Todd Frazier was a member of the Cincinnati Reds when the Mets beat them to clinch the National League East in 2015.
He recalls a team full of power arms that he believed then and now, could have won it all, according to John Harper of the Daily News.
“That great pitching is still here, and now, to be a part of it, it gives me goose bumps a little bit, man,” Frazier said Monday. “It fires you up because you know what we’re capable of doing, what we have here.
“I’ve taken live BP against them here, and it’s a lot of what I remember. They’re a little older now, and they understand what they’re capable of doing, what they need to prove.”
The Mets will again be relying on their arms to lead them back to the Promised Land, but it will require them to be healthy and jive as a cohesive unit.
The results have been mixed so far this Spring. On one side, Matt Harvey is looking good early on after his major injury recovery, while Steven Matz has an upward battle to fight after consecutive rough starts.
Regardless, spring games are spring games, and Frazier believes the Mets pitchers have the want and drive to succeed.
“In baseball it’s always what have you done for me lately and I think these guys want to be the best,” he said. “Being here I feel it, and it’s something everybody wants to build off.”
Frazier caught on with the Mets on a two-year, $17 million contract last month, and will look to bring some stability to the third base position.
He won’t stop there, however. Frazier is working hard to exceed everyone’s expectations.
“It’s like I’ve been telling people,” he said, “you’re going to get the best Todd Frazier you’ve seen in a long time. I’m working my butt off to get where I want to be.”
The 32-year-old hit .213/.344/.428 with 27 homers and 76 RBI between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees last season.
While his batting average is not in the .270’s like it was a few seasons ago, his on-base percentage has gotten higher, thanks to choking up on the bat.
“That gave me more control,” he said. “And I started getting my foot down earlier (on his stride) so I can recognize the spin and give myself more time before committing.
“I’ve been known as a guy who will chase pitches out of the zone. So I got better at not necessarily guessing, but doing that homework and understanding what pitchers are trying to do to get you out. And looking for pitches you can dominate.”
He added that he believes he can combine both aspects of his game, power and discipline, to be a 30 home run hitter with a .270+ average and a high on-base percentage.
Let’s hope Frazier is right, about both himself and the pitching staff.