Rookies Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are stealing the national spotlight, but Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds has put himself in position to win the National League Rookie of the Year.
There is no denying how great Trout has been this season, and he deserves all of the attention he gets. Frazier does not need to outperform Trout since they play in different leagues.
Harper, on the other hand, is some of Frazier's biggest competition. The Washington Nationals are in first place and in great position to make the playoffs for the first time since the franchise moved to our nation's capital.
The 19-year-old made the NL All-Star team this season, so he is already getting recognition for his play.
Frazier, however, is being overlooked by the media because he plays in Cincinnati.
He made his major league debut in 2011, but he had to battle for a roster spot in spring training. He was one of the last cuts before the season began, and he had to prove he belonged in the majors.
Frazier started the year in the minor leagues in Louisville, but he worked his way into the majors. Since joining the team on April 19, he has been a valuable member.
Zack Cozart, Cincinnati's rookie shortstop, got off to a hot start this season and overshadowed Frazier for the first two months. Now that the shortstop is struggling at the plate, the Reds are relying on Frazier to be productive.
When Frazier first came to the major leagues this season, he had a hard time getting any playing time. Injuries to key players have forced him into playing every day. He has played nearly every day since May.
An injury to veteran Scott Rolen opened the door for the rookie, and he has not stopped hitting since cracking the lineup.
MLB.com has the stats for NL rookies, and it shows how productive Frazier has been compared to his peers.
Frazier leads NL rookies in RBI and is tied for the most triples, and he also has the trails only Wilin Rosario of the Colorado Rockies in home runs.
The rookie plays half of his games at Great American Ball Park, so his numbers should be better, right? Well, his numbers are actually better on the road.
His biggest threat in the Rookie of the Year race is Wade Miley, a pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Miley, also an All-Star this season, is 12-8 with a 3.02 ERA. Pitchers and position players are difficult to compare, but Frazier has been more valuable to his team.
Baseball is a game of numbers, and when comparing players, it's easy to get caught up in them. Frazier has been called on to replace a few key veterans this season.
Not only did Frazier replace Rolen earlier this season, but he is currently filling in for All-Star Joey Votto. The first baseman has been out since July 16 and will be out for at least one more week. Frazier has been playing mainly first base for the past month, but he occasionally spells Rolen at third.
The team is 19-8 during Votto's absence.
Awards are also affected by how the player's team is doing. Frazier will benefit from being on a first-place team, but Miley is on a third-place team. Votto was robbed of the same award because of his team's record back in 2008. ESPN.com shows that Votto outperformed Geovany Soto of the Chicago Cubs in 2008, but Soto won the award while playing on a playoff team.
Frazier is hitting above expectations, and he has had to replace two Gold Glove winners on defense this season. Cincinnati's lineup has been changing all season because of injuries and slumps, but Frazier is consistently driving in runs.
The 26-year-old is not flashy, but he deserves to win NL Rookie of the Year. Frazier is a team player who plays the game hard.
At the end of the day, it is up to baseball writers to make the right decision. Frazier is the most valuable rookie in the league, and he should be recognized with the award at the end of the season.
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