Cleat Geeks

Frazier in Regular Slump Not Home-Run Derby Curse

A few moments after watching Todd Frazier hit the winning home the morning following it actually happening – I had to record the Home-Run Derby as I was celebrating my wife’s birthday – I had one hope for the ToddFather.

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Todd Frazier #21 of the Cincinnati Reds reacts during the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders at the Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

As electric as that crowd was once the ball landed into the left-field stands of Great American Ballpark and Frazier celebrated as the hometown hero there was still something I didn’t want to see happen. Something everyone talked about going into the All-Star Game’s off-night festivities – don’t have a slump. For once let Frazier be the one who wouldn’t nose-dive for the rest of the season after either winning or participating in the All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby.

Unfortunately, it appeared Frazier succumbed to it. Or is this merely a continuation of a collapse in statistics which had started prior to the All-Star Game break?

After hitting a walk-off grand slam against the Detroit Tigers on June 17 and to the All-Star Game break, Frazier hit only 23-for-90 and also connected on just three home runs before the mid-summer intermission.

Of course, a lot has already been made of Frazier’s futility since the break and his crowning as Home Run Derby Champion. It is quite noteworthy because the Reds third baseman is 17-for-96 since the break and has 13 games where he has gone hitless. He also has only hit two home runs – one at the home-run-derby park known as Coors Field and another at GABP against the Cubs.

If you want some perspective taking a look at two of the other prominent Cincinnati sluggers in Jay Bruce and Joey Votto have had similar slumps according to Steve Mancuso of Redleg Nation in about 30-35 games. Through a 34-game stretch, this season Bruce had a batting average of .162 and a slugging percentage of .162 and a slugging percentage of .333. Votto was 30 games with a .218 average and a slugging percentage of .300.

The issue with Frazier’s collapse since June 17 is it doesn’t appear to be done. Sure ToddFather went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the second game of recent three-game series with the San Diego Padres. Alas, the light at the end of the tunnel was short lived as Frazier went 1-for-4 with a double.

As a manager or a coach would you like to see Frazier change his approach at the plate? Absolutely. You’d like for him to get up to the plate with the approach he had through the first two-and-half months of the season. He was taking more pitches then and walking more. Since the benchmarked game against the Tigers, Frazier has only walked eight times. When you watch him at the plate it looks like he still thinks he’s being thrown lobs from his brother during the derby.Todd-Frazier-MLB-HRD-jpg

Basically, there really is no truth to a “Home-Run Derby Slump/Curse.” The only real curse of previous Home Derby winners possibly is the lack of home runs hit after the All-Star Game.

What’s happening to Frazier is merely playing in the world of statistics. After such a great start from his three-run homer on Opening Day against the Pirates to his walk-off grand slam against the Tigers to where he is now the numbers finally caught up to him.

So what’s left to do? The Reds season is all but over and the players are merely playing out the schedule for pride and looking to next season.

For Frazier it’s a matter of taking a long look in the mirror, refocusing and doing the best he can to get back to the basics of hitting, which is what got him into the position to be in the Home Run Derby in the first place.

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