Clint Frazier was the main piece acquired in the Andrew Miller deal for a good reason. Will Frazier be able to live up to the hype surrounding him?
On July 31st the Yankees traded Andrew Miller to the Indians for four prospects. The best prospect in the deal was 21 year old Clint Frazier. Frazier was selected fifth overall in the 2013 draft out of Loganville high school and since that point he had been everything the Indians could have asked for.
However, the Indians have rarely been in the playoff hunt in recent years and the chance to acquire the best reliever in the game was too good to pass up.
Frazier has had another impressive year between the Indians and Yankees hitting to a .263 average with 16 home runs, 55 RBI, and 13 stolen bases between Double-A and Triple-A.
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He admittedly struggled during most of his International League stint, but heated up down the stretch and played a big role for the Railriders in the postseason, leading them to their first-ever Triple-A championship title.
One reason Frazier is such an exciting prospect is his combination of power and speed. He’s not far from being a 20-20 player, which is exactly the type of all-around offensive threat the Yankees need.
Even more impressive is Frazier’s ability to hit for contact and advanced approach at the plate. Over four seasons in the minors, Frazier has a .275 batting average and .355 OBP, walking in 10.2% of his MiLB plate appearances. He can put the bat on the ball, and shouldn’t have any trouble making the jump to the big leagues next year.
On the other side of the ball Frazier can capably handle all three outfield positions. He has the arm for right field if Aaron Judge doesn’t work out long term, and has played a lot of center field in the minors (2281 professional innings). The general consensus seems to be he will take over for Brett Gardner in left at some point though.
Frazier is currently ranked #16 on the MLB Pipeline’s 2016 Prospect Watch and probably won’t climb too much further in the spring because of his rough stint in Triple-A. Another great aspect of Frazier is that he is still 21 years old. He has everything the Yankees could ask for from a young prospect and if he turns out the way the Yankees he think he can, he could become a legitimate homegrown star.
So when will Frazier be ready? Sometime in 2017 for sure. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has previously predicted a mid-2017 debut, but if he rakes in spring training, the Yankees probably would let him earn his way on the roster.
No matter when he makes his debut Frazier has all the tools to become a superstar. Despite rumors of being dealt for an ace starting pitcher, New York has done a good job of hanging onto their top prospects recently and there’s no reason to think that will change. Frazier is a major reason many fans are already dreaming about the next Yankees dynasty.