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South Jersey’s Todd Frazier – Back on the Front Page [VIDEO]

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Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Go back to 1998, when the Exit 82 area of the Garden State Parkway was gathering national attention in Williamsport, Pa.  Todd Frazier was a key member of the Little League team from Toms River who won the world championship.  Almost 14 years later, Frazier is once again gaining attention as a member of the Cincinnati Reds and as a life saver.

Imagine being the kid who hit .600 during that incredible Little League run, including 4 Home Runs, and pitching the final two innings of the championship game that saw the U.S. representatives defeat Japan 12-9 ……… Frazier lived this and struck out the final batter creating the moments that had his teammates mob him by the pitcher’s mound.  Frazier admitted in an interview last year “”I think about it all the time” – referring to the time in ’98 – “It was an exciting time for me.  You can’t not think about it!”

After the celebration and attention wore down, it was back to the normal lives of just being young boys in Ocean County, but for Todd Frazier this turned out to be the beginning of his ride toward the major leagues.

After a standout high school career at Toms River South, Frazier was drafter by the Colorado Rockies but opted to attend Rutgers University and became a star player for the Scarlet Knights.  He parlayed his college career to becoming a Top-40 college draft choice for the Cincinnati Reds.

The developing shortstop showed immediate offensive prowess – hitting around .300 in his first 3 season in the Reds minor league system.  In 2010, Todd hit a small bump – hitting just .258 for the Louisville Bats (Reds highest level minor league team at AAA), but was showing power (17 Home Runs), quickness (14 Stolen Bases), and an ability to play multiple field positions with great effectiveness.

The “utility” role would help get Frazier up to the Reds late last season, and his numbers were not bad – 6 Home Runs in 112 at bats with 15 Runs Batted In.

2012 started with time back in Louisville before coming back to Cincinnati, and his last 3 weeks or so have been his best in the majors so far for various reasons.

Start on May 16th in late May when Frazier belted 2 Home Runs against the New York Mets with friends and family watching from Citi Field.  Then came May 27th where Todd hits a home run while he looks like he threw the bat at the baseball in Cinci.

Throw in his last 8 games where he has gone 8-for-24 at the plate (.333) that included a Home Run and 4 Runs Batted In on the national game of the week on ESPN last night against the Detroit Tigers.

In the middle of all this, Frazier saved someone’s life.  Frazier was eating dinner with a teammate on night in late May when they noticed a customer across the room struggling to breathe.  Frazier leaped into action, jumping behind the man and using the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a sizable piece of meat.

Todd Frazier has hit 6 of his 7 Home Runs this season in the last 3 weeks, and has driven in 19 runs during this stretch (22 for his season).  His batting average has surged to .275 for the season in 109 at bats, and has now played every position on the field for the reds except catcher or pitcher – based on his past he could probably step in if needed.

Todd Frazier is now back in the spotlight, and at this rate is not going away anytime soon.

 

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