Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart have not only been one of the best combination of first-year players on any team this season, they qualify as the greatest pairing of Reds rookie position players since Bernie Carbo and Davey Concepcion in 1970.
Frazier and Cozart are, by the numbers, the highest impact rookie Reds position players to break in together since Kal Daniels and Paul O’Neill in 1987 and Chris Sabo and Jeff Treadway in 1988.
The case Erardi goes on to make is that when rookie duos like that come along in Reds’ history, good things follow, like the 1990 World Series.For the nine straight losing years that the Reds saw throughout the 2000s, this influx of young, home-grown talent never arrived. But since Joey Votto and Jay Bruce arrived full-time in 2008, it has.
Votto and Bruce saw the team to the division win in 2010. Sure, the team exited the playoffs early, but that experience is invaluable. Now those two are returning to the playoffs with something to prove. And that experience and attitude is likely to rub off on Cozart and Frazier.
Losing begets losing, and winning begets winning. The prime examples of that can be found just looking within the Reds’ division. The Pittsburgh Pirates just completed their 20th losing season in a row, and the St. Louis Cardinals made the playoffs again, without Albert Pujols.
The Reds had been stuck in that losing cycle for so long. It’s very nice to see them coming out of it and having a good store of minor league talent ready to come up. When they do, they’re expected to contribute and win right away.
And since this time the offensive burden won’t rely solely on Votto and Bruce, maybe this team can advance further into the playoffs.