By: Emmanuel Berbari & Christian Kouroupakis
While many would rather see Clint Frazier stay with the New York Yankees, Triple-A manager Al Pedrique believes the opposite is best.
MOOSIC, Pa. — Clint Frazier has been everything the New York Yankees could possibly want from a youngster at the Major League level.
The 22-year-old packs “legendary” bat speed, is one of five players in franchise history to record 14 or more extra-base hits in his first 26 games and has already become a fan-favorite.
Yet, there is some speculation surrounding a potential option to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when outfielder Aaron Hicks is reinstated from the disabled list. Sending down Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury or Aaron Judge is way too far-fetched, leaving Frazier as the odd-man-out.
While it may seem counterproductive for the Yankees to send a spark plug back to the minors, RailRiders’ manager Al Pedrique believes it’s the opposite of just that.
“If it’s a case where he gets sent down, I think he and the organization will benefit in the long run,” Pedrique said prior to the RailRiders’ Friday night contest against the Pawtucket Red Sox at PNC Field. “For me, anytime a young player is in the big leagues and they are the future of the organization, they need to play.”
Pedrique believes Frazier, while unquestionably enticing with his skillset and improvement, has much more to learn before he can establish into the superstar he’s projected to become.
Thursday night in Cleveland was a prime example of the learning curve that is taking place with “Red Thunder.”
Jose Ramirez‘s RBI single quickly turned into two unearned runs when Frazier airmailed everybody on his throw from right field to third base, which ended up in the dugout. The fundamentals, such as controlling his arm strength rather than trying to be a hero, are striking issues for the youngster.
“[Clint Frazier] needs to understand that you can win and lose a lot of games on defense,” Pedrique said. “We [need to] work on his defense and consistency with his routes, jumps, hitting the cutoff man because if you don’t, that could cause a lot of problems with the guy on the mound.”
His words give us a better understanding of the motive behind this promotion: an injury to Dustin Fowler. Frazier very well could be the starting left fielder for the 2018 Yankees, but his quick adjustment to “The Show” is only serving as a basis for the brass to make it happen — not rush him along in this year’s pennant race.
Despite having to polish his game, this is only the beginning of what should be a successful career in the bigs for New York’s top prospect.
“When the phone rings again and he’s ready to get back to the big leagues, he’ll know what to expect,” Pedrique said.