Frazier, as talented as he is, has a long way to go before earning the everyday left field job for the Yankees. 2020 could be his year to prove his talent.
The New York Yankees acquired Clint Frazier during the 2016 season, and the team expected him to be one of the cornerstones for future championship teams. However, Frazier has yet to live up to expectations. Also, several outfielders have leapfrogged Frazier for playing time.
As a result of this, Frazier has spent the majority of his time in the Yankees farm system. It is unfortunate for Frazier that the Yankees have at least half a dozen outfielders capable of starting for the club. Despite a variety of injuries to key players, including Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks, Frazier hasn’t been able to stay on the major league roster. It is not that he doesn’t have the talent, he just doesn’t play consistent enough to stay in the majors, and his defense is very subpar.
Last season, Frazier played in 69 games for the Yankees thanks to injuries opening a spot for him on the roster. Offensively, Frazier didn’t have a bad season, but defensively he struggled at times.
Frazier recorded 60 hits, 12 home runs, 38 RBI, 16 walks, all resulting in a .267 batting average. Those are some decent stats, but they weren’t impressive enough to earn a permanent spot in the majors.
In the outfield, Frazier struggled at times, tracking down fly balls, judging balls off the wall, and even accurate throws to the cutoff man. Those are simple mechanics that reps in Spring Training or even playing time in the big leagues, Frazier can work on to perfect so he can be the everyday outfielder for the Yankees.
In Spring Training, Frazier was ready to take the next step in the Yankees organization. He played in 12 games with a stat line of 8 hits, one home run, two RBI, seven walks and a batting average of .320.
Good news: the New York Yankees selected Aaron Judge in the supplemental first round of the 2013 MLB Draft! Bad news: their other first-round picks.
Frazier had been working hard in the off-season, and it showed in Spring Training. With Hicks out until the summer and Judge’s rib injury, he may find himself starting in the outfield when the season resumes. He falls into the same category as a handful of players who don’t have their position locked down and may only play due to injuries.
I don’t think he has played well enough in Spring Training to earn a starting spot in the lineup and will most likely find himself back in the minors for some time until he has earned his spot back.