Cut Clint Some Slack
I’ve never been one to make excuses for baseball players. It’s the greatest job in the world. You make millions of dollars to play a game. Clint Frazier has always been a great baseball player. The game has always come easy for him. He was the 5th overall pick by the Cleveland Indians in 2013, after being named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. His junior year at Logansville High School in Georgia, Frazier batted .424 with 24 home runs, and during his senior season, he batted .485 with 17 HRs. He had committed to a baseball scholarship at the University of Georgia. Baseball comes easy to him.
Clint Frazier has been very productive in the minors, from his short season of Rookie Ball, through 2016, when he was traded on July 31st with Justus Sheffield and Ben Heller for reliever Andrew Miller. General Manager Brian Cashman talked about Frazier’s “legendary bat-speed”.
The 24 year old outfielder was called up on July 1st of 2017, and doubled and homered in his first game. He hit a his first career walk off home run on July 8th. Frazier joined Joe DiMaggio as the only two Yankees in history to have 9 extra base hits before their 15th career game. The majors were easy for Clint. He brought swagger and hustle, and seemed to give the Yankees lineup a little fire. Then on August 10th, Frazier suffered an oblique strain that effectively ended his season.
Frazier entered 2018 with something to prove, and injuries afforded him a big opportunity, but instead, the 6'1 190 outfielder suffered a concussion during spring training. Frazier was up and down 3 times during the season, before he was placed on the IL for the rest of the season of September 5th because of lingering concussion symptoms.
Frazier started 2019 in the minors. He got called up on April 2nd and instantly showed he belonged. An injury to his ankle caused Clint to spend some time on the IL, and upon his return, struggled making plays in the outfield. Several misplays and a drop in LF started a run of terrible outfield play, culminating in a disastrous defensive on Sunday night baseball against the Red Sox. Baseball isn’t as easy as it looks.
Clint Frazier did not make himself available to the media leaving his teammates to speak for him. They were supportive. They know he puts in the work. The kid is struggling at baseball for the first time in his life. He’s asked about it incessantly. On a night he single-handedly cost his team a game, he decided not to be accountable. The following day, he made no apologies, and cited unfair treatment by the media and the fans, as well as a couple of inaccurate stories that were reported about him since his arrival in New York. There are Yankee fans and media calling for the team to trade Clint Frazier. Not because they think he can bring back a starting pitcher who could help with the playoff push, but because they are angry a frustrated millennial didn’t want to answer the same questions about his newly developed defensive problems. He doesn’t owe anyone anything.
The Yankees are in first place, and Frazier has been huge in getting them there, hitting .273 with 11 HRs and 30 RBI in 42 games. He’s raking .323 6HR 25 RBI with Runners on, .406 with 5HR 22RBI with runners in scoring position, and .500 with 3HR 13 RBI with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. Frazier is hitting .400 in 30 high leverage at bats. He usually lets his bat do the talking.
This kid is super talented, and 24 years old. He has some growing up to do. He’s gonna go through some growing pains. Not everyone has the poise of Derek Jeter. That doesn’t mean he isn’t cut out for NY.
Frazier is making $563,000 and isn’t eligible to become a free agent until 2024. He isn’t going anywhere. Get over yourselves.