Yankees Top Prospect Clint Frazier Placed on MiLB Disabled List

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Yankees top prospect Clint Frazier was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain on Sunday afternoon.

When Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier was lifted for a pinch hitter in the 11th inning of Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre’s 5-4 loss to the Rochester Red Wings, it was clear something wasn’t right. Today the inevitable bad news came.

The 21-year-old Frazier, ranked the 19th best prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline and number one in the New York Yankees system, was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.

This news comes right on the heels of a report that fellow talented Yankees outfielder Blake Rutherford, the team’s first round selection in the 2016 draft, will miss the remainder of the regular season with a hamstring issue. 

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The headliner of the four player package that New York received from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for elite lefty reliever Andrew Miller, Frazier has struggled since the trade and recently told Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media:

"I’m kind of pressing right now. For the first time, I’m pressing. I’m feeling good though. I’m in a good place. I’m in a good environment."

In 24 games for the Railriders, Frazier has hit .229/.282/.375 (85 wRC+) with two home runs in 103 plate appearances. That’s a significant drop-off from his .276/.356/.469 (129 wRC+) with 13 homers in 391 PAs for Cleveland’s Double-A affiliate.

This injury likely removes whatever slim chance there was that Frazier would join the big league club when rosters expand on September 1st. A promotion was already an extreme long-shot however, with the Yankees facing a roster crunch this winter and Frazier not eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft until after next season.

New York certainly has no shortage of outfield prospects to audition in the last month of the season. They already have five outfielders on the roster vying for three spots, and will likely add some combination of Ben Gamel, Mason Williams, Rob Refsnyder, and Jake Cave to the mix shortly.

Frazier has the highest ceiling of the group, but there is no rush to promote him at this point. The team will likely wait until he’s raking in the International League before giving him the call, like they did with Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge.

The good news is that, as far as we know, this is only a minor issue and Frazier could even return to help Scranton Wilkes-Barre for their postseason run. It’s smart to be cautious with a talent like Frazier, but this is probably nothing to worry about.