Former Toms River East Little Leaguer Frazier called up by Reds, drives in three
An injury to Cincinnati Reds third baseman Scott Rolen and a 15 day stint on the disabled list on July 21st gave Toms River native and former Toms River East Little League champion Todd Frazier a second chance in the show. Cincinnati recalled Frazier from the Louisville Bats of the Independent League on Saturday and joined the team yesterday afternoon in Cincinnati where he was penciled in as the Red’s starting third baseman.
Frazier went 1 for three and drove in three runs after he cleared the bases with a 7th inning base clearing double that solidified the Reds’ 11-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.
Frazier was initially called up by the Reds on May 23rd, but was sent back to Louisville after just one at bat in the major leagues.
Frazier said his one at bat in May inspired him to play harder to get back to the Reds. “It’s just a situation where it’s different now.” he said “When they want somebody on the team, unfortunately somebody else has to go and it was me. It drove me to get back up there.”
But Frazier, grateful for a second chance wants to make an impression this time around. “I’m just playing it by ear every day and do as much as I can to help the team while I’m here.” he said “I can only hope Dusty Baker sees it and keeps me up here.” Driving in three runs is definitely one way to get the manager’s attention at your first day on the job.
After 5 years in the Cincinnati Reds farm system, 1998 Toms River East Little League world champion team member Todd Frazier finally got the call to the major leagues earlier this season. Frazier was the winning pitcher in the 1998 Little League world championship game that put the Toms River East Little League in the international spotlight.
After his little league career, Frazier went on to excel in baseball at Toms River High School South and then played ball for Rutgers University.
He was initially drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 37th round of the 2004 amateur draft, but finished college, batting .377 in his senior year. After college, Frazier was then selected as a first round draft pick by the Cincinnati Reds.
Over the next 4 seasons, Frazier’s consistency moved him up the ranks of the Reds farm system, bouncing around until making it to the AAA Louisville Bats in 2009. On Monday morning, Frazier got the call to the Reds and was in the dugout for the Red’s road game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Frazier was not in the starting lineup, but in the top of the 7th inning, got the call to pinch hit for pitcher Mark Maloney. Frazier struck out in his first major league at bat, at the age of 28, but the long journey from the little baseball fields on Windsor avenue was finally over. Frazier made the big leagues.
Frazier also says he looks back at his 1998 Little League World Series Championship as something he will never forget and gave some words of advice for the local Holbrook Little League team who is now on their way to the state championships next week. “Just remember to play and have fun and enjoy everything that’s happening around you. It goes by in a second.” he said “It’s something you’ll never forget and getting to the states is an unbelievable experience in itself. The competition at that level is so competitive and New Jersey Little League in itself is very tough and competitive.” As for the week off Holbrook is getting this week, he offers some words of advice. “Just keep having fun, keep practicing and keep playing. Keep it fun. We used to have home run derbies. Don’t put pressure on yourself and enjoy it while it lasts.”
Todd’s older brother Jeff also plays baseball. Last year, Jeff played a two week stint with the Detroit Tigers after a 7 year minor league career.