Clint Frazier is concussion-free, and now he’s ready to contribute to the Yankees lineup.
The New York Yankees didn’t make the splash signing this offseason (at least they haven’t yet). Bryce Harper probably won’t be wearing pinstripes and prized prospect Estevan Florial isn’t close to being big league ready.
Longtime Yankee Brett Gardner is set to be the team’s starting left fielder but, at 35 years old, the impact he has is more psychological than physical at this point. That being the case the Yankees need a guy that can produce at the plate, at just about the rate that everybody else in the lineup does. That means they need a guy that can hit 20-plus home runs and knock in 80 RBI’s in a season. The Yankees actually have a guy like that on their roster currently, and he may have been forgotten about. That guy is Clint Frazier.
He’s only played in 54 games in his short two-year career so far. Both seasons have been cut short by injury. In 2017 he missed games with an oblique injury, but was definitely showing signs of being a contributor to the lineup, sporting a .715 OPS. Last season he suffered a concussion in Spring Training and played in 15 games before those concussion symptoms returned and ended his season.
Now he’s concussion free and ready to contribute to the team, and the Yankees have kept their faith in the 24 year-old outfielder. If not for the concussion, he would have seen significant playing time in the two months that Aaron Judge missed due to his wrist injury. Frazier has “legendary” bat speed as GM Brian Cashman describes it, and like everyone else in the outfield has a cannon for an arm.
He had a 104 OPS+ last season which is a 20 point increase from 2017 even in the small sample size. If the Frazier is completely healthy, and can contribute at the plate at the level he’s capable of then the Yankees have their starting left fielder.