Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier must be one of the most discussed minor leaguers in baseball. Some wonder why the 24-year-old, a former top prospect, isn’t on the Yankees. Others ask why the outfielder-laden Yankees haven’t traded him away for immediate pitching help over the past couple years. It doesn’t seem they’ve shown a lot of willingness to add Frazier to their roster or trade hm since sending him back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in mid-June. Frazier has been stuck in the land of Dunder Mifflin for about two months with no clear end in sight, which he discussed with James Wagner of the New York Times in a piece that’s worth a full read.
Frazier held his own offensively earlier this season in the bigs, where he used what general manager Brian Cashman once called “legendary bat speed” to slash .283/.330/.513 (116 wRC+) with 11 home runs in 209 plate appearances. But that wasn’t enough to keep Frazier in New York. When the team acquired designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion from Seattle on June 15, it demoted Frazier. His defensive issues were among the primary reasons why (and it also helped that he has minor league options remaining).
Frazier had an embarrassing outing in right field, where he was filling in for the then-injured Aaron Judge, during a nationally televised loss to the Red Sox on June 3. That night wasn’t the lone dark hour for Frazier as a defender, though. Rather, Frazier has accounted for minus-11 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-8 Ultimate Zone Rating in 686 innings since he debuted in 2017.
Cashman, wanting Frazier to become less one-dimensional, was “brutally honest” in a phone call with the player a a few weeks after they sent him down, Frazier told Wagner. To help Frazier, the Yankees have deployed Scranton defensive coach Julio Bordon to work with him in the field. Manager Jay Bell appreciates Frazier’s diligence, informing Wagner, “I can’t tell you enough how impressed I’ve been with the way he’s gone about his work.”
Frazier does indeed seem committed to improving as a fielder, saying, “All my energy is going into being a defender because if I’m fortunate to get that call back, man, I want to be in the outfield and turn heads and people be like, ‘Wow, this guy has been working down there.’”
That may explain why Frazier’s minor league offensive numbers are significantly worse than they are in the majors this year. He has batted an underwhelming .250/.301/.469 (89 wRC+) with seven home runs in 173 trips to the plate. In Frazier’s estimation, though, it’s “crazy” that he’s not in the majors. “It’s one of those things where I know I’m not a finished product, but I don’t know if anyone is a finished product up there. I think I need to be tested against major league pitching and defense in the outfield in every aspect.”
Frazier, however, did admit: “I can’t be mad about my situation. Ultimately, I put myself here.”
Even with Encarnacion, first baseman Luke Voit and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton battling injuries, the Yankees haven’t recalled Frazier. There’s simply still no place for him in New York, which – despite its myriad injuries – is seemingly able to plug in anyone and get a big year from that player.
Veteran outfielder Brett Gardner has continued to get the job done, while fellow outfielders Mike Tauchman and Cameron Maybin have come from nowhere to enjoy magical campaigns. Judge and Aaron Hicks returned from early season injuries a while ago, too, and Mike Ford is logging time at DH/first. Frazier will have to continue waiting for his turn this year, then, and whether the Yankees will give him a real shot next season is difficult to determine. Judge, Stanton and Hicks will be back to start in the outfield, Encarnacion could return as DH, Tauchman won’t have an option remaining and the rock-solid Gardner could re-sign.
Thank you for The Office reference. That was great!
Stupid Yankees trade Frazier for his good dont be so cruel I said as a Yankee fan dammit
Chicks Dig the Longball
He’ll be in LF next year for them
No he won’t. They have Stanton, Hicks, Judge, Tauchman, Ellsbury (if he’s not dead), and I’m guessing they’ll bring back Gardy. He’ll compete for DH ABs or be traded this offseason.
Stanton will most likely DH next year. He is too expensive and too fragile to be fielding everyday. His defense isn’t the greatest either. LF in Yankee Stadium is a tough position to play. Gardner makes it look easy but when they put somebody like Stanton or Frazier out there you see how difficult it is. I hope Frazier comes back up when rosters expand and shows improved defense so he can take LF next year for the Yankees. If he continues to have issues then I would have to agree he will become trade bait for sure and they will resign Gardner to another cheap contract. Problem is every other team knows about Frazier’s problems on defense. What kind of a return would he even bring back as is? Maybe an aging #3 or possibly a solid #4? The Yankees already have several of those type pitchers. They need a true #1 to take the weight off of Severino.
He’s not in the show since they’re hiding him to get more in trade.
@pasha2k Sending him to AAA isn’t going to increase his trade value.
Especially the way he’s performing, and his attitude.
@bocephus I don’t think there’s going to be issues about his attitude as the article shows contrition and he’s young so ppl can see thru that. His AAA numbers aren’t going to be THAT much f an issue either. If he can hit the way he did in the 60 or so games in the bigs then I think that’ll hold more weight with potential trade partners. It’s his ability to improve his defense that’ll make a difference.
60 games = small sample.
The Yankees sent him to AAA to get him out of the media’s glare, get regular at bats, and to work on his defense. Disagree that if he indeed improves his defense, he has already shown that he can at least be a average MLB ballplayer and possibly a really good bat either for the Yankees or a trade partner.
Overall…that will improve his trade value if that’s the course the Yankees take!
Good article on Clint Frazier….wish him well and good luck in making it back to the show.
He’s in the minors because he isn’t a good player, and he’s on the Yankees because the rest of the league knows it. Guy sure does get a lot of press for someone that will never be an above average player, though.
I agree with you 100%…I’m not sure why people before the year were talking about Frazier taking gardner’s job lol Frazier will be lucky if he has half the career gardner has . Frazier has some serious mental and attitude issues.
@robluca21 I think you’re overstating things a bit. He wants to play in the bigs and start his career now. He doesn’t want to be the next Tauchman. A guy who posts good numbers in AAA but doesn’t get a chance until he’s 28/ The whole point of the article is “why is he still in AAA”. He has nothing left to prove with the bat but defensively needs to show he can hang.
For some reason the narrative is “he’s a overrated player who can’t play above AAA” instead of him being a former top 50 prospect who suffered a serious concussion which caused him not to remember a lot of simple everyday things that happened last year”. Not even baseball things just simple things like not remembering how he got to a certain place even though he was driving. Maybe I’m sensitive about concussions since my Uncle died of one back when I was a kid and I was named after him. He was playing ball in the military, fell cracked his head on the gym floor, went home to sleep it off and never woke up. THAT should be the narrative we consider.
Not to be all wishy washy but imagine being a top 50 prospect, you’re finally getting a shot to prove yourself and during a play where you dive for a ball you crack your head, get a concussion, suffer thru REAL SCARY personal day to day issues, lose an entire year to the chronic effects where you can’t even play and now that you have a chance in 2019 you blow it on some poor defensive plays despite hitting the ball well? When you have real aspirations and you feel anxiety about whether you’ll ever get back on track it’s tough. But he sounds contrite about his handling of the situation. I wish him well..
Ok with that being said …the reason why hes in triple a is because the following outfeidlers are all playing better than him on both sides of the ball according to fangraphs, baseball reference and baseball savant .
Also the Yankees probably dont want Frazier anywhere near the clubhouse because hes a jerk and Frazier and tauchman are the only of these players that can be sent to the minors without having to clear waivers .
Tauchman provides more versatility because he can play center and hes left handed on a right handed heavy team and tauchman is tearing the cover off of the ball.
“Also the Yankees probably dont want Frazier anywhere near the clubhouse because hes a jerk”..
See that’s called a “narrative”. Never heard a teammate call him a jerk and neither have you. All of a sudden Frazier is a “club house cancer”. That kind of stuff is so pervasive in today’s world. Sports…politics…etc.
Put yourself in his shoes. You crash into the wall making a diving catch, get a concussion and miss an entire year of your “not getting any younger career”. I seriously…SERIOUSLY doubt that a 24 yo kid is going to have a negative effect on a club house like the Yanks.
There are literally hundreds of top 50 prospects that did not have any kind of MLB career.
And concussions make for a tough issue. Look at Joe Panik. In 3 of his first 4 years he had an OPS+ over 100, In his 2nd year he slashed .312/.378/.455 with an .833 OPS and an OPS+ of 129. Then he had concussion issues and next thing is he got released. It’s no guarantee Frazier can move past his concussions issues in the way Panik could not.
You can say the same regarding serious mental and attitude issues for half the ballplayers currently playing….he is just a millennial ballplayer that wants to play now and is itchy to get back to the show.
Gardner has had a great career and mostly with the exception of his gold glove and the value the Yankees believe he brings each and every day….Frazier would be very lucky to have his career parallel Gardners.
As a Braves fan I think he has a lot of promise, if they can get him somewhere close to average defensively, he very well may be traded for pitching in the next year though
He’s already been above average when he has played
Offensively yes but when you factor in his defense and baserunning he has been below average overall..check fangraphs or baseball reference
Very small sample size. So let’s go ahead and judge his future as a MLBer because of one nationally televised game? And as far as his “issues”, seems to me he’s owning up to his past, according to the quotes above. And please have one more source besides Fangraphs. When people say “according to Fangraphs”, it makes me cringe
I said fangraphs and baseball reference. Check baseball savant and Brooks baseball as well…they all say the same thing about his defense .
Itsbnot a small sample size either..its cumulative defense metrics and ratings since he came up in 2017..they’re all bad..very bad.
And I mean he put up a 116 ops+ in the majors this season and hes below 100 in triple a this year…so lets not act like hes setting g the world on fire . He still has lots of holes in his offensive game
Why do all the Frazier fans get so upset when his defense of baserunning gets called into question ?
Lastly I hope the 3 other sites that all say Frazier is bad defensively is enough for you…sorry fangraphs makes you cringe…I understand not everyone is smart enough to understand defensive metrics metrics and how they’re calculated….these same metrics every front office in baseball uses.
The defensive struggles, are more than 1 televised game. He has a -11 DRS and a -17.4 UZR/150 for his career. You say that’s a small sample, but his total offensive MLB career, which amounts to a little more than a half season, isn’t?
Very small sample size.
I’m not sure how you say this about a 24 year old who has already proven he can hit in the bigs. He obviously has a lot to work on and some growing to do but I would be hard pressed to say he’ll never be above average. I feel like this thread is full of people who watched him play maybe 5 games and decided he’s awful because of 1 bad play against the Red Sox. Granted his defensive numbers are terrible right now but I definitely saw some tools they could build on and improve
I watch almost every Yankees game . Frazier has talent yes but hes far from a finished product and he thinks hes a lot better than he actually is. Hes done nothing in this game and needs to improve a lot on defense and the bases to reach his high ceiling.
He has a garbage attitude and I rather the Yankees deal him.
That’s exactly my point… he’s a 24 year old with obvious talent and work to do to be a finished project. But to say he’ll never be above average is a little ridiculous this early in his career. And I personally think the defense and attitude stuff is way overstated. None of us have any idea what his personality is actually like. The press flipped out because he didnt want to do an interview after a bad game or he took an extra few hours to report to AAA and it’s turned into this if baritone that he has a terrible attitude
well said. It seems today’s press is so concerned with creating narratives. He’s a kid who doesn’t have a lot of experience with the media and needs a vet to mentor him. Doesn’t make him a “bad” person. As a Yanks fan I’m SURE…..POSITIVE that there are probably some guys that are REAL jerks and we wouldn’t know about it unless a player speaks on it.
And trust me, I don’t have any reason to say this about Frazier. I’m not particular a “fan” of him. Never met him and I don’t get a single dime of what he makes. I just hate “narratives’ because it doesn’t need to be true but ones it’s out there it’s near impossible to change it.
Agree with everything except your thoughts he’ll never be anything more than average…he has the bat potential to be really good but only time will tell!
Totally agree, but potential means nothing. Thousands of guys have had potential that never made much of an impact. And as you say only time will tell.
“…how you say this about (someone) who has…proven he can hit in the bigs.”
But he hasn’t. He’s got a little more than half a season’s worth under his belt. Baseball is rife with guys that had great starts, great first years or more, but over the long run couldn’t adjust when pitchers found weaknesses. It’s far too soon to say Frazier has proven anything, including his defensive liability. My guess is he won’t hit as well as he did initially, but probably won’t be as bad with the glove as he has showed so far.
I don’t think anyone, other than a Yankee hater thinks he isn’t a good player. The purpose of the article is to discuss why a kid who was a top prospect BEFORE HE WAS TRADED TO THE YANKEES AND AFTER is still in AAA despite posting .283/.330/.513 (116 wRC+) with 11 home runs in 209 plate appearances.
If you think that line is indicate of him not being worthy of playing time, with the Yanks or otherwise, then I’m not sure what to say about your intelligence.
I just don’t understand why fans of other teams have this thing about tearing down or being negative towards a prospect of another team. I mean if he was a Red Sox player I wouldn’t be so dismissive of him because of that fact. At what point do numbers matter? If he were a Dodger I don’t you would say the same thing. He has to prove himself but to say what he “will never be” is an obvious display of haterism. Or being a dufus. One or the other.
First off im a Yankees fan…and the reason why hes in the minors with his slash line is because his defense is very bad..yes believe it or not theres more to being an everyday player than swinging the bat. Also couple that with the fact that tauchman, gardner and maybin all currently have a better slash line than Frazier did and all play defense light years better than him
Gardner is on his last leg in the bigs. Unless he can be used as part of a package to get a SP then I’d rather they keep and develop him. He’s not the only guy who comes up and can’t play average defense.
Yeah people said that gardner was on his last legs last year..and hes having the best season of his career this year and is second on the Yankees in WAR
Hopefully the yanks package Frazier and get a starter
Wait, aren’t you the knickscavs guy? You seem to be making a total reversal on Gardner.
@steven_chinwood I’m on my laptop. Didn’t even realize what my name was. No I’m not having a reversal in how I see Gardner. I always thought going into this year he should’ve been the 4th OF. According to Cash the plan was to have him start in LF while Frazier knocked the rust off from missing most of 2018 with the hopes that he would eventually take over for Gardner.
What I said about Gardner was more relating to stupid Yankee fans who couldn’t understand the logic of bringing him back on a 1 year deal. Some were acting as if his 1 year deal (and that of CC) was somehow keeping the Yanks from signing a star pitcher. But Gardner, even if he’s playing an important role, should NOT be our starting LF next year. I am perfectly fine with them bringing him or Tauchman back next year as a 4th OF. With the recent injuries we’ve seen Judge, Stanton and Hicks go thru it makes sense to bring him back again on another 1 year deal.
@robluca you do realize that a position exists called DH? And at this position, a player can bat only and not play the field correct?
And you must also realize that DH-only guys are not held in very high value.
@tad The game is changing and roster flexibility is a huge plus. I completely agree with that shift. However, there is still a roll for bat first player, especially since it is a matter of time before the NL goes DH. I’m not a Frazier lover by any means but to say he’s trash or has negative value is factual incorrect. If used as a DH for a team, especially a small market, he’d have tremendous value at least until his arb years kick in. League minimum for a guy in your lineup who can put up an OPS in the .800 or even .900s will always have some sort of value for somebody.
@ sandy dipsplit. What’s the bet you haven’t even seen him play, you’re just some blowhard who hates the Yankees. This kid will be a solid contributor on a major league club very soon.
“What’s the bet you haven’t seen him play” Yea, because it’s completely impossible to see Yankees games anywhere online. That comeback of “you haven’t seen him play” rings hollow in 2019 genius.
He’s a tough fit on a team that is getting a lot of offensive production from many of their players—especially since he’s not a plus in the field. I think he’s going to be playing in the Majors next year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it were on the Yankees. Maybin isn’t going to be back, Encarnacion has a $20M option, $5M buyout, and would you rather have Encarnacion for a net $15m of Frazier for MLB minimum?
I rather have Fraizer and Maybin at league minimum.
Maybin is making 555K Frazier is making less. Bringing back Gardner is going to cost them millions and also hand cuff them.
Honestly trade the guy already he’s prob going through some tough stuff mentally. Let Frazier shine else where.
Maybin isn’t going to play for league minimum. Kind of amazing Maybin has played for 8 teams in 13 years. And was part of that crazy Tigers-Marlins trade with Cabrera and, Dontrelle,
*Julio Borbón not Bordon
I think if someone had made a reasonable offer for Clint he would have been traded. I don’t think anybody wants him that much, and nobody wants to help the Yankees.
I believe the Tigers would’ve been happy to trade Castellanos or Greene bean for him. Whether or not the trade value was there is a completely different story.
I cant remember the last time a player thats done nothing in the majors besides produce around league average offense for his career get this much press …similar to Yadier puig…both very overrated outfeidlers that get more hype and press than they deserve
I know… someone should tell MLBTR’s Castellanos is having a great start with the Cubs. At least that would fit more with the MLBTR title than some guy that might get traded one day. Oh I forgot, Castellanos can’t play for a national league team because he’s unplayable. All winter we heard how Castellanos can’t be traded to a national league team. Castellano’s defense is just that bad. No national league team would dare take that chance.
Rumors are funny sometimes.
At least Puig plays good defense.
Why it was just last week that Yankee fans were telling me this guy was good enough to trade for a front line starter. Why oh why is he rotting in the minors at 24?
Frazier and Lasagna… the guy with a 9.27 era at AAA. They were going to get Bumgarner or Thor for them. Yankee fans are funny.
@melchez OMG how wise of you to look at the all of 12 innings he pitched in AAA this year. I can show you 100 samples of guys who pitched 12 innings and had a bad ERA. You’re a mental rockstar. He might well never be anything but use some common sense. Use context. And regardless, the industry has him listed as a top 100 prospect. Oh yeah…that doesn’t matter when it’s a Yankee prospect. They don’t count. And for BumG I would not be shocked if he were traded for 1 or 2 top 50-100. If you’re paying attention the return on rentals hasn’t been that impressive of late.
What “industry” has Lasagna as a top 100 prospect? He’s 6th on the Yankees and they only have 3 top 100… a 20 year old with an era around 7 and a 21 year old struggling in A ball. And a 16 year old they stole from the Dominican.
Southbeachbully OMG!!!! You Yankee fans are not too bright.
What are you going on about? Nobody has Loiasiga in any top 100.
Yea I’ve seen a couple of Yankees fans on here who said that Florial was gonna be up this year,
Here we go again…Yankee fans are not bright but Melchez posts while scrubbing up for brain surgery!
Actually MLB had him ranked #66 at the end of last season.
Baseball America had him at 64 this year.
Actually…. he’s not listed on the top 100. I think Justus Sheffield was a top 100 also…. not any more. Blake Rutherford… Tyler Wade… Prospect ratings seem to love over valuing Yankee prospects.
Do we really need to google every teas prospects to prove to you that guys land on the list and fall back off equally? Or can you just admit that your Yankee hatred leads to your confirmation bias?
Comments were made that Loaisiga was never on any top 100 lists. I was simply pointing out that as of 6 months ago he was on at least 2.
Hes not listed as a top 100 prospect… really. Look it up. Hes not there.
As far as “someone said he was never a top prospect”… I dont recall anyone saying that. But if you want to move the goal posts…
Maybe a simple reading comprehension course would help this fellow.
@melchez and @bocephus
Jonathan Mayo at mlb had him @ #66 and Baseball Prospectus had him @ #64 both in their top 100 list this year. It’s listed on baseball-reference.
Everyone is talking about right now bro. Nobody was referring to past lists. Again current rankings, and NOT past rankings.
I’m talking about a list that came out THIS YEAR!!! What are you missing?
You’re a lost cause!!! CURRENT LISTS AND NOT ONES THAT CAME BEFOREHAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Because there really weren’t any starters that were worth the outlandish trade demands of the GM’s of the teams they played for that’s why!
He’s in the minors because the current roster players are playing exceptionally well while Frazier hones both his offensive game and works on his defense to raise his overall game.
I honestly don’t get this…if you know he’s not as good as advertised, why not fool some other team into taking him off your hands before he goes all Blake Swihart on you.
He’s 24…time to actually make a decision.
Here’s a transcript of the phone conversation.
Cashman: Aaron, I called to tell you of the upcoming roster move.
Boone: What’s happening?
Cashman: Down Goes Frazier.
Just NY hype.
@qbass187 What was he when he was with the Indians then? He was a top 50 prospect across the board back then.
Have you noticed how many posts a thread about the Yankees generates? Over 40 in less than an hour. The threads around it are still in single digits.
I wonder if the Yankees asked MLBTR to “please write something positive about Frazier, we’d really like to trade him in the winter.”
Funny reading this article and the comments and remembering that a lot of the comments regarding the Gerrit Cole trade were laughing that the Bucs blew it by not taking the Yankees offer that was centered around Clint Frazier.
What part of him having a concussion are people missing? And let’s not act as if Musgrove or Moran are lighting it up either. In fact.Frazier’s number are a tad bit better than Moran’s.
Gozurman…..You couldn’t be more incorrect if you tried….the Bucs were asking for either Torres or Andujar to headline and filling in around Frazier and probably anywhere between 2-3 more….absolutely heresy by Huntington as he always tries to “win” trades and he was trying to extract a ridiculous return.. There never was any trade proposal centered around Frazier and secondly, Cole wasn’t exactly coming off a couple of elite years when the Bucs were trying to move him….
He will be up in a few weeks, and if they hold him down until the 28th they get an extra year. He has a sweet swing and they thought he would be the left fielder of the future. I still believe that. So let Popeye go next year and have Frazier and Tauchman compete for left field
At this point Frazier is behind Stanton, Hicks, Judge, Gardner, Tauchman, and Maybin. He may get a shot next year. I can see him being traded in the winter, or being the the starter in LF next year.
Starter in Scranton.
Why do I get the feeling none of those quotes are actual quotes and just spin to get teams interested in him again? The quotes seem very generic.