Clint Frazier continues to sit in triple-A while the New York Yankees lose another one of their key outfielders, so what’s the deal?
Clearly, Clint Frazier wishes he was up in the Bronx with the New York Yankees. Of course, and unfortunately for the Wildling, general manager Brian Cashman has repeatedly chosen to promote other outfielders.
The Yankees assigned Frazier to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre back on June 17 and the 24-year-old hasn’t been back since. Which, based on his recent post on social media, Frazier is clearly upset about that.
This is the latest from Frazier’s Instagram page:
This is the stuff that doesn’t help the kid in the least. How’s a social media post going to persuade Cashman?
Frazier played in a total of 53 games before he was sent down by the Yankees. The first-round pick in 2013 hit 11 doubles, 11 home runs, 34 RBI, with a 116 wRC+ and a slash line of .283/.330/.513/.843.
Frazier’s high amount of strikeouts and terrible defensive numbers were what led to his demotion. Frazier recorded a 28.2% strikeout rate and just a 6.2% walk rate. Furthermore, Frazier’s BB/K ratio showed that these rates were likely going to continue and possibly get even worse.
Frazier recorded a 0.22 BB/K ratio during his 53 games with the Yankees. So, while Frazier was producing a .230 ISO and .347 BABIP at the time of his demotion, those numbers would have likely decreased rapidly due to the increased amount of strikeouts.
The most troublesome part about Frazier’s time with the Yankees earlier this season was his awful defensive-play in the outfield. During Frazier’s 53 games with the Yankees, he recorded a minus-5 DRS, minus-4.7 UZR and minus-24.8 UZR/150 through 227.2 innings played in right field.
Frazier’s numbers have also gotten worse during his time at Triple-A. Which is likely a big reason as to why the Yankees haven’t called him back up yet. Frazier hasn’t exactly improved in any of the areas where he was struggling during his time with the Yankees either.
In 37 games at Triple-A, Frazier has hit 13 doubles, six home runs, 17 RBIs and has recorded a 90 wRC+. Frazier has also recorded a 5.0% walk rate and an 18.1% strikeout rate along with a 0.28 BB/K ratio. Frazier’s ISO and BABIP have also dropped significantly since his demotion as well.
As his .230 ISO and .347 BABIP that was recorded with the Yankees earlier this season, have now decreased to a .209 ISO and a .281 BABIP. Just solely based on Frazier’s offensive numbers, he just isn’t performing well enough to earn a promotion back to the Yankees.
Frazier’s defense also suggests why the Yankees have chosen to keep him down at Triple-A as well. Aaron Judge‘s return has forced Frazier to primarily play in left field. But Frazier has committed two errors during his 251 innings in left field at Triple-A this season. Which is very comparable to the three errors he recorded during the 227.2 innings he spent in right field for the Yankees this season.
Even with the number of injuries the Yankees have sustained in their outfield this season, they just can’t afford to have multiple defensive mishaps committed by Frazier. They also already have two outfielders who are outperforming Frazier in the big leagues this season.
Both Mike Tauchman and Cameron Maybin have recorded better offensive and defensive numbers than Frazier this season. In 58 games with the Yankees this season, Tauchman has hit 13 doubles, nine home runs, 34 RBI, 126 wRC+, .217 ISO, .373 BABIP and has slashed a line of .294/.368/.541/.910. Tauchman’s BB/K ratio of 0.39 also suggests that the 28-year-old’s production can be sustainable.
Tauchman has also been a much better defender than Frazier this season. In 444.2 innings split between all three outfield positions, Tauchman has committed just one error and has recorded a 9.0 DRS, 2.6 UZR and an 11.9 UZR/150. Tauchman’s performance alone is one of the reasons the Yankees have chosen to stick with him instead of recalling Frazier.
However, the Yankees have also gotten consistent production from Maybin as well this season. Through 49 games this season, Maybin has produced 11 doubles, five home runs, 19 RBI, 137 wRC+, .184 ISO, .406 BABIP with a slash line of .312/.394/.496/.890.
Although, Maybin’s defensive numbers haven’t been as impressive as Tauchman’s have been this season. In 376.2 innings split between left and right field, Maybin hasn’t committed an error. But Maybin has recorded a poor 0 DRS, minus-0.4 UZR and a minus-1.5 UZR/150.
While Maybin has slightly been a better defender than Frazier this season, his ability to get on base has been what’s set him apart. Maybin has recorded a 0.48 BB/K ratio this season. Which is currently 26 points higher than Frazier’s BB/K ratio.
If the Yankees were to swap Maybin for Frazier they would have to place Maybin on waivers. Which is clearly not something Cashman and the Yankees feel comfortable doing right now. So Frazier will need to force his way onto the Yankees roster with the way both Tauchman and Maybin are currently performing.
The Yankees are showing that they aren’t going to just bring Frazier up because of injuries. They want to see him make improvements at the plate and in the field before bringing him back up to the Bronx.
This means Clint Frazier needs to stop hanging his head and posting it on social media. Instead, continue to improve and work on his game so that the next time he’s with the New York Yankees, he won’t have to go back to the minors.