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01/31/12 1:03 PM EST
Frazier prepping for 'fun battle' at spring camp
Reds infielder will have plenty of competition for roster spot
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Like most of his Reds teammates who have weighed in, infielder Todd Frazier loves the offseason moves his club has made. However, it's made making the big league roster out of Spring Training for Frazier all the more difficult. "It's going to be a good battle," Frazier said last week during Reds Caravan. "We have a veteran presence coming in. It's going to be fun for me. We have all these guys we just picked up. It will be a fun battle to make the squad." Frazier made the jump to the Majors for the first time last season and played 41 games. Offensively, the results were not overwhelming, as he batted .232 with six home runs and 15 RBIs, but the experience was beneficial. "Playing for the two months I had was vital for me," said Frazier, who will turn 26 on Feb 12. "I understand the game a little more." Frazier seemed to fit well in the Reds' clubhouse as the rookie was respectful of the veterans while also outgoing enough to be comfortable around all players, fans and media. The New Jersey native even showed a little panache with his at-bat walkup music, a variety of selections from Garden State legend Frank Sinatra. Having as many as five different gloves at his disposal, Frazier also demonstrated versatility by making appearances at first base, second base, shortstop, third base and left field. He made a total of 27 starts at the various positions in the big leagues, with the most (24) coming at third. Among the myriad moves by the front office, Cincinnati added free-agent left fielder Ryan Ludwick, traded for a utility infielder in Wilson Valdez from the Phillies and signed ex-Mets infielder/outfielder Willie Harris to a Minor League contract. Holdover shortstop Paul Janish can play three infield positions and top third base-prospect, lefty power hitter Juan Francisco, will be out of Minor League options heading into camp. And the Reds are counting on regular third baseman Scott Rolen to be healthy again after August shoulder surgery. Frazier, who batted .290 with 15 homers and 46 RBIs in 90 games at Triple-A Louisville last season, will need a strong spring to boost his chances of making the club and can ill-afford a slow start. Training in Florida all offseason, Frazier believed he could get to the Reds' complex in Goodyear, Ariz., having some momentum. "I'm just trying to get bigger and stronger," Frazier said. "I've been hitting a lot, working out a lot in Tampa. I'm feeling good. Hitting outside feels awesome. I just can't wait to get to Arizona and see the ball fly again."