Pirates All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier was removed from Sunday's game in San Francisco in the eighth inning. He knew he was the subject of trade talks and figured he knew what was coming.
The news was better than he expected.
"[Pirates manager Derek] Shelton just pulled me down the tunnel and said it's been a pleasure coaching you," Frazier said. "We did our hugs and everything, and I was like, 'Well, where am I going?' He said San Diego, and I was pretty excited when he said San Diego."
Frazier, who leads the Major Leagues with 125 hits, was acquired in a trade for three prospects. He's going to provide serious position flexibility and a left-handed bat that's hitting .324 this year and is a real threat to win the National League batting title. He also knows quite a bit about his new club. Frazier started paying attention to the Padres when friend and former teammate Joe Musgrove was dealt to San Diego. Frazier then started the All-Star Game next to Fernando Tatis Jr., increasing his Friars fandom.
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"The Padres are the most exciting team to watch in baseball, to be honest," Frazier said. "About every night after we get done, I come home, sit on the couch and catch the Padres game. Whether it be watching Joe pitch or Tatis do something electric, the swag chain, all that stuff. I think it's very exciting for the game. I think the whole country has kind of taken notice of that, and it's been fun to watch. So, I'm happy to be a part of that now, and, hopefully, I can join in on it. I'm not the flashiest of guys, but I like to have a good time and winning is fun."
Frazier has played his entire career with the Pirates. During that time, Pittsburgh is a combined 100 games under .500, with no playoff appearances, so he's about to start having a whole lot more fun.
One of the things you hear most about Frazier is that he's a tough out. His strikeout rate is among the best in baseball (meaning he doesn't do it that often).
"It's kind of embarrassing when you get struck out, so I try not to do that very often," Frazier said. "Being a tough out is something I take pride in."
In today's launch angle, exit velocity, barrel rate-driven offensive baseball world, Frazier's attitude is a throwback. It's very similar to Padres great Tony Gwynn's, someone the Georgia-born Frazier has studied and has great respect for.
"If I'd have grown up on the West Coast, he probably would have been my idol," the 29-year-old Frazier said. "That kind of approach -- hit the ball to all fields, make hard contact and don't strike out -- yeah, that's exactly what I'm trying to do. I wish I would have been able to grow up watching him play because he's one of the best to ever do it."
Adam Frazier is a heck of a ballplayer who landed in the perfect place. He'll be on the field when San Diego starts a two-game set on Tuesday night against the A's at Petco Park.
Expect to see a hit or five.
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