ASG debate: Frazier deserves NL nod over Carp
Reds slugger is one of game's best power hitters, has earned starting spot
*** We will be doing daily ASG debates until 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game balloting ends on July 2. We will frequently be pitting one player against another and have a writer make a case for one of them, but that doesn't mean there aren't other great candidates for that position. In fact, your comments could spark a new debate for us to tackle. So let us know what you think! ***
We know for sure that the Cincinnati Reds are hosting this summer's All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park. What we don't yet know is whether the Reds will be represented in the National League's starting lineup.
But if there's any justice in the voting, Todd Frazier will surge into the starting spot at the hot corner.
As excellent as the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter, the NL's leading vote-getter at third base, has been this season, Frazier, frankly, has a better case for the starting spot. The Cincinnati slugger has really established himself as one of the elite power bats in the league, and he couples that with dependable defense. Especially now that Zack Cozart's season is done because of torn knee ligaments, the 29-year-old Frazier is the best candidate to represent the Reds at this year's Midsummer Classic.
He's already serving alongside Hall of Famer Barry Larkin as the event's spokesperson. He deserves to have his name penciled into Bruce Bochy's lineup, too.
Here's how Frazier and Carpenter stacked up statistically entering play Sunday:
Frazier: .291 AVG, .360 OBP, .607 SLG, 18 HR, 18 2B, 1 3B, 39 RBIs, 7 SB, 46 K, 21 BB, 3.3 WAR (Baseball-Reference)
Carpenter: .290 AVG, .377 OBP, .493 SLG, 8 HR, 18 2B, 1 3B, 32 RBIs, 2 SB, 51 K, 30 BB, 1.7 WAR
As you can see, Frazier's biggest edge is in the power department, though he's also swiped a few bags as well.
Frazier's 18 home runs weren't just the most among NL third basemen; they were also tied for the third-highest mark in all of baseball. Frazier trailed only Giancarlo Stanton (23) and Bryce Harper (21).
There is no greater, rarer commodity in today's game than right-handed power. Frazier provides it.
Don't take any of this as a knock on Carpenter, who is a deserving All-Star in his own right. A scary bout with extreme fatigue has been the only setback in an otherwise terrific season for Carp, who has shown a more aggressive nature at the plate at times en route to the best slugging mark of his career so far. The jolt he provides near the top of the order is one big reason why the Cardinals are at the top of the NL Central standings.
The Reds don't appear as though they're going to have any chance of catching the Cards in the standings, and it could be that Frazier simply can't catch Carpenter in the All-Star voting race, either. But Cincinnatians who want to see a Reds representative in the starting lineup and baseball fans everywhere should be giving Frazier more ballot love than he's received, to date.
You can vote for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- until Thursday, July 2, at 11:59 p.m. ET. For the first time, voting is exclusively online.
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Following the announcement of the 2015 All-Stars, be sure to return to MLB.com and cast your 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote for the final player for each league's All-Star roster. On Tuesday, July 14, watch the 2015 All-Star Game live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2015 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.
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