2. Naming Clint Frazier the Starting Left Fielder
Did anyone think this would truly materialize? We no doubt wanted it to, but it was never really a fit. In fact, Frazier was never really a fit with the Yankees. Unnecessary drama always followed him, and the Yankees, of all teams, are not one to deal with that. But for some reason they broke their usual protocol and saw it backfire.
Frazier’s faux defensive improvement in 2020 either fooled the Yankees or really wanted to make them believe the former Indians top prospect could be the answer for them. We’ll go ahead and blame Rawlings for even nominating him for a Gold Glove in 2020 because any objective viewer would agree Frazier’s “highlight reel” plays were a result of misreads off the bat or poor angles taken to track down fly balls/line drives.
ANYWAY, Frazier got the starting left field job in the offseason, ESPN reporter Marly Rivera oddly asked him if he was a “good left fielder” a week into the season, and we never saw Frazier again after June 30. Whether it was actually due to his vision issues or a Jacoby Ellsbury-like exile, don’t expect Frazier to play another game for the Yankees. It’s just not happening.
In 66 games, he played horrific defense and slashed .186/.317/.317 with five home runs and 15 RBI. He’d become one of the worst SIX players in Major League Baseball by July.
Though fans were once excited about what Frazier could bring to the table, the Yankees were always hesitant. They benched him in last year’s ALDS in favor of Brett Gardner. He was hardly ever rewarded for performing well. Then, they finally decided, “OK, give ’em the starting job.” Their instincts were right about Frazier and they abandoned them … just like they do with every other gut decision.