Thursday, April 18, 2019

The ascent of Clint Frazier is shadowed by the fall of Greg Bird

Admit it: When Clint Frazier comes up, you don't go to the kitchen for more cheese curds. Right now, he is the most interesting Yankee, the marquee act after Aaron Judge. In each at-bat - even when he strikes out - he drives at least one ball hard. He's never over-matched, never looks lost, never appears fazed, never seems to worry. He's clearly capable of [REDACTED-REDACTED-REDACTED.] In this depleted lineup, he should be hitting third.

But but BUT... we've seen this movie before. Last year, it was the Luke Voit Story. Previously, we watched Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Gleyber Torres arrive like tornadoes and then slowly settle into troubling cycles of normalcy - in some cases, which we're still trying to discern. (Exactly how good will Sanchez and Torres turn out to be?) Only Judge has managed to maintain his rookie hot streak (and, frankly, he batted below .200 in his first incarnation.) The sad and torturous collapse of Bird - now facing yet another bum hind paw - reminds us of what Yankee fan Hillary Clinton once said: It takes a village of prospects to raise one star player, because all the others will fall by the wayside.

But what about Frazier? Soon, pitchers will quit trying to throw fastballs by him. (As they were doing to Bird.) Soon, defenses will shift according to the mathematical progressions of his swing. Soon, some pitcher will figure out a weakness, and word of it will metastasize throughout the league. 

Much has been said about Frazier's two concussions last year, which defined his season and which still cloud his future. What has been overlooked is his output in Scranton: In 216 plate appearances, he hit .311 with 10 HRs - far improved over his previous season at Triple A (.256 and 12 HRs in 320 at-bats.) In his second go-around at Scranton, he was raking. 

This is technically his second approach to the majors. Like Judge, his first incarnation was less than spectacular. Do we dare dream about this guy? I dunno. He could be the next Shane Spencer. But when he comes up, I hold my water and watch.

24 comments:

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


I just took a look at the schedule, looking at the games NYYs have vs. Devil Rays --

6 in May (3 Bronx, 3 FL)

3 in June (Bronx)

7 in July (3 in Bronx, 4 in FL)

0 in August

2 in Sept (in FL)

Note that July has 31 days -- of which 4 are off (All Star break) plus 1 other off day.
So the month's 26 games includes 7 with Tampa.

Assuming the Red Sox do not rally AND that the NYYs DO play a bit better, that is an awfully important month. Will Didi and Hicks be back by then?

Carl J. Weitz said...

We would have a super-star team if we could only figure out each prospect's 3-6 window of greatness before they fizzle out. If only we could time it so they'd all be in the lineup together when their flash is still in the pan.

JM said...

My fear is that Frazier continues hitting, to no avail.

If our vaunted outfield didn't have room for Bryce, how can it have room for Clint?

HoraceClarke66 said...

It's disturbing how much some of these guys seem to regress. That speaks to a lack of official coaching. They have all the tools, but the other teams figure them out.

Judge, who seems to be the most conscientious of players, is doing some interesting things with going to the opposite field, exactly the opposite of what the Yanks' home-run happy coaches are probably advising him. He still strikes out too much—and weirdly, often on fastballs right down the pike—but he is at least trying something, making adjustments, going at times with what he is given.

Will others do the same? I don't know. But it does seem amazing that the Yanks can't figure out to put Judge and Thunder back-to-back, somehow.

Alphonso said...

What no one seems to mention; Clint's defense.

I have seen him look, " below the normal standard for a rookie" in LF. In fact, usually rookies are known first for speed, glove and arm, and what is " hoped for" is hitting. And then hitting with power. Clint seems to be showing the opposite.

He has misjudged balls hit into the gap, which he should have cut off and held the runner to a single ( or, at minimum, made a really close play at second ). He has missed sinking line drives which hit his glove, but not where it is designed to receive the ball. And he made a laughable throw that would only happen in a cartoon.

Which brings me to the wall. How many times can we put a guy with PTSD back into battle? Can he really judge the wall or is he terrified of another " bop?" ( who would not be ?).

Is, in fact, the apparent trend to keep Tauchman in the line-up telling us more than it appears?

Is Clint basically a DH?

Nothing wrong with that if he keeps hitting like this.

But it would be interesting to learn.

The Ghost of Yankees Past said...

I for one am feeling good this morning. Two wins against the red socks. The Big Maple was excellent Tuesday. Happ settled in after giving up two home runs on decent pitches, Chapman hit 99 on the gun, the bull pen did it’s job, Frazier got three hits last night, gritty come from behind win and it was the other team that made the costly mistakes.

Who knows what tonight or the KC series will bring. But I do know this, what the Yankees need now is to scratch out wins ( with half a team) , find out who can play among the fill ins and get guys healthy.

Enjoy the ride. No one ever said it would be easy.

Anonymous said...

DEAREST ALPHONSO (WHO I ADORE)....

WE MAY HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL DISAGREEMENT ABOUT CLINT.

EVEN THOUGH WE ARE DEALING WITH A RIDICULOUS "INJURY A DAY" QUOTIENT THIS SEASON, WE CAN NOT MAKE THIS GUY FEEL SCARED TO PLAY THE OUTFIELD. NOR CAN WE BE SCARED TO PLAY HIM OUT THERE.

WE ALMOST LOST HIM FOREVER LAST SEASON. (NO CAREER, NO TRADE VALUE, NOTHING).

NOW, SUDDENLY AND CONVINCINGLY, WE HAVE HIM BACK.

PETAL TO THE MEDAL WITH THIS GUY.

WHATEVER HAPPENS, HAPPENS.

PUT HIM IN THE LINEUP JUST ABOUT EVERYDAY (BUT HE MUST PLAY MORE OUTFIELD).

PUT IT THIS WAY, WHO WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE STANTON PLAY LF, OR CLINT?

CLINT GETS THE NOD.

OH YEAH.

Anonymous said...

A few things...

1) JM - It wasn't the fit in the outfield in was the lack of fit in Hal's Scrooge McDuck sized money satchel. :)

2) Luke Voit. Sure he's batting .213 but the 15 ribbies are nice. And he is a player I don't leave the room on either.

3) Gleybar is at a respectable .273 His RBI totals could use some work.

Last, although it seems like they are hitting more this year the Yankees are batting .251 as a team right now. .002 better than last year. so there's that.

Doug K.

TheWinWarblist said...

There's really only one Yankee's stat that I care about, and we've been stuck at 27 for too long.

Anonymous said...

Gardner's grand slam was great for one game but a grim omen for the season--because now Cashman's weakness for sentiment will lead him to overplay his hand with this aging, slowing, offensively challenged anachronism of a player. When Stanton returns, Frazier should be the everyday centerfielder--NO QUESTION--with Gardner relegated to fourth-outfielder/backup status. Any competent GM would implement this strategy without flinching--which is why I'm sure Cashman will not. (By the way, Alphonso, Frazier is superb defensively, with great speed and range and a plus arm. Maybe you should confine your commentary to reviews of single-malt scotches, the one area in which you seem to have proven expertise.)

TheWinWarblist said...

Did anyone note the passing of Scott Sanderson last week? 19 seasons worth 27.7 bWAR. 1991 was his last decent year in the Bigs.

TheWinWarblist said...

Also his only year as an All-Star.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


Tonight (TH) lineups vs KC -- Mike Ford at DH for NYYs. Luke keeps 1B slot.

Anonymous said...

Ad hominem attacks from nonentities and only one asshole here is guilty of it.

Stat baby rides again.

TheWinWarblist said...

Sooooo ... none of you stat quoting nostalgic jamokes have anything to say about the passing on an ex-Yankee? He died from complications of head and neck cancer. I don't remember if he used dip or chewing tobacco. Do any of you?

Joe of AZ said...

Looks like Yankee kryptonite tonight.....a pitcher with an ERA above 5

Carl J. Weitz said...

Win Warb...here is your answer:


https://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/canadian-baseball-network-articles/r-i-p-former-expo-scott-sanderson?format=amp

TheWinWarblist said...

Carl, please, you may refer to me as Warbler. My full title is not necessary among friends.

Carl J. Weitz said...

LOL...will do!

Anonymous said...

THE COLD SLAP OF REALITY CAME BACK FAST AFTER THAT SHIT SHOW TONIGHT.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I'll say, ALL-CAPS.

And not to beat a mere extension of Brian Cashman's ego, but...this speaks to the manager. This was a classic letdown after a big game.

Also...Gardy has a great game and—he's right back in the leadoff spot. No thought that maybe, while he's picked up a little muscle and weight, Gardy's old, speed game isn't there anymore? That if you have to play him, you might be better off sticking him in some later spot where he will bat less often but maybe see more good pitches with men on base?

Nope. Back leadoff he goes.

HoraceClarke66 said...

A generally awful outing tonight. German had an okay game, and Clint had two more hits. But otherwise...

I do have to admit, Ford hardly had an auspicious debut. But hey, a walk!

As for Clint Frazier, I would keep him in the outfield. And if he never bangs into a wall again in his life—hey, look at Bobby Abreu.

Anonymous said...

"and only one asshole here is guilty of it." That's you, Psycho Anon. I must admit that you are so grimly obsessed with this "nonentity," jerking like a frog in a laboratory every time I post. I guess your total devotion to "nonentities" and "assholes" tells us all we need to know about the sputtering frustration of the desolate, corroded excuse for a human being that is you. But I'm here for you, Psycho Anon--spew your bile on nonentities any time if it somehow vindicates your failed life.

Anonymous said...

HC66--Thanks once again for showing that you cannot resist the temptation to type the obvious to no particular point or purpose, as in your last post. THANKS!!!!!