Heading into a season where the New York Yankees shouldn’t intend on fully competing, where does top prospect Clint Frazier fit into these plans?
Last August, the New York Yankees made a deal with the Cleveland Indians which sent Andrew Miller to Cleveland and bringing back a large haul of talented prospects in return. One of the key pieces in that haul was outfield slugger Clint Frazier.
Since arriving in New York, Frazier has made his mark, posting workout video after workout video and dazzling fans with his ridiculous workload. All of this is great, but the real question is where this supernatural talent fits into the Yankees plans for the upcoming season.
While looking at his stellar batting practice tapes, it may seem like Frazier is currently ready to face major league pitching, however, this is not the case.
In 25 games with the Yankees Triple-A affiliate Railriders, Frazier sported a .228/.278/.396 slash line with just three home runs and seven RBI’s. He also had 30 strikeouts which was an effect from his lack of discipline in the box up to this point.
It is clearly evident that Frazier has been working hard over the offseason to work on these flaws, but only time will tell how his hard work translates to live pitching and if he can maintain focus at the plate.
While what is currently holding Frazier back in 2017 is his own skills, there is also an issue within the team’s roster which could keep the slugger down, a logjam in the outfield.
The Yankees currently have a great amount of talent in the outfield who are already producing at the major league level. The starting roles this season will most likely be handed to Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Aaron Judge.
This unbelievable amount of depth could hold Frazier back for potentially all of 2017 unless Cashman decides to trade away one of those names at the deadline in order to make room for the red-haired slugger.
However, the only way Cashman will trade away a guy like Brett Gardner is that if Frazier tears up Scranton-Wilkes Barre in the first half of the season, meaning that the ball is currently in Frazier’s court.
This means that if he does want to find his way into the Yankees’ 2017 plans, Frazier has to live up to all of the hype he is setting out for himself and prove to not only the Yankees organization, but to himself, that he is ready to make his mark on the Bronx as soon as this season.