PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – They won’t say it and he may not really need it. But the Pirates added veteran infielder Todd Frazier to help out with Ke’Bryan Hayes and other young players.
You can’t just bring in any veteran, it needs to be someone with the right mindset and it appears Frazier has that.
“He’s got a good way about him,” said manager Derek Shelton. “When we talked to people about signing him, everyone raved about the kind of teammate and person he was. No one had a bad thing to say about him. Anytime we get energy and provide veteran leadership. It’s nice to have.”
The 35-year-old also is something they don’t have, a right-handed bat that can play both corner infield positions.
Shelton said they didn’t sugarcoat what the Pirates are this year when having initial discussions while Frazier was on a snow plow in New Jersey.
“He understands that we have a foundation,” Shelton said. “I was very honest with him about what we are doing and how we are doing it. And why we are doing it.”
Part of that is likely being there for Hayes. The potential star has only played in 24 major league games.
The first conversation they had, Hayes mentioned watching Frazier as a kid. The new Bucco got a kick out of that, but told him he’s here for him and wants to help.
“He’s a stud,” Frazier said of Hayes. “He goes about his business the right way so far. He’s got a swagger to him that’s really not cocky. It’s something that guys can build off of and learn from. Watching him field ground balls, he’s very smooth.”
Frazier said his interest was not just in Hayes, but to being a part of a young team. Feeling he can come in and help all of the youth as much as possible.
“Guys need to understand when they do get the opportunities, show up and take the bull by the horns,” Frazier said. “Go after it. You know you are good at playing this game. You are here for a reason. There’s going to be a lot of opportunities for you. Show them why, show them why you are here and open some eyes.”
Frazier said free agency has been tough for him the last few years. He had some other offers, but intrigued by what the Pirates are trying to build.
It’s his sixth different uniform and he believes they have a shot at being a really good team. And that is coming from the oldest lens in the clubhouse.
“Of course I’m the oldest guy in camp,” Frazier said. “I never thought I’d be the oldest guy on a team. It’s unique it’s something that interests me.”
The owner of 218 career homers, if he makes the roster, will be a reserve first and third baseman. He’s also been around long enough to know injuries can happen and could provide another opportunity for the veteran to play.
It’s early in his time with the Pirates, but it looks like this team is better with two Frazier’s.