Dream come true: Frazier named ASG starter

Joins Mazeroski as only the Pirates to start at second base in Midsummer Classic

July 2nd, 2021

PITTSBURGH -- All Pirates second baseman has done this season is hit, hit, hit.

It turns out he’s a bit of a hit with the fans, too, as Frazier was voted to be a starter at second base for the National League team in this year’s All-Star Game, which will be held at Coors Field on July 13 on FOX.

Frazier edged Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies, who had the most votes through Phase 1 of fan balloting, in Phase 2 with 47% of the vote to Albies’ 33%. The Dodgers’ Gavin Lux finished third with 20% of the vote.

The decision wasn’t too surprising when you look at the stats. Among NL second basemen with at least 20 starts at the position, Frazier led the group entering Thursday with 100 hits, a .327 batting average, a .395 on-base percentage and 141 weighted runs created plus (100 is league average).

However, Frazier was surprised by Derek Shelton before the Pirates’ game on Thursday, when the manager told his second baseman -- draped in a towel after doing some pregame work -- he’d be the starter after calling a fake team meeting.

"They got me on that,” Frazier said. “I had just gotten out of the hot tub and taken a shower, just getting ready with my normal routine. Kind of wondering why the crap we were having a 6:15 meeting for protocols.”

Frazier couldn’t be too mad. A lover of bourbon whiskey like Shelton, he got a bottle of Old Fitzgerald from the skipper as a token of recognition for the honor.

Frazier joins Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski as the only Pirates second baseman to start the All-Star Game. Frazier is also the first Bucs second baseman since Josh Harrison in 2017 to earn an All-Star selection, and he’s the ninth Pirate selected into the All-Star Game by way of fan balloting.

The left-handed-hitting Frazier is Pittsburgh’s lone representative in the All-Star Game -- for now. Bryan Reynolds’ incredible production at the plate gives him a case in player balloting and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office for the NL’s reserves, and pitchers will be selected through the same process as reserves.

After Thursday’s big reveal, the pitchers and reserves for the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be announced on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Frazier isn’t the prototype of a star player. At least, he doesn’t view himself that way. Being in consideration for the All-Star Game has been a weird experience for the 29-year-old second baseman, who handles his business every day like a pro and has grinded to get where he is today.

“I don't really love the spotlight itself. I just try to go about my business and take care of what I need to take care of,” Frazier said. “It's pretty cool to have the support, and I’m happy for that."

Frazier gave a special shoutout to the Pirates’ public relations and social media teams on Wednesday, speaking for the first time since moving on to Phase 2 of voting. His teammates also played a part in getting out the message, sharing videos and handcrafted images, including Phillip Evans’ mockup of Napoleon Dynamite wearing a “Vote For Fraz” shirt.

“Every time I open up my Instagram I see my face about 10-15 times, so they're getting after it,” Frazier said.

Playing in the All-Star Game, even for a guy who shies away from the spotlight, is still something Frazier said has been a wish of his since he was playing in his backyard as a kid.

“To make that game or to start that game would be an unbelievable dream come true,” Frazier said.

And at least one Frazier knew that the second baseman would make it to the All-Star Game one day: His father, Tim, who Frazier said instilled in him the mindset of a successful player, one that has led him to Denver for the Midsummer Classic.

“That's my dad. He's going to set the bar high for myself just so I'm thinking that way, too,” Frazier said. “If I just come up here in the Major Leagues and think about surviving, then you're setting a ceiling on yourself that's way too low.

“So you know, believe in yourself and go out there and play hard everyday and have confidence. You keep that and you'll have a lot better chance at succeeding.”