Todd Frazier (Redleg Nation/Chad Dotson)

We’ve been pretty big Todd Frazier fans here at The Nation. I remember the first time I had the chance to watch Frazier play in person. It was a couple of seasons ago, when Frazier was playing for AA Carolina. I was immediately impressed. My inarticulate summation was this: “Frazier will play in the big leagues at some point. He didn’t even hit the ball that well, but you can just tell that he is a player.”

How’s that for some hardcore sabermetric analysis?

Last spring, many of us had been hopeful that Frazier would claim a spot on the major league roster. After all, Frazier was the top prospect in the system, and he looked like a better option for a utility guy than the Miguel Cairos of the world. Heck, Frazier was even a former Little League World Series star! What’s not to love about this guy?

Unfortunately, Frazier played poorly in the spring, then continued to play terribly through the first two months at AAA Louisville. It was the first extended patch of adversity that Frazier had faced as a professional baseball player. John Fay asked him about the difficulties of last season:

“Going through that wasn’t the worst thing,” he said. “I’d rather go through it in the minor leagues. After that second month, I felt like I did what I had to do.”

The lesson Frazier learned: Be selective.

“I was swinging at everything,” he said. “It was weird. I’d get up there and it was: ’I got to get this hit, I got to swing at everything.’ One hit ain’t going to boost your average up to .300 right away.

“I had to take everything in stride.”

This season, Frazier has dropped in the prospect rankings, but there’s no question in my mind that he can help the major league team. Yes, I know Cairo had a fine season in 2010, but I’m fairly confident that Frazier would be a more valuable asset to this team, offensively and defensively. In fact, I’d love to see Frazier serve as Scott Rolen’s caddy this year over at the hot corner (while filling in around the diamond when possible).

The best case scenario for Frazier’s career might be as the next second baseman after Brandon Phillips, depending on how the BP contract situation works itself out. Either way, I’d love to see Frazier come east with the big club on the Opening Day roster.