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Todd Frazier and Top 10 Little League World Series Phenoms Turned MLB Stars

Doug MeadCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2016

Todd Frazier and Top 10 Little League World Series Phenoms Turned MLB Stars

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    The 66th edition of the Little League World Series is currently in progress at Williamsport, Pa., with the championship game scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 26.

    Always an exciting event, the LLWS has featured a host of great young players who have gone on to find more success in the major leagues.

    Current Cincinnati Reds infielder Todd Frazier is one such star.

    Frazier has been terrific in his role with the Reds, at times filling in for injured third baseman Scott Rolen and currently manning first base in the absence of injured Joey Votto.

    Here is a list of nine other current and former MLB players aside from Frazier who first made their name on the fields of Williamsport.

Jurickson Profar

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    While he has yet to make his debut in the majors, Texas Rangers top prospect Jurickson Profar is quickly headed in that direction.

    Profar first garnered attention starring for Willemstad, Curaçao, in the 2004 Little League World Series, guiding his team to victory. Profar would return a year later as well but fell just short, as Curacao was defeated by Ewa Beach, Hawaii, on a walk-off home run in the seventh inning of the championship game.

    Profar is currently hitting .278 with 14 HR and 62 RBI for the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders.

Boog Powell

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    For 14 seasons, Boog Powell shined as the first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles, serving as a solid power-hitting option in the middle of the lineup for teams that captured four American League pennants and two World Series championships.

    But before Powell starred for the Orioles, he first opened eyes playing as a youngster for Lakeland, Fla., in the 1954 Little League World Series.

    Just 12 years later, Powell would star in another World Series, helping Baltimore beat the Dodgers in the 1966 Fall Classic.

Jason Marquis

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    On Tuesday night, starting pitcher Jason Marquis worked into the sixth inning for the San Diego Padres, keeping his team close enough to secure a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Marquis was doing the same thing 21 years ago for his Staten Island Little League team.

    In 1991, Marquis was instrumental in leading Staten Island into the LLWS, capturing third place overall with a win over Canada.

Gary Sheffield

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    Before debuting as a 19-year-old rookie shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1988, Gary Sheffield came to national attention eight years prior in the Little League World Series.

    Sheffield was a member of the Tampa, Fla., team that represented the South region of the United States in the 1980 LLWS. Sheffield's team was defeated by the Far East representative from Hualian, Taiwan, 4-3, in the championship game.

Carney Lansford

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    Before winning the American League batting title in 1981 for the Boston Red Sox, third baseman Carney Lansford was honing his diamond skills for the Santa Clara, Calif., Little League team.

    In 1969, Lansford and Santa Clara made their way to Williamsport as the West region representative of the United States in the Little League World Series.

    Lansford's squad lost the championship game to Taichung City, Taiwan, 5-0, but Lansford would become a World Series champion 20 years later with the Oakland Athletics.

Lloyd McClendon

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    Lloyd McClendon put together an eight-year career in the majors as a useful utility player for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates. He would also later serve as the manager of the Pirates.

    McClendon first starred on the field as a youngster for a traveling team out of Gary, Ind. In 1971, that squad represented the North region of the United States in the Little League World Series.

    In the championship game, McClendon's team battled Tainan City, Taiwan to a 3-3 tie through the end of regulation. Tainan City would break through in the ninth inning, defeating Gary 12-3 in the longest championship game in LLWS history.

Jason Bay

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    Outfielder Jason Bay made a name for himself in 2004, winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award after hitting .282 with 26 HR and 82 RBI for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Just 14 years earlier, Bay was leading his Canadian team to the Little League World Series.

    Bay starred for Trail, British Columbia, helping his team reach the LLWS in 1990. Trail ended up winning the consolation game over Cypress, Calif., by a 5-4 margin.

Jason Varitek

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    For 15 seasons in the major leagues, all with the Boston Red Sox, Jason Varitek became one of the most respected catchers in the game, lauded for his work ethic and ability to work well with pitchers.

    Varitek starred behind the plate for the Red Sox as they captured World Series championships in 2004 and 2007. However, by then, Varitek was already familiar with World Series play.

    In 1984, Varitek helped lead his Altamonte, Fla., team to the finals of the Little League World Series, falling to Seoul, Korea, 6-2 in the championship game.

    Varitek again approached World Series glory, leading his Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to the finals of the 1994 College World Series. Georgia Tech would lose to the University of Oklahoma.

Lance Lynn

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    Pitcher Lance Lynn hoisted the World Series trophy last year as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals in his rookie season.

    Twelve years earlier, Lynn got his first taste of World Series play, helping his Brownsburg, Ind., team reach the 1999 LLWS as the Central region representative of the United States.

    Lynn's team didn't have success that year, but he would eventually make his way back to the grand stage once again, helping the Cardinals in a relief role to defeat the Texas Rangers in seven games.

Todd Frazier

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    While infielder Todd Frazier is quickly gaining recognition at the major league level as an integral part of the offense for the NL Central-leading Cincinnati Reds, he first gained fame as a Little Leaguer back in 1998.

    Frazier's older brother Jeff led his Toms River, N.J., team to the Little League World Series in 1995. Younger brother Todd followed suit three years later.

    While older brother Jeff was unable to win a LLWS championship, younger brother Todd did, helping Toms River defeat the team from Kashima, Ibaraki, Japan, by a 12-9 margin.


    Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.

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