By Chris Emma–
CHICAGO (CBS) — That loud crack of the bat echoed through U.S. Cellular Field, and Todd Frazier went into his home run stride.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Severe Thunderstorm Warnings For DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Will Counties
Frazier looked on as the ball flew into the left field bullpen. He went around the bases with his 22nd home run of the season, which is good for second in all of baseball. Following a rough Tuesday night at the ballpark, Frazier responded well and helped the White Sox to a 9-6 victory over the Twins on Wednesday.
“It seems like he was shortening up a little bit and was more direct to the ball,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.
About 24 hours or so prior, Frazier sat in front of his locker wearing an 0-for-4 night. He had chased pitches in the dirt and failed to come through in a frustrating White Sox loss. Still, Frazier expressed confidence in his abilities.
The 30-year-old Frazier is hitting just .202 on the season but is making an impact with his power. The White Sox need more, and he knows it.
During this offseason of roster rebuilding, Frazier was brought in to be a cornerstone for the White Sox. The team envisioned Frazier contributing with home runs and big hits as the cleanup man behind Jose Abreu. The home runs have been nice, but the White Sox need more.
Frazier has kept loose during his personal struggles. He’s never one to get too high or low with each day at the ballpark.
“It’s a mindset that you got to have, because you know it’s a lot of games,” Frazier said. “Try to get as much sleep as you can and come to the ballpark and you know you got opportunities to win games.”
The White Sox moved to 39-39 on the season with Wednesday’s win. Come Thursday, they’re looking to take two out of three from the Twins — who own baseball’s worst record at 25-52 — and get on a run.READ MORE: Man Shot And Killed While Sitting In Vehicle In South Loop
Frazier will be one of the White Sox’s most important players during the remainder of this season. They need him to hit at a better clip. Fortunately, he may have it figured out.
Far too often, Frazier’s swing has gotten a little long and, in turn, wild. He’s figuring out a way to consistently shorten up his stroke, looking to drop his league-worst pop-up rate, which was at 23.7 percent entering Wednesday.
Frazier made his mark on Wednesday with the home run and a double. Perhaps there could be better results ahead.
The White Sox offense will go as Frazier goes, and Wednesday saw the whole team hitting.
“You’re excited when you get hits, you’re excited when you score runs,” right fielder Adam Eaton said. “There’s not a worry in the world when you’re being successful, and doing what you’re supposed to do.”
When Frazier first arrived in Chicago this past offseason, he met with new teammates and saw that potential. Instantly, Frazier felt that the White Sox had playoff possibilities. He didn’t hide it by any means.
The White Sox stand at an even .500 and three games back of the wild card. If Frazier’s short stroke leads to big hits, the South Siders can contend all season.
“I still feel like we have a great chance,” Frazier said. “I know everybody in this clubhouse does.”MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Update: Indiana Reports 336 New Cases, 30 Additional Deaths