Frazier puts premium on production over average
CINCINNATI -- With no score and a runner on second in the fourth inning of Monday night's 3-0 win against the Rockies, Todd Frazier stepped to the plate and delivered the go-ahead RBI on a bloop single to left field. The swing, though effective, was ugly, as Frazier lunged toward the low-breaking pitch and made contact with one hand on the bat, his helmet nearly falling off his head.
Frazier didn't care.
"I wanted to drive the guy in," Frazier said. "I'll take it any way I can. You got to battle with two strikes. You look silly sometimes, but I'll take that over striking out."
Frazier, after a slow start to the season, has picked things up at the dish as of late. The 27-year-old third baseman rode a four-game hit streak into Tuesday's game, and knocked a long double in his first at-bat. Entering the game, he had batted .340 with seven RBIs in the 15 games since May 18. In the 15 games before that streak, Frazier hit just .157 while striking out 14 times.
Although he didn't mention any specific adjustments, Frazier said he remains in constant contact with hitting coach Brook Jacoby and assistant hitting coach Ronnie Ortegon, letting them know how he's feeling and seeking feedback that may help.
"It's just finding your way," Frazier said. "I would say pitch selection, but the ball I swung at yesterday was kind of not the pitch to be swinging at. You work with your hitting coaches every day. You try to get your mindset right. It's not going to last forever. How long it lasts, it's up to you."
Frazier said struggling at the plate can wear on a hitter, so it's important not to focus on average. That's what Frazier tried to do, pointing out that even when he wasn't delivering frequent hits, he was earning walks and moving guys over. Despite hitting .214 through May 17, Frazier walked 16 times and drove in 25 runs.
Manager Dusty Baker said he thought his third baseman was guessing at the plate too much, and Frazier didn't disagree on Tuesday, saying that's something hitters do when trying to bust out of a slump. Turning bad pitches into hits is something that Frazier prides himself on, and he doesn't want to make a habit of it, but he said he'll continue to do whatever it takes to be productive.
"My brother, Jeff, was the king at it," Frazier said. "I took after him because he said, 'Todd, who cares how you look? You got to get the job done no matter what. If you're swinging at a pitch that's not the one you want, you got to find a way to get on base and get a hit.'"