PITTSBURGH -- During his first month in the Major Leagues, Adam Frazier has impressed. Power, however, is not an area the Pirates' super-utility player in which has excelled.That's what made Frazier's long pinch-hit homer that accounted for the winning run Sunday so unlikely.Frazier led off the seventh inning with a
PITTSBURGH -- During his first month in the Major Leagues, Adam Frazier has impressed. Power, however, is not an area the Pirates' super-utility player in which has excelled.
That's what made Frazier's long pinch-hit homer that accounted for the winning run Sunday so unlikely.
Frazier led off the seventh inning with a 407-foot home run -- his first in the Major Leagues -- to right to give the Pirates the lead for good in a 5-4 victory over the Phillies.
Frazier has batted .359 through his first 21 Major League games, but he had hit only three home runs in 1,354 Minor League at-bats.
"I've seen him hit balls farther than you'd think he could hit them," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He can hit a baseball, and when it's elevated and he puts a good swing on it, it can travel a little bit."
That's what happened when Frazier turned on a 95-mph fastball from Edubray Ramos and lifted it well up into the seats in right field above the 21-foot wall at PNC Park.
The 5-foot, 10-inch Frazier has loomed large for the Pirates since making his Major League debut exactly one month before his first home run. An Athens, Ga., native and graduate of Oconee County High School, Frazier was a sixth-round pick of the Pirates in 2013 out of Mississippi State.
On a team with established starters at all everyday positions and a deep and experienced bench, Frazier has had to stand out to find a way to make an impression, earn a role on the team and stay in the Majors.
He's done that via versatility both in the field -- he's already played right field and second and third base -- and on offense -- he's started five games, pinch hit in six and stolen three bases as a pinch-runner. Fraizer's production, too, has helped; he's batting .359/.405/.590 in 39 at-bats.
"When my number is called, I try to go in there and contribute," Frazier said. "Situations dictate who is going in and who may go in later. I'm just trying to get a feel for that, and I think it's starting to click."
Although Frazier was never on any Top Prospect lists, the Pirates have had a recent history of developing players who break in via a utility role but become productive regulars -- Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer and Brock Holt.
"It ultimately is about opportunities to make and help the Major League team," general manager Neal Huntington said.
Hurdle has shown a confidence in Frazier by turning to him in high-leverage situations late in close games.
"I just look at Adam, and I have the confidence that he's been around," Hurdle said. "Not just in our Minor League system; he's played global baseball [for team USA's national collegiate team] ...
"That's the reason we brought him up. The other part of what we share with the guys is, 'Here's your role that we envision for you coming up. When that doorbell gets rung, you're going to be the guy.'"
Chris Adamski is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.