Reds third baseman Todd Frazier will be the first to admit his 2013 season wasn't quite up to his standards.
"I want to get my average up a little bit [in 2014]," said Frazier, who hit .234 with 19 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games last season. "I was down. As my high school coach always told me, 'You always want to set your goals really high.' So, for me, 35 home runs would be good, batting .330 and playing the good defense that I know I am capable of doing.
"Team-wise, [I want] to get back into the playoffs and do a little more damage than we did. We are expecting to have a good team again, a new coaching staff [which] understands the game very well, and I can't wait until Spring Training to see what we've got."
Frazier's advice to frustrated Reds fans?
"Bear with us. Bear with me, bear with the team," Frazier said. "We're coming. We've got a good nucleus coming back. Everybody is going to be healthy again. Health is a big issue. Two years ago, we won the division and everybody was healthy. Once everybody is healthy, we're going to be all right.
"As a team, we understand our capabilities. We understand that we are a team that can make it to the playoffs again and try to win a World Series. Like I said, health is key. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Frazier said being in the playoffs two of his first three seasons in the big leagues presents an advantage.
"It's good experience, being young and hopefully playing this game for a lot of years," Frazier said. "We have a lot of young guys as well. We've got a good core of veteran guys. We picked up Skip Schumaker, which is really good. We'll have good leadership and have a lot of young guys to keep us going.
"I think this is going to be another big year coming up for us."
Meggie Zahneis, winner of the 2011 Breaking Barriers essay contest, earned the job of youth correspondent for MLB.com in the fall of '11.