If you watch ESPN or the MLB Network as often as I do, you know that the Washington Nationals' rookie Bryce Harper has been tabbed as the next Micky Mantle, among other things. He's a five-tool player who should be an All-Star for years to come. While most (again I say, "most") of the hype is true, Harper has no business even being in the conversation about the National League Rookie of the Year. That honor belongs (at least right now) to Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds.
Frazier, who has played infield and outfield positions for the Reds this season, is batting about 40 points higher than Harper, with more home runs, RBI's, and a better OPS than the supposed Savior of baseball. Frazier has perhaps meant more to the Reds' success this season than any other player, especially since former MVP Joey Votto went down with a knee injury over a month ago. Everyone wonders where Frazier will play when Votto comes back, and with Scott Rolen as the incumbent at third base, and Ryan Ludwick hitting out of his mind in left field, it almost seems that there's no room in the Reds starting lineup for a guy who just continues to succeed at everything he's asked to do. But that's Dusty Baker's problem, and it's a good problem to have. Votto will almost certainly not play everyday when he comes back, and Rolen is an everyday question mark at best due to his age and past health problems. So a lack of playing time shouldn't derail Frazier's Rookie of the Year campaign as the season winds down. One thing is for sure, though: a lack of playing time is a MUCH bigger threat to Frazier's chances for ROY than Bryce Harper will be.
And that's my view from the cheap seats. What's yours?