Jeff Frazier has always been a gifted athlete, in high school he was not only an outstanding baseball player but he scored 1300 points as a basketball player as well. You could say that being an athlete is a family trait, his father played NCAA Division 1 basketball at Moorehead State and Tennessee and his mother was an All-American swimmer at Trenton State a division 3 school in New Jersey.
Frazier is the middle of three boys who have all been drafted by major league teams. His oldest brother Charlie was a sixth round draft pick in 1999 by the Florida Marlins and his youngest brother was drafted last year in the first round by the Cincinnati Reds. "I always tell everybody that it was the competitive drive that we had as brothers, playing while we were younger that made us what we are today" said Jeff Frazier.
After playing baseball and basketball in high school Frazier went on to play college baseball at Rutgers University for three years before the Tigers drafted him in the third round of the 2004 amateur entry draft. He already had a brother that was drafted by a Major League team and he was aware that he would be drafted but it was still an unbelievable feeling. "It was unbelievable, to be honest with you" Frazier said, adding " the scout Derek Ross called and congratulated me and said I was drafted with the second pick of the third round". Frazier signed his first pro contract on June 30 of 2004 and immediately went to play for Oneonta in the NY-Penn League. Unfortunately his first professional season was cut short by a broken arm that was suffered when he was hit by a pitch.
In his first full professional season Frazier was promoted to the West Michigan Whitecaps in the Midwest League. He got off the a slow start before turning it up and finishing the season with 45 doubles, four triples and 12 home runs. After that first season he has struggled with consistency. He has displayed the talent that allowed him to drafted in the third round but he has failed to put together a complete season.
"It's something I definitely think about, In the Florida State League I had an awesome first half and then I slumped off. Last season with Seattle was the same thing but I had a slow first half and the second half I took off" Frazier said.
His best season was back in 2005 when he played for the West Michigan Whitecaps. He hopes this season will be the one where he can finally put together a complete season. "This year I'm focusing on putting two together and if I do that and stay consistent, who knows what can happen" he said, adding "I'm focusing on playing everyday as if I've been hot the whole season, instead of playing a half and taking the other half off because that is really how it's been." Frazier is off to a pretty good start this year, playing with the Erie SeaWolves. His average has been hovering around .300 and he has hit for some power as well.
In addition to the ups and downs on the field Frazier has had to endure some off the field stress as well. He had the injury in 2004 and in 2007 he was traded to the Seattle Mariners. It's always difficult to be traded but it's even more difficult when you are a young ball player, the feeling was no different for Frazier. He talked about the trade "It was pretty crazy, I got a call from Glenn Ezell (Tigers Director of Player Development) and he said I had been traded to Seattle". "I hung up the phone and sat there for a minute but eventually I realized that it was a good thing because I was traded for a pitcher straight up, it was a good thing that Seattle wanted me" he said.
As a player Frazier is a very aggressive hitter and he doesn't take many walks. "I'm going to take my balls but if it's close than I'm swinging" he said. Although he doesn't try to model his game after any current Major League players he compares himself to Vladimir Guerrero because of his aggressive attitude at the plate. His aggressive nature has helped him to be able to hit well against both left-handed and right-handed pitchers. Frazier says he has always done well against both left-handers and right-handers, "If that ball is coming in over the plate I'm getting it, I can say that I like lefties a little better because I see the ball better but it doesn't matter.
After playing last season in the Seattle Mariners organization, Frazier is happy to be back with the Tigers, "the first thing that went through my mind was that I knew all the coaches already and got along well with everybody" he said. He is off to a great start in Double A with the Erie SeaWolves and he has high hopes that he will be able to put together a complete season.