2. Clint Frazier’s Disappearing Aggressiveness
Clint Frazier is possibly the Yankees’ most confident player. He’s got “legendary” bat speed, which at this point is stated more as a sarcastic joke than a genuine compliment.
Why? He seems to be affected by the lineup yo-yo’ing we’ve seen already this season. His leash is extremely short, and he’s ended up benched for Brett Gardner quicker than he can whip his bat through the zone.
Oh, about that. Doesn’t it seem like Frazier’s been completely off balance more often than not this season? Doesn’t it seem like he’s taking a lot of fastballs over the heart of the plate that he should be tattooing over the left-field wall?
Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier has become allergic to swinging at fastballs.
In the aftermath of Sunday’s game (a loss, naturally), Frazier led the Yankees in most fastballs stared-at in the zone, but had only seen the eighth-most fastballs in the zone out of the entire lineup. An almost-unfathomable ratio, per Jomboy of Jomboy Media.
Frazier’s defense (though he was a Gold Glove nominee) in the shortened 2020 season remains an adventure, but he showed last season that his offense can be so above-average that it counteracts whatever’s lost with his skittish outfield play.
This season? He’s not attacking the baseball to an unfathomable extent. He just attained his first RBI of the entire season in his very last at-bat of Wednesday’s sleepy loss. At this juncture, it’s hard to believe Frazier’s regressed so profoundly in one winter, especially when he’d supposedly earned the left field job with his standout 2020.
This is worrisome, though, because if being rotated with Gardner is digging this rut deeper, then don’t expect him to mentally snap out of it anytime soon. Without the offense, Frazier’s a non-starter, and he hasn’t gone on the attack at all this year.