2016 Statistics: 119 games, .263/.335/.447, 16 HR, 13 SB
2016 Level/Roster Status: Triple-A/Non-40
The Yankees acquired outfielder Clint Frazier when they decided to part with Andrew Miller at the trade deadline. Although the Yankees would have probably liked to keep Miller around, the price for closers on the trade market was too enticing for them to pass on at a time when it looked like they were going nowhere.
Frazier spent the majority of his season at Double-A in the Indians system. He played 89 games in Akron, hitting .276/.356/.469 for the RubberDucks in the Eastern League. He had only five games under his belt at Triple-A when he was sent to the Yankees, where he played the rest of the season for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in the International League.
The Triple-A numbers for Frazier weren’t quite as impressive. He batted .228/.278/.396 with three home runs in 25 games for the RailRiders. He did miss a small amount of time with injury, which should be taken into consideration. That’s not to say that his Triple-A numbers are concerning, because they aren’t. Most players are going to see a dip in production when they are bumped up to the next level. It’s to be expected.
With three outfielders (Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Judge) ahead of him on the depth chart, the Yankees can afford to get Frazier more time at Triple-A to start next season. He only turned 22 years old a month ago, so there is no need to rush him to the big leagues before he is ready. There will be plenty of time for him to get there now that he has already made it to the highest level of the minors successfully.
Frazier was definitely the gem of the Miller trade, and his inclusion made the Yankees’ system instantly better. He is definitely among their top five prospects, and could be considered in the top prospect by those who may put a little more weight on big league readiness.
The Yankees will invite Frazier to big league spring training before likely sending him to Scranton to start the season. It’s unclear how they will fit him on the big league roster at some point in 2017 unless there is a trade, but these things have a way of working themselves out. He should make his debut in the Bronx at some point next season, though, if everything goes according to plan.