Let me start this piece by saying, I hope I’m wrong. I hope he proves me very wrong. However, right now, I’m not wrong about Clint Frazier.
The Yankees received Clint as part of a trade that sent Andrew Miller to Cleveland. I was a fan of Andrew Miller, but was more than willing to give Clint a chance. The Yankees were very high on Clint, even Brian Cashman seemed to gush over him, talking about his “legendary” bat speed.
Since his call up on July 1, 2017, it seems like the only thing “legendary” about Clint is his ego. He played 39 games (134 plate appearances) in the majors with the Yankees in 2017 according to Baseballreference.com, and hit .231 with 9 doubles and 4 home runs. Clint strained his oblique later in 2017 and did not play in the postseason.
Clint began the 2018 season on the DL with a concussion he sustained in spring training. He was up and down in 2018 due to ongoing issues from the concussion. I fully recognize he had to deal with the ramifications of the concussion the entire year, and for that, I feel bad for him.
Clint was quoted this past off-season saying he wanted Brett Gardner’s job. I personally didn’t care for the way he went about saying it, but understand the sentiment. He’s a minor league player, vying for a major league position. He wants to show he’s confident in himself.
Clint was on social media in the off-season interacting with fans (his first mistake) and talking very highly of himself. Clint even talked about wanting a new nickname. Again, I understand he needs to have confidence in himself and I would never begrudge him of that. However, when you have hardly spent any time in the majors, you have a lot to prove. Spouting off at the mouth about taking the position from someone who has earned their spot (and someone who plays as hard as anyone in the game), like Brett Gardner, when you haven’t proven yourself, makes you look like an idiot and rubs people the wrong way. Also, nicknames are earned, you don’t pick your own. For me, his nickname of “red thunder” isn’t even appropriate right now. He hasn’t brought any thunder with him when he’s played, thus far.
This spring training, Clint hit .130 in 53 plate appearances. He has looked lost at times at the plate and in the field. The Yankees seem to think he needs consistent at-bats to get going. He will get those in Triple A. I hope in a couple of months, after he’s had consistent at-bats in AAA, we will finally see what makes him “legendary”.