Recently acquired prospect Clint Frazier has taken the New York Yankees’ farm system by storm and is certainly a name you must get to know.
Coming over from the Cleveland Indians in the deal that sent Andrew Miller over to a championship contender, Fraizer immediately took the throne as the top prospect throughout the organization. By looking at his scouting grades, that ranking was fair:
Scouting grades via MLB Pipeline: Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55
Despite those extravagant ratings, however, the fifth overall pick of the 2013 MLB First-Year player draft has every tool necessary to be a slugger at baseball’s highest level.
Frazier smashed records at Loganville Highschool in his home state of Georgia for a single-season home run total of 24 as a junior in 2012 and 63 home runs throughout his high school career.
“Coaching third with Clint up was always scary,” Brad Mills, Frazier’s assistant coach in High Shcool told NJ Media. “Usually he’d lead every game off and instead of standing at third base, I’m behind the shortstop. But if we had a guy on second or third, I had to move up and you had to be on guard.”
It was that fruitful power that seduced the Indians to drafting him and boy did they hit the nail on the head.
In Class-A Carolina last season, Frazier led the league hits (143), doubles (36) and total bases (233) before slashing .281/.347/.438 with 3 home runs and 4 stolen bases in 22 games at the Arizona Fall League.
After that, he moved to 44th on Baseball America’s Top Prospect list, 27th on MLB.com’s (Pipeline) list, and 53rd on Baseball Prospectus’s list.
Frazier even continued his tear on minor league baseball by cranking 13 home runs in 89 games for Double-A Akron en route to earning a trip to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego just a month ago.
Then, he was sent to New York in a package that made the Indians not only clear favorites to win the central but among the favorites to raise the American League pennant.
Additionally, it made the Yankees’ farm system rank among the best in baseball.
Once the trade was made, the 21-year old was assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he has become one of the most highly praised prospects in the game.
Through 16 games in the Electric City, Frazier has maintained a .266/.309/.375 slash line with one home run and four RBI but is 13-for-40 (.325) over his last ten games.
Pipeline suggests that Frazier’s bat speed and raw power are among the best in the Minor Leagues and that all signs point to him reaching All-Star status with the New York Yankees one day as he has developed into more of a complete hitter.
According to Pipeline’s rankings, Frazier is the sixth best outfield prospect in the sport – one spot in front of Aaron Judge – and thanks to his solid speed, scouts expect him to become a more than proficient center fielder.
Out of all the prospects in the Yankees’ organization, Frazier is much more equipped to play center, despite the fact that he has been playing left with Ben Gamel in center. Pipeline also suggests that his cannon of an arm can make a shift to right field very easy.
Despite that, however, Yankee Stadium’s left field requires a more athletic bodied outfielder, so perhaps they’re prepping for that time to come.
As for his estimated time of arrival in the Bronx? Frazier is expected to commence the 2017 season in AAA unless he overwhelms his coaching staff with talent en route to earning a roster spot in the Majors out of Spring Training.
Don’t forget about what New York already has, though. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner are signed for quite a while so unless a trade of one of them happens soon, Frazier may be subject to play right and move of Judge to a designated hitter role.
Until his arrival in New York, get to know Frazier very, very well. He is on track to become one of the best prospects to make his way to the majors and after seeing the rise of Judge, and Gary Sanchez, this should be really exhilarating to watch.