The New York Yankees demoted Clint Frazier to Triple-A after their 10-3 blowout win against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. With new arrival Edwin Encarnacion needing a roster spot, Frazier was marked as the casualty. Frazier’s future with the team has just become that much cloudier.
The Bombers have hit a rough patch recently, as they have not won a series in the month of June. There has, however, been some light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a productive, 24-year-old outfielder. Frazier has been ridiculed for his defense and swirled in trade rumors, but he’s been able to block all of that out and consistently produce for the team.
The front office decided to expel Frazier to the minor leagues, a place he does not belong thanks to the level of production he had provided. Frazier is a talented player and a proven big-league hitter who has found himself in an unfortunate situation.
Through 53 games this year, Frazier owns a 118 wRC+ with 11 home runs, and an OPS of .843. To put that in comparison, reigning AL MVP, Mookie Betts, currently sports a 122 wRC+ paired with 11 homers and an OPS of .843. Clint also carries a .230 ISO compared to Betts’ .190 ISO. This is all with Frazier having 83 fewer at-bats. He is also slugging way ahead of both his age group and the MLB average.
Since the calendar turned to June, Frazier has been red hot. He touts a .362 wOBA with .375 on-base percentage and an OPS of .855 during the month. The young outfielder has also come through when the Yankees have needed him the most thus far, as he is slugging .825 with runners in scoring position. That figure was once as high as .868—which led the entire American League. With slugging comes power, and the Yankees are 8-1 when he goes yard.
I won’t neglect his defense. Yes, he has struggled in the outfield this year. He has committed numerous errors and misplays that have cost the Yankees in material ways. Frazier has been doing drills before games and during team practices with guys like Aaron Judge, but the real reps come in games. The Yankees can’t avoid him playing in the outfield forever.
Clint Frazier is a young stud with All-Star potential. His bat could soon be among the league’s elite with the numbers he has put up to this point. His glove needs to improve but it’ll only get better as time goes on. It was vital for the Yankees to play him every day for him to continue to develop and improve on his weaker areas. It’s just a shame that it isn’t happening in the majors.