Frazier was asked when he first started playing baseball.
"I started playing when I was three years old. My mom would throw to me in the front yard, and I’d use a huge yellow playmate bat that was almost bigger than me. I played in a little church tee-ball league and continued to love the game. I’ve always had a passion for the game and a desire to play in the Major Leagues," Clint said.
Frazier doesn't look like a slugger, and not just because of his Carrot Top hair.
When he was a 6th-grader and taking the President's Challenge Physical Fitness Test, his gym teacher mentioned that the record for consecutive push-ups was around 120. So Clint dropped down and ripped off 142.
When Frazier was in the 7th grade, he was a team manager on the Loganville High team, and once in a while Coach Segars would let him take BP.
"He'd be parking balls over the fence," Segars said. "Everyone would stop what they were doing to watch him hit."
Clint made the freshman team at Loganville High as an eighth grader and became a starter on varsity the following year. When he would walk up to the plate as a ninth-grader, Loganville fans would chant, “He’s our freshman!”
He played travel ball through middle school and by the end of his freshman year, he was gaining interest from colleges. Before starting his sophomore year of high school, he had an offer from Georgia.
- Participating in travel ball and the showcase circuit is costly and right when Clint was in the thick of it, Mark Frazier lost his job as a salesman at a local cement company.
“It couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” Mark said. “It’s never a good time. We pinched pennies and got it together.”
- Frazier graduated from Loganville (Georgia) High School in 2013 with a commitment to the University of Georgia.
Frazier's unwavering belief in his own ability helped him produced a .561 on-base percentage and 1.134 slugging percentage during his senior campaign. A year earlier, he swatted a game-winning double in the state semifinals before directing the Loganville Red Devils to the AAAA Georgia state title. That season, his junior year, he batted .424 with 24 home runs. His 63 round-trippers are a school record.
Clint has bright red hair. He is an explosive, quick-twitch athlete. He plays the game with a professional attitude. He quietly goes about his business and displays good makeup. He plays like his hair is on fire, pardon the pun. But the bigger the stage, the bigger the game, he is right on top.
Frazier was asked what his favorite baseball movie is. He said, "I honestly don’t have a favorite movie. I’m not a big TV or movie watcher. I prefer to go on YouTube and look at highlight films of professional baseball players."
Asked what player he would sit down with if he could pick any player from the past or present, Clint said, "I would sit down with Bryce Harper. He lived up to all the hype and was a professional player at 19 years old. I really like him as a player, and he’s currently one of the players I’d love to be as good as one day!"
Clint was asked if has any pre-game rituals or superstitions.
"I do the same thing before I hit every single time. It all starts on-deck and ends right before every pitch. I imagine myself getting a big hit, preferably a home run. Then, when it’s time for me to hit, I will lick the fingertips of my right hand in the batter’s box. I don’t know why I do it, but it works," Frazier said.
Frazier said if he wasn't a baseball player, "I would be a football player. I come across as a football player more than I do a baseball player. I like to be very physical, and that’s why I play my game with such intensity."
- Clint is a modest and unflappable man that puts his best effort and passion for the game of baseball into every pitch. He is confident in his abilities, but channels that into his performance rather than his personality or appearance.
“It comes from respecting the game and loving what I do,” Frazier said. “I’m not trying to go out there and show anybody up and make them look bad. At the same time, I’m trying to go out there and hold my own and not get pushed around.”
Frazier cites Mike Trout and Bryce Harper as players he likes to emulate.
Frazier was named the 2013 Baseball America High School Player of the Year. He hit .485 with 17 home runs, 45 RBI and 22 steals for Loganville (Ga.) High School as a senior.
In 2013, Frazier got drafted by the Indians (see Transactions below).
Clint has a great personality, similar to Dustin Pedroia, one of Terry Francona's favorites in Boston. The best part of his game is that he knows how to play the game hard every day.
In June 2013, when Frazier was drafted and signed, he was no longer a high school kid who had a midnight curfew on the weekends. He was now a millionaire professional athlete preparing to report for his first job.
“It’s crazy when I think about it right now,” Frazier said. “But it’s what I always wanted to do. My mom still has a picture I drew in kindergarten that she saved and put away in a scrapbook. We had to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up. I drew a baseball player.”
After visiting with Indians manager Terry Francona, who admired his firm handshake, a wide-eyed Frazier was treated to a private heart-to-heart conversation with Jason Giambi, the Indians’ 42-year-old DH, in the third-base dugout.
“I remember playing with him on a video game,” said Frazier, who was 8 months old when his new mentor made his Major League debut with the Oakland Athletics. “Just to be sitting next to the guy, just how big he still is and all the words of wisdom he’s given me in taking me under his wing, that’s all I could ask for.”
Giambi left Frazier practically speechless when he handed him a piece of paper with his cellphone number on it, just in case a question or two pops up along his baseball journey.
As Frazier came in to change into his uniform, he was startled to be met by a room full of guys wearing goofy, bright red wigs — a nod to Frazier’s curly red hair that flows out from the back of his baseball cap.
“That was awesome!” Frazier said with a wide grin. “I never knew what it would be like to meet a bunch of major leaguers at once. Seeing all of them in red wigs, giving me a hard time, was something I could not put into words.” (Stephanie Storm - 8/11/13)
In 2014, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Frazier as the 2nd-best prospect in the Indians organization. He was at #3 in the winter before 2015 spring training, then back to #2 a year later, in the spring of 2016.
Having acquired Clint in the Andrew Miller deal, Frazier was ranked #2 in the Yankees organization in the spring of 2017, behind only SS Gleyber Torres.
- Early in 2014 spring training, Indians farm director Ross Atkins put it this way: “The way (Frazier) embraced his teammates, the way he embraced (the organization), the way he embraced professional baseball and him talking about the things he wants to do and the impact he wants to make, the impression he’s made on everyone in this organization has been nothing but positive.”
Frazier has focused on getting stronger.
“I weighed in at 184 (pounds) when I was drafted, and now I’m 210,” he said in Feb., 2014. “I didn’t work out for two years (following elbow surgery as a senior), so once I started lifting again, the weight came back on.”
June 15, 2013: The Indians No.1 draft pick in the draft Clint Frazier was welcomed to professional baseball by the Indians as they wore red wigs to match Frazier's red hair before the game against the Nationals at Progressive Field, the same day he signed his first pro contract.
Frazier also took part in batting practice with the Indians.
October 2015: From high school to the 2013 Draft, Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier are constantly crossing paths, and their careers are forever intertwined. "We grew up together at a young age, we played baseball together and we got to go through the process together of what it's like to experience something life-changing," Frazier said. "From there on, we've really seen each other grow as players and grow as human beings as well."
Both Frazier and Meadows were selected in the first round—Frazier, fifth overall to the Indians and Meadows, ninth overall to the Pirates—but that's not all that links the two. The elite prospects are connected because of where they grew up. Frazier attended Loganville High School in Georgia. Just 4.6 miles away, Meadows was playing at Grayson High School.
"It was very, very neat to have them both so close together," said Jed Hixson, Meadows' coach at Grayson High School. "To think that they were both, at different points, touted as the best player in the nation. It's just crazy to think that they were a stone's throw from each other."
The two players also had some important similarities.
"We both play the game the right way, play the game hard," Meadows said. "He's got a great bat and a lot of speed. It's fun watching him compete. He's a great player."
After being drafted into different organizations, in different leagues, the duo could have easily lost touch after the draft. But that is not the case, as Meadows and Frazier stay in touch and work out together four days a week in Johns Creek, Ga. during the offseason, before 2016 spring training. And it's not just the players that are good friends. Their families are close as well.
"My dad and his dad were pretty good friends. They coached together in Little League, and our moms sat together in the stands," Frazier said. "Personally, I think the relationship really started to grow when we got into our senior year and saw what each other was going through doing all the travelling together, the summer ball, the Perfect Game All-American Game, Under Armour. Our parents were together through the whole thing."
"We grew up together basically," Meadows said. "Grew up playing against each other, our parents are good friends, we work out together in the offseason. ( William Boor/2015)
In 2016, the Indians chose Frazier to represent them at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
At Loganville High School in Georgia, Frazier once hit a home run 500 feet.
Frazier is a devout Christian and points to his parents for instilling those values. On his left wrist is a tattoo: Phil 4:13, which stands for Philippians 4:13: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Quietly, Frazier has reached out to those in need and wants to continue to help as he climbs the ladder. By doing so, he helps himself as much as others. “I want to impact other people’s lives and be more than a baseball player,’’ Frazier said.
Frazier has built a relationship with Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, who has a special way of connecting with young Yankees. “Reggie is like a father figure to me,’’ Frazier said. Frazier was struggling in a road game late in Instructional League this fall in Florida, telling Jackson he was putting too much pressure on himself with every overaggressive swing he took. “Get all your stuff together,’’ Jackson told Frazier after the game, “you are not riding the bus. You’re riding back with me.’’ So there was Frazier in full Yankee uniform getting in Reggie’s car.
“We stopped to get frozen yogurt,’’ Frazier said. “We got out of the car and people are looking at us and I say, ‘Reg, if people had any question [whether] you are Reggie Jackson I believe you are covered because I am in full Yankees uniform right now.’ We got our frozen yogurt and we connected on a personal level. He told me some things about his past and I told him some things about mine. It was awesome. I shot a text to my mom and dad, ‘I’m at a frozen yogurt with Reggie Jackson.’ My mom was like, ‘What!’“ I’ve probably watched the documentary on Reggie eight times,’’ Frazier said. “His home run trot, I love it. There is so much swagger in his home run trot. So much of his personality is in the way he is running around the bases. He’s my favorite player.
“I called him recently and he had a conversation with me and my dad for 30 minutes, and my dad was like a little kid talking to him. I will never compare myself to Reggie, but the way he felt about himself, the way he acted, I want to emulate that—in a good way. I don’t want to make people hate me, but he is intimidating. That’s the way I want to be.’’ Jackson told The Post: “I love the fact that when he called me over the winter from Atlanta, he was spending time with his dad. His father [Mark] was throwing him batting practice.
“To be honest with you, it made my day. It made my day that one of our kids that is an asset to us, wanted to call and talk baseball. I’m a Yankee. If you’re calling and talking to me, you love baseball and you love the Yankees and that’s what I’m there for. I’m going to be there for him.” When Frazier was traded to the Yankees, Jackson first met him in the dugout at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“I don’t know if he knew my name, but he called me Red and kept telling me I have to cut my hair,’’ Frazier said. “He and [Triple-A outfielder] Jake Cave had a pretty good relationship, and Jake was messing with him saying, ‘Reggie when you played, you had that Afro that was hanging over the hat.
’“All Reggie responded, and I love this was: ‘But Reggie hit 40.’“That’s when I was like, ‘I’ve got to hang out with this guy.’ He worked with me every day in Instructional League,’’ Frazier said. “He swung for the fences. He impacted ballgames, took pressure off his teammates and that’s what I want to do.’’ (Kevin Kernan/ NY Post/ Jan.2017)
Clint liked his hair, but he said he loves playing for the Yankees more. Frazier's curly red mop was buzzed down in the clubhouse during 2017 Spring Training at the suggestion of manager Joe Girardi, who said that he felt that the long locks had become a distraction in camp.
"In thinking to myself and talking to a few people around here, I finally came to the agreement that it's time to look like everybody else around here," Frazier said.
Girardi said that he spoke to Frazier about the hair, but acknowledged that it did not specifically violate the Yankees' longstanding grooming policy, which was instituted by George M. Steinbrenner in the 1970s.
"We have rules in place. In reality, when he was on the field, it met the criteria," Girardi said. "But it had become somewhat of a distraction, and I didn't want that anymore. He didn't want that, and he made a choice."
Frazier said that his hair has not been this short since his parents made him cut it in seventh grade. The Yanks said that they are donating Frazier's hair to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children suffering from long-term medical hair loss.
"We've been impressed by Clint's work ethic, the improvement that he has made on the field, in the outfield, his throwing," Girardi said. "He's a good kid. He's a fun-loving kid. He plays hard. He does a ton of things right. I'm excited about his future."
One of the Yankee coaches, Reggie Jackson, observed that Frazier had his best batting-practice session of the spring after the haircut, saying that he was finally able to relax.
"I just want to play," Frazier said. "That's all I want to do." (Hoch - mlb.com - 3/10/17)
July 1, 2017: Clint Frazier's first career home run induced tears of joy. The first home run of one's career usually comes with some manner of ceremony. There's not much to it, but at least the player gets to keep the ball. For Clint, his first Major League home run—in the seventh inning of the Yankees' 7-6 loss to the Astros—meant a little more than the typical debut dinger.
The home run itself wasn't anything to write home about. It just got into the left-field seats at Minute Maid Park, but that didn't diminish its importance to the interested parties. Frazier's mom, for one, recognized the import of the occasion. The player himself was a bit more subdued than his mother, but his reaction still reflected appropriately on the gravity of the occasion. (MLB.com - July 2, 2017)
Clint said that he immediately thinks about getting to second base as soon as his bat makes contact, and that exciting brand of play quickly established him, as a rookie, as a valued piece of the Yankees' lineup.
Frazier hustled out of the batter's box twice in one game in mid-July 2017, stretching hits into doubles. Frazier said that is what people should expect from him on a nightly basis.
"Every time I hit the ball, I'm thinking extra-base hit," Frazier said. "I just know what it's like to have a guy run hard out of the box. It's difficult whenever they're forcing you to make a perfect throw on a bang-bang play. I'm just trying to be aggressive and get in scoring position."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi believes that Frazier may be more athletic than people give him credit for. Girardi said Frazier runs the bases very well, going from first to third as well as anyone on the roster.
"It's a great mentality to have," Girardi said. "I think part of it is youth, and he's excited to be here, but it's a mentality that all players should have."
"I'm just trying to make sure I'm running the bases aggressively, but [be] smart while I'm doing it," Frazier said. (Hoch - mlb.com - 7/18/17)
Clint yielded his jersey's No. 30 to David Robertson, allowing the new Yankees reliever to reclaim the number that he feels most comfortable in. (Hoch - mlb.com - 7/19/17)
Feb 9, 2019: The Yankees were sold on Clint Frazier's potential in the summer of 2016, when general manager Brian Cashman lauded the recently acquired prospect for his "legendary bat speed." They had the opportunity to see it for themselves one year later, as the promising outfielder homered in his big league debut. Frazier's path toward a bright future was altered last February, when he slammed the back of his head into an outfield fence in Bradenton, Fla. Eventually diagnosed with a vestibular concussion, Frazier endured frightening consequences, acknowledging that he had difficulty operating a vehicle and remembering the names of his two cats.
Limited to 34 at-bats with the Yanks last season 2018, the 24-year-old Frazier arrived in camp sporting a clean bill of health, announcing his intent to challenge incumbent veteran Brett Gardner for reps in left field. Frazier's bravado may have created a spring stir two years ago, but in this case, the club could not be more pleased to hear that his confidence is back.
"I think I want to continue to show what I did in 2017," Frazier said. "I showed some glimpses of being able to go up there and perform whenever I got some opportunities. Last year was different because I didn't get a chance to really get my feet wet as much as I wanted. I have to go up there and make the most of every opportunity that I have."
Though Frazier said he believes this represents his best opportunity so far to make an Opening Day roster, the Yankees' crowded outfield suggests he will have to light up Grapefruit League pitching to avoid a return to the Minors. Cashman scoffed at suggestions that his team might pursue superstar Bryce Harper, pointing out that the Yankees already had Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Gardner, Frazier and Jacoby Ellsbury under contract. Frazier tried to steer clear of the Hot Stove scuttlebutt, though he remained active on social media, frequently interacting with fans. At one point, Frazier announced that he wanted to replace his nickname, "Red Thunder," asking for suggestions. For the moment, he favors "Wildling," cribbed from HBO's 'Game of Thrones.'
He was busy off the field as well, making at least five trips to see Pittsburgh-based specialist Dr. Mickey Collins, who ultimately issued Frazier the green light to resume full baseball activities. "Whenever I wasn't feeling right, I was trying not to talk too much about it," Frazier said. "I wanted to be able to voice how I felt whenever the concussion symptoms were gone. I've been doing some stuff for a few months."
Frazier has had to make some lifestyle changes. He cannot sleep past 9:30 a.m. or consume alcohol, and Collins has recommended exposure to loud noises, which is why Frazier has been attending concerts regularly. Most importantly, he expects to be prepared to take on a full workload.
"I feel a difference in my quality of life, just the happiness whenever I wake up that I'm finally through the hard times that I was going through then," Frazier said. "Now it's just like, I feel like a new person on the field. You appreciate the things that are very simple tasks in life that get taken away from you whenever something happens."
His early batting-practice displays at the Minor League complex have not suggested the presence of rust. Frazier said he tuned his swing against a machine while working out in an Atlanta suburb, cranking the velocity into the triple digits while moving about eight feet in front of the batter's box.
"It's an exciting feeling. I'm ready to get out there," Frazier said. "I wish games started tomorrow. It's been a long road and I'm happy to be down here in Tampa with the rest of the guys right now." (B Hoch - MLB.com - Feb 9, 2019)
2020 Season: Clint wasn’t free from Scranton to start the year, but once he made his way to the Bronx, there was no turning back. Frazier wasn’t brought up from the Alternate Site to the majors until August 11th, between the placement of Giancarlo Stanton (8/9) and Aaron Judge (8/14) on the injured list. It didn’t take long for Clint to make his presence felt. From his first game:
Frazier’s had opportunities with the Yankees a few times over the years — though some better than others — and has spent time at Triple-A each year since 2016. That’s a lot of time shuttling between the minors and majors over the past four years. Of course, a big part of that was the concussion he suffered in 2018 which undoubtedly threw off his trajectory.
Perhaps Clint deserved this shot sooner, but it’s better late than never. It was incredibly frustrating to watch a number of players go down due to injury this season, but the silver lining was Frazier’s breakout.
An offensive breakoutOnly two other Yankees had better batting lines that Frazier this year: DJ LeMahieu (177 wRC+) and Luke Voit (152 wRC+). Red Thunder batted .267/.394/.511 (149 wRC+) in 160 plate appearances. He also belted 8 homers and walked 15.6 of the time. There’s no doubt that Frazier’s bat was a shot in the arm for an offense that missed some of its stars for extended periods of the regular season.
It’s not like this performance came as a huge surprise, by the way. Perhaps a 149 wRC+ is higher than one might have anticipated, but we’ve known for some time that his bat is full of potential. Now, I don’t think he can sustain a 149 wRC+ over 600 plate appearances, but I also don’t see why he can’t be a 20 to 30 percent above average hitter. He’s got that legendary bat speed, he’s got power, he’s shown improved patience, and he grades well per Statcast.
A huge step forward defensively Frazier raking wasn’t a total surprise. But his work in the outfield corners? Wow. Before this year, it was hard to imagine Frazier playing average defense, let along good defense. He had some adventures in the outfield in recent seasons, to put things nicely. Yet, Clint was good enough to be a finalist for a Gold Glove in right field. Joey Gallo won the award (which was determined by stats this year, by the way), but it was a good showing for Frazier nonetheless.
I wrote about Frazier’s glovework back in September in order to understand what had changed from previous seasons. Go read that for the details, but the short of it is: Frazier got better jumps on fly balls this year by going on first instinct even if it wasn’t a perfectly direct route. Take a look:
His overall route fell to below average, but his reaction and burst more than made up for it. In past seasons, his route to the ball was actually decent, but his initial hesitancy held him back. Now, he’s just letting his athleticism take over. To me, it sounds like a much more confident player.
Overall, Frazier finished in the 82nd percentile in outs above average and 58th percentile in outfielder jump. He was also above average per DRS and UZR. Look, defensive metrics are a bit of a black box, but I think the eye test is a good confirmation of them in this instance. Not only did Frazier not make ugly mistakes defensively this season, but he also made some difficult plays as well. (DEREK - Nov. 24, 2020)
June 2013: With the 5th overall pick in the draft, the Indians made Frazier their first round choice, via scout Brad Tyler, out of Loganville High School in Georgia. And Clint signed for a $3.5 million bonus, less than his assigned pick value ($3.8 million).
- July 31, 2016: The Indians sent outfielder Clint Frazier and pitcher Justus Sheffield, along with pitchers Ben Heller and J.P. Feyereisen to the Yankees, acquiring Andrew Miller.
|Nickname:||Bubba or Red Thunder||Position:||OF|
|Birth City:||Decatur, GA|
|Draft:||Indians #1 - 2013 - Out of high school (GA)|
Frazier exhibits impressive, off-the-charts bat speed and power. He has that power/speed combination every scout looks for. He is a quick-twitch athlete with excellent hand-eye coordination.
Clint has some serious bat speed, thanks to his exceptionally strong Popeye-like forearms, hands and wrists. He’s also a baseball rat who zealously studies opposing hitters and pitchers.
He has very strong and very quick hands and forearms that help give him 70 power on the 20-80 scouting scale. He whips his bat through the zone. His pull power will develop with experience. Most of the balls he hits hard now go to either center or right-center field.
Clint has a middle-of-the-order bat. His sturdy, quiet lower half allows his immensely strong hands and forearms to whip the bat through the zone with tremendous authority. He has a short, compact righthanded swing. It is short and very fast and direct to the ball. That is how he does so much damage.
The ball comes off his bat impressively with good carry. Even the balls he misses or pops up, you can tell he is a different player than most everyone else.
Frazier has a hitch and a load that is a bit of a concern, but he showed he can hit breaking balls and cover the outer half of the plate. And in 2016, he worked to quiet his re-swing movement, helping him cut down on his big load of strikeouts.
In 2014, Clint displayed plenty of bat speed, but it came with a pull-happy, grip-it-and-rip-it approach that suggested a clear plan of attack for any pitcher with a feel for locating his off-speed offerings. But by 2015, his exceptional work habits and change in approach eliminated that pull-oriented approach. And he is a hitter who can now unleash doubles to all part of the field.
While he did strike out too much (his 161 strikeouts were third most in the league), Frazier showed some pop thanks to that excellent bat speed and loose, handsy swing. While evaluators were disappointed, he did show he has a chance to hit for above-average power if he can refine his approach.
Clint was asked how he developed such tremendous bat speed.
"I don’t think you can really teach bat speed. So, with that being said, I think it’s a God-given ability to be able to swing the bat with such force and speed combined. If it wasn’t for the Lord, I wouldn’t have what I have today, so everything is because of Him," Frazier said.
It's Clint's bat speed that garners the most attention.
"It's almost like a coiled snake," scout Brad Grant said. "It's so fast and quick and generates so much power. It's a special swing."
Frazier needs to improve his plate discipline and learn to swing at strikes to make more consistent contact. Clint will have to get accustomed to pitchers throwing him a steady diet of breaking balls as he moves up, but the Indians believe he’ll be able to make the adjustment and will hit for solid averages.
Frazier has all the makings of a future star. He doesn’t lack confidence.
In June 2013, soon after being drafted in the first round, Frazier homered in his first at-bat for the Arizona Rookie League Indians. He followed that up with a bases-loaded triple in his next at-bat.
June 2014: Frazier abandoned a leg kick he'd been using as a timing mechanism for his swing, and went back to a toe tap he'd used in high school. His swing still features a bit of a hand hitch, but his bat speed more than compensates.
Frazier said, "I didn't feel comfortable at the plate. (The leg kick) was something I didn't do in high school. I told myself, 'This doesn't feel right. I'm going to go back to what I did in high school and what got me here.' Ever since I did that, I've played a lot different."
In 2015, Clint didn't allow mini-slumps build into frustrations. Instead, he began focusing on finding ways to get on base. Instead of swinging for home runs, he worked on hitting the ball to right field. Once known for chasing pitches out of the strike zone, he freed his hands up and started seeing pitches better.
"I'm going to credit a lot of that to the older guys around me and seeing how they handle their failures," Frazier said.
Getting used to the highs and lows of the game is all part of the pro process.
"I pressed to have the power numbers early in the year," Frazier said. "For me to show my power results, I'm going to have to become a better hitter. The guys are better pitchers, they throw harder, their stuff is better and I'm going to have to develop with them.
"For me to develop the power, I'm going to have to develop the hit tool first. Just going up there and sticking to an approach, and just being a mature hitter at the plate and knowing what I can and cannot swing at is really what's giving me the best opportunity when I step into the box."
In 2015, Frazier ranked among the Carolina League leaders with a .285 average (fourth), 16 home runs (second) and 72 RBIs (third), while leading the circuit with 143 hits, 36 doubles, and 55 extra-base hits. He also showed a disciplined approach with the third-most walks (68).
The Indians helped Frazier make adjustments to his swing by quieting his hands, which helped him to make more consistent contact. His approach also has matured, and he does a better job of not allowing at-bats to get away from him. (Spring, 2015)
As a young player continues to play well in the Majors, pitchers adjust to him. Clint Frazier has shown he can make those difficult adjustments on the fly. For example, a game in July 2017: After striking out in the first inning and popping out in the fourth, Frazier launched a 455-foot, three-run blast in the fifth. He credited his homer to something he worked on with his swing in between at-bats.
"If you watch the first two at-bats, it was a different loading mechanism I did both times," Frazier said, adding that Rays starting pitcher Austin Pruitt "had that weird hesitation in the full [windup] that was throwing me off, and I was unable to stay on my backside."
All good hitters have a specific method for timing up a pitcher during any given at-bat, which is called a load. Clint likes to load early during a pitcher's delivery, which he said allows him to see the ball longer as it travels toward home plate. As he loads, he kicks his leg up in the air and balances on his back leg until he's ready to start swinging. How long Frazier balances on his backside depends on how long it takes for the pitcher to complete his delivery and throw the pitch.
"I call it dancing with the pitcher," Frazier said. "He makes a move, then I make a move."
2020 Improvements: The 25-year-old outfielder said that he’s trying a new trigger mechanism that places his front foot turned inward as much as he can. Frazier said that he puts 60% of his weight on his back leg and that he’s eliminated a long stride to the ball in order to unlock his potential.
“The toe was my idea, but there were some people along the way that put me in a few different positions,” said Frazier of his newfound hitting stance. “Your body speaks feel; what feels right, you want to continue to do. I had to be the one ultimately to choose what that was, because I was the one feeling it. I used the toe to preset something and try to go from there.” ( Spencer Fordin - Feb. 27, 2020)
- 2019 Season - Frazier batted .267/.317/.489 (111 OPS+) with 12 homers and 38 RBIs in 69 games for New York last season.
- 2020 Season: Clint's offensive performance came as part of an impressive 2020 campaign that saw him optioned to the alternate training site during the Yankees' first road trip, only to return on Aug. 12 by homering in his first at-bat. Overall, Frazier produced a .267/.394/.511 slash line (149 OPS+) with eight homers and 26 RBIs.
- As of the start of the 2021 season, Clint had a career batting average of .258 with 24 home runs and 82 RBI in 524 at-bats.
Clint's right field arm is incredibly strong. He was clocked at 95 mph off the mound with his fastball in high school. He also gets his throws off quickly.
His speed also allows him to play a solid center field.
Frazier gets a good jump on the ball. He has solid actions on defense. He is just a quick-twitch athlete.
An infielder until his junior year in high school, he impressed the team with how quickly his outfield play progressed. His routes and angles have gotten much better, and he has the above-average speed to play center field.
Some scouts believe he’ll eventually outgrow center—and his above-average arm would fit fine in right. And Clint's range could be helpful in left field, which some say is more challenging than right field at Yankee Stadium. (Spring, 2017)
2020 Season: Frazier, who made 27 starts in right field and 28 appearances mostly while Aaron Judge was out with a calf injury, transformed himself from a player who cost the Yankees eight runs last season with his defense, to a plus-2 in defensive runs saved this season. In Statcasts' Outs Above Average, Frazier was in the top 69th percentile. In 51 chances in right field this season, Frazier made one error. He was nominated for a Gold Glove award. Frazier went from -8 Runs Saved in 2019 to 2 in 2020 and looked much more comfortable than he did previously.
- Dec 1, 2020: Clint Frazier vowed that he would permit his on-field performance to speak for itself this past season. The Yankees outfielder believed that mindset produced success, especially with his selection as a finalist for the American League Gold Glove Award in right field.
Frazier didn’t win the award, which was issued to the Rangers’ Joey Gallo in early November, but reading his name listed among the AL's top defenders was acknowledgment enough for the 26-year-old coming off a frustrating 2019 season in the field.
“I saw it on Twitter,” Frazier told the YES Network. “I was caught off guard. I know there was a lot of people out there probably looking at their phones sideways, thinking, ‘No way this guy should be on there.’ But hey, I found myself on that list. It was really cool.”
Despite playing in only 39 of the Yankees’ 60 regular-season games, Frazier tied for third among AL right fielders with four defensive runs saved, behind only Gallo (12) and the Orioles’ Anthony Santander (eight). Frazier said that he believes the improvement stemmed largely from his work with outfield coach Reggie Willits and being another year removed from a concussion sustained during Spring Training 2018.
“I was dealing with some of the concussion stuff [in 2019] and I was struggling with my depth perception,” Frazier said. “The bright lights or playing a day game in the sun, how bright it was, everything was affecting my vision. I felt uncomfortable out there, and I know that was very obvious to people watching.”
“I was satisfied with a lot of things,” Frazier said. “The season was a weird one. I didn’t start off in the big leagues as long as I would have liked, and there were a lot of unknowns. Coming up and hitting a home run in my first at-bat was really special for me, because it made me feel like I deserved to be there. For me, the ultimate thing was to continue to go forward and feeling confident.”
Frazier currently projects as the Yankees’ starting left fielder, alongside Aaron Hicks in center and Aaron Judge in right. Mike Tauchman is also in the outfield mix, with Brett Gardner uncertain to return as a free agent and Giancarlo Stanton viewed largely as a designated hitter.
“I feel really good about my position moving forward,” Frazier said. “Left field has seemed to be a few different peoples’ position in the last few years. One week it’s Gardy, one week it was Tauchman, one week it was me. It was supposed to be Stanton when he [was acquired]. There’s a lot of people that have come in and not held it down. I’m hoping that I’m going to be able to hold it down.” (B Hoch - MLB.com - Dec 1, 2020)
Clint runs 60 yards in a swift 6.4 to 6.6 seconds. He can steal a few bases. He gets a good first step. His speed is rated at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale.
- Frazier has solid instincts and awareness for the game. His speed comes in handy on both sides of the ball.
May 24-31, 2016: Frazier was on the D.L.
August 28-September 5, 2016: Clint was on the D.L.
Aug 9-Sept. 11, 2017: Clint was on the DL with left oblique strain.
Feb. 27, 2018: Frazier is expected to miss several days of camp with what is being described as a "mild concussion," the result of making a leaping, tumbling catch.March 26-April 4, 2018: Clint was on the DL with concussion protocol.July 19, 2018: Frazier was removed from an International League game when it was feared he suffered a head injury. He had suffered a concussion early in spring training and missed considerable time.
September 5-Nov 1, 2018: Clint's frustrating season effectively ended in a Pittsburgh medical office, as he experienced a recurrence of the post-concussion symptoms that limited him to 15 big league games in 2018.
- April 23-May 6, 2019: Clint was on the IL with left ankle sprain.