WALL Cincinnati Reds star Todd Frazier paid tribute to teammates and other Major League Baseball clubs during his appearance Monday at a baseball clinic at South Wall Little League.
Following instructional hitting and defensive drills, Frazier signed autographs for and fielded questions from the 115-plus Little Leaguers on hand, ranging in topics from his favorite childhood team (the Boston Red Sox, much to the chagrin of some kids in attendance) to his favorite teammates (Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto top the list), and everything in between.
However, the inquiries were also topical, eventually working toward the National League Division Series between the Mets and Dodgers.
Frazier first tackled the Game 2 slide by Los Angeles second baseman Chase Utley, who broke the legs of New York shortstop Ruben Tejada in the process. And though the former Toms River South standout was hesitant to expound on the topic, he did call the slide “late” and the result “very unfortunate.”
The line of questioning quickly turned into more jovial territory as Frazier spoke on the dynamic starting pitching both clubs possess and placed the Mets’ 23-year-old right-hander Noah Syndergaard atop a list that included Jacob DeGrom, Matt Harvey, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
“The pitching in this series is unbelievable,” said Frazier, who batted .255 with 35 home runs and 89 RBI this past season in Cincinnati. “I think some fans might even be taking for granted how good the pitching is for these two teams.”
“And on the Mets, Syndergaard is without a doubt the best of the bunch,” said Frazier, who smiled while discussing his three-strikeout game against the young phenom on Sept. 25 in Cincinnati. “He got me three times in a game this year, but next season is going to be a different story … but he’s really, really good.”
In the open discussion with the campers, Frazier named New York as his pick to represent the National League in the World Series, and spoke more about the corps of young Mets arms who will have to lead them to the Fall Classic.
“It’s exceptional when you take into account how young these guys are,” the 29-year old Frazier said. “The age at which these guys are doing it at, it’s unbelievable. It just goes to show you how head and shoulders above and beyond the pitchers are these days. …You might get one good pitch to hit against these guys, and you better not miss it, because you’ll be in trouble.”