions for Sarasota, including shortstop.
Valaika, 22, hit .363/.393/.585 in 145 plate appearances with Sarasota, including seven home runs and nine doubles. Like Frazier, scouts have their doubts about Valaika’s ability to stick at shortstop, where he lacks sufficient range and has an average arm.
Mesoraco, the 15th overall pick last year from a Pennsylvania high school, was in extended spring training. He hit .219/.320/.270 in 155 plate appearances last year in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League while playing through injuries to both of his thumbs.