- Full name Todd Brian Frazier
- Born 02/12/1986 in Point Pleasant, NJ
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Rutgers
- Debut 05/23/2011
Drafted in the C-A round (34th overall) by the Cincinnati Reds in 2007 (signed for $825,000).
View Draft ReportTodd is the third Frazier brother who will be drafted, following Jeff (Mariners) and Charlie (Marlins) in the legacy of the famed Tom's River, N.J., Little League teams of the late 1990s. He has been a three-year starter at Rutgers and carved a reputation as a solid all-around player with a long track record of performance despite a modest tool set. He raised his profile by showing plus power with wood last summer with the college national team, but scouts are apprehensive about his long-term ability to hit for average because of unorthodox swing mechanics. He's a solid-average runner with adequate hands and an average arm, tools that might play at third base or second, but not at shortstop. His instincts and makeup are outstanding, and if he gets to his power as a pro, he'll play his way into a big league lineup. He should be drafted no later than the second round.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The star of the 1998 Little League World Series championship team from Toms River, N.J., Frazier followed his brothers Charles and Jeff into pro ball. Signed for $875,000 as the 34th overall pick in 2007, he has spent most of the past two seasons in Triple-A because of the presence of Scott Rolen in Cincinnati. Frazier's best position is third base, but the Reds have tried him all over the infield and outfield in an attempt to find a spot for his bat. Frazier's most attractive tool is his plus power to all fields. He may never hit for a high average, though, because he has a pronounced arm bar in his swing and is too aggressive at the plate. He has a tick below-average speed but runs the bases well. While Frazier's feel for the game means he can play almost anywhere on the field--he played five different positions in 41 big league games--he profiles best at third base. His actions fit better at the hot corner than in the middle infield, and he has an average, accurate arm. After logging nearly 2,000 minor league at-bats, he's more than ready for the majors. With Rolen still under contract, Frazier still doesn't have a clear shot at a starting job, so for now he'll be a corner utilityman.
The star of the Toms River (N.J.) team that won the 1998 Little League World Series, Frazier followed his brothers Charles and Jeff into pro ball when the Reds signed him for $875,000 as the 34th overall pick in the 2007 draft. No. 1 on this list a year ago, he experienced the worst slump of his career when he batted .197/.274/.369 in the first two months of last season. He recovered to hit a more typical .288/.362/.486 the rest of the way. Frazier's aggressive approach did him no favors when Triple-A pitchers gave him offspeed pitches on the outer half of the plate. He eventually adjusted, standing taller and using the opposite field more, and still showed plus power even while slumping. Some scouts question whether he'll hit enough to profile as a regular left fielder, however. Frazier has average speed, range and arm strength. He's a better defender than Juan Francisco at third base, but Francisco's lack of other options has limited Frazier's time there. He has seen action at all four infield positions. The best-case scenario is that Frasier ends up as a Ben Zobrist type who hits for power and decent average while playing multiple positions. Placed on the 40-man roster in November, he appears blocked from playing anything more than a utility role in Cincinnati, which could mean a third stint in Triple-A.
Frazier first stood out on the diamond when he starred for 1998 Little League World Series champion Toms River (N.J.), going 4-for-4 with a homer in the championship game. He was the third brother in his family to play pro ball, following Charlie (a former outfielder in the Marlins system) and Jeff (a Triple-A outfielder for the Tigers last season). After he set records for single-season (22) and career (47) home runs at Rutgers, the Reds drafted him 34th overall in 2007 and signed him for $875,000. As a pro, Frazier has played all four infield spots as well as left field. In 2009, he impressed the big league coaching staff in spring training, leading to a decision to make him an everyday left fielder and shore up a position that appeared thin in Cincinnati. The emergence of Chris Dickerson and Johnny Gomes eased those concerns, so Frazier moved to second base full-time at the end of July. David Bell, his manager at Double-A Carolina, said Frazier was more advanced than Bell's former teammate Jeff Kent was at the same point in his transition to second base. Frazier's excellent strength and line-drive stroke combine to produce bushels of doubles, and he tied for third in the minors with 45 last season. Though he has a pronounced arm bar in his swing, he has had no problems hitting inside pitches because he's strong and his hands work well. His ability to make adjustments should allow him to hit for average with solid-average power in the major leagues. Frazier has average arm strength that plays up both in the infield and outfield thanks to his quick release and accuracy. He positions himself well and has a knack for reading balls off the bat. His speed and range are average. The Reds have been willing to move him around because he has excellent makeup and is receptive to coaching. Because he has changed positions so often, Frazier is a jack of all trades but a master of none. He doesn't have the range to be an everyday shortstop, though he makes plays on the balls he gets to. He's raw at second base, with problems turning double plays and playing around the bag. His doubles power doesn't fit the offensive profile for first base. His best position and destiny may be third base, but he has played just 18 games at the hot corner in his career, and just four in 2009 largely because he's been paired almost everywhere with third baseman Juan Francisco. The Reds believe he'll eventually be a solid defender wherever he winds up, but scouts from other clubs are reserving judgment. The Reds sent Frazier to Puerto Rico for winter ball to continue his development as a second baseman. If he shows he can be even adequate defensively, his bat would make him a valuable regular there. He may be a better fit at third base, where he projects as a solid hitter and defender. With Scott Rolen's contract expiring after 2010 and Brandon Phillips locked up through 2011, Frazier's initial big league opportunity would seem to more likely come at third base or left field. He'll head to Triple-A Louisville in 2010 for some final polish.
The third brother in his family to get drafted, Frazier first hit the national stage when he led Toms River, N.J., to the 1998 Little League World Series title. A 2007 supplemental first-round pick who signed for $875,000, he played four positions and hit well at two Class A stops in his first full season, which he concluded by leading Hawaii Winter Baseball in slugging (.547). Frazier has above-average raw power and translates it well into games. While he has an unconventional swing, he clearly understands it and knows how to make adjustments. Since turning pro, he has learned to quicken his stride, enabling him to get his left foot down quicker and handle fastballs that previously gave him trouble. Though his future defensive home remains in doubt, his soft hands and strong arm should fit at third base and he has looked solid in limited time in left field. He has average speed and is a good athlete for his size. The Reds have been impressed by how he's both a team leader and one of the guys in the clubhouse. Frazier extends his front arm early in his swing, and though he has shortened the arm bar as a pro, it still leads some scouts to wonder if he'll be able to handle inside fastballs in the big leagues. His range is substandard at shortstop, and his versatility has meant that he's competent at many positions but a master at none. Frazier likely will continue to play several positions in Double-A and could get his first big league exposure late in 2009. He profiles best at third base but the Reds have more holes in the outfield, so he could wind up in left.
Frazier comes from a successful baseball family (older brothers Jeff and Charlie both were drafted) and first made a name for himself by homering in each of the final three games of the 1998 Little League World Series to lead Toms River, N.J., to the title. A supplemental first-round pick in June, he signed for $825,000 and ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the Rookie-level Pioneer League. Frazier has above-average raw power, and if he can make some tweaks to his swing, he has the size and strength to hit 20-25 home runs per year. His drive to succeed and his instincts have allowed him to exceed expectations wherever he's played. Frazier could quicken his path to the ball if he quieted his hands, leading to concerns about his swing, and he also could use his legs more. Scouts give him little chance to stay at shortstop because he lacks the first-step quickness, range and actions for the position. The Reds like prospects to play their way off a position, so Frazier will remain at shortstop in 2008. With his advanced pedigree, he should be able to handle high Class A in his first full pro season.
Minor League Top Prospects
Frazier's power has intrigued the Reds for year, but they have yet to find a regular spot for him, playing him at all four infield positions and also in left field. He has spent most of the last two years in Louisville, with most of his big league time coming in August when he filled in for an injured Scott Rolen at third base. Frazier has plus power to all fields, though he may never hit for a high average because he's not selective enough at the plate. An average runner, Frazier picks his spots to steal. He doesn't really have the range for shortstop or the quick feet for second base, but he has the tools for third base or left field. He has average arm strength and makes accurate throws.
A shortstop at Rutgers, Frazier has played all four infield positions as well as left field in the minors. Reds manager Dusty Baker thought Frazier had a chance to his big league left fielder in 2010, so Frazier spent most of his Double-A time there, but by season's end he saw most of his action at second base. Third base might be his best spot, but Frazier played just four games there at Carolina because Juan Francisco was on hand, and Cincinnati's trade for Scott Rolen locks up the hot corner through 2010. Frazier has an unorthodox swing with a pronounced arm bar, but thus far it has worked for him. He has the hand-eye coordination, athleticism and knack for the barrel to allow him to cover the plate. He's strong, but his swing is more conducive to generating drives in the gap than loft, and he tied for third in the minors with 45 doubles this season. Frazier is an average runner with a strong, accurate arm and a quick release. Reviews on his left-field defense were mixed, but the Reds were impressed with the progress he made. Without the benefit of a spring training or instructional league to work at second base, his inexperience at the position was evident.
Considering that he played four different positions defensively during his 3 1/2 months in Sarasota, there's some confusion about where Frazier will end up playing in the big leagues. There's far less discussion about whether he'll hit enough to make it. Frazier's swing isn't particularly smooth, but he has excellent bat control and drives the ball to all fields. He has the power to be a 20-25 home run hitter in the majors. Few observers believe Frazier can stay at shortstop, though his feel for the game may allow him to play there in a stopgap role. He doesn't look particularly athletic, but he positions himself well and makes all the routine plays. His arm is strong enough for him to handle third base or right field, and a couple of FSL managers thought he could fill a role playing on an everyday basis while moving between several positions.
Frazier had a storied amateur career, winning the 1998 Little League World Series title and setting the single-season (22) and career (47) home run records at Rutgers. His pro career got off to a fine start as well, as he showed a polished approach and good control of the strike zone. He has plus power with a line-drive swing, and earns praise for his instincts and baseball savvy. Frazier played shortstop in college and for Billings, but he almost certainly will have to change positions. He doesn't have the range needed for shortstop, particularly to his right side. He also needs to get better with his footwork and with fielding the ball in front of him. He does have an average arm and could profile well at third base or on an outfield corner.
Top 100 Rankings
Background: The star of the 1998 Little League World Series championship team from Toms River, N.J., Frazier followed his brothers Charles and Jeff into pro ball. Signed for $875,000 as the 34th overall pick in 2007, he has spent most of the past two seasons in Triple-A because of the presence of Scott Rolen in Cincinnati. Frazier's best position is third base, but the Reds have tried him all over the infield and outfield in an attempt to find a spot for his bat. Scouting Report: Frazier's most attractive tool is his plus power to all fields. He may never hit for a high average, though, because he has a pronounced arm bar in his swing and is too aggressive at the plate. He has a tick below-average speed but runs the bases well. While Frazier's feel for the game means he can play almost anywhere on the field--he played five different positions in 41 big league games--he profiles best at third base. His actions fit better at the hot corner than in the middle infield, and he has an average, accurate arm. The Future: After logging nearly 2,000 minor league at-bats, he's more than ready for the majors. With Rolen still under contract, Frazier still doesn't have a clear shot at a starting job, so for now he'll be a corner utilityman.