Overall in 2016, the fifth pick in 2013’s June Amateur Draft slashed .263/.335/.447 with an OPS of .782 and 16 home runs in 119 games.
Although not jaw-dropping, his strikeout rate has declined rapidly since his professional debut three years ago while MLB Pipeline suggests the ceiling of an All-Star thanks to his raw power and lightening quick hands.
Frazier’s rise and major league ETA of 2017 has put the longest-tenured Yankee, Brett Gardner, on notice and if he is not dealt by Opening Day, one better believe that a surge by Frazier and another average year by Gardner would punch his ticket out of the Bronx.
In 2016, Yankees’ outfielders ranked 19th in batting average and 26th in OPS but it would have been much more inadequate if it weren’t for Carlos Beltran’s All-Star first half.
The lack of production from Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury had an undeniable effect on the entire lineup and while Cashman instituted change in the infield and behind the dish, his most ineffective players remained untouched.
It’s close to impossible to deal the contract of Ellsbury, yet Gardner may be on his way out. With that, you have to keep a close eye on Frazier who may put the pressure on the Yankees’ GM to deal Gardner either this offseason or the deadline to bring improvement to the club.
The kid has a ton of talent and we all paid witness to what Gary Sanchez did in the second half of last season. Perhaps Frazier plays that role of a kid who comes up halfway through and really gives the team some energy while perhaps sparking a run. That all depends on if he can channel his potential in the Electric City.
All in all, 2017 seems like it’s going to be very similar to that of 2016. A lot of pieces of the puzzle missing, a questionable rotation, and still a few veterans not producing like they once did.
That’s where the kids come in to make their mark, as they did when the organization shifted its methodology on Aug. 1.
Which prospect, if any, do you think will force a veteran out of their spot in 2017? Let your voice be heard in the comments below.