Clint Frazier has gone from a concussion that ended his 2018 season, to being left off the Opening Day roster to being a viable threat in the Yankees lineup.
The New York Yankees are currently decimated by injuries. With guys like Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar and Aaron Hicks currently on the injured list to say the team is short-staffed is an understatement.
Aaron Boone wanted to make it very clear before Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox that they are still capable of winning games even with a depleted roster. In order to do that, everyone in the lineup needs to pull their own weight.
One Yankee who has picked up the slack is Clint Frazier. Frazier, who was acquired in the Andrew Miller trade in 2016, has had a rough go of it since he got to New York. An oblique injury cut his rookie campaign short in 2017 and then a concussion in spring training effectively ended his 2018 season.
He was left off of the Opening Day roster after a rough spring training this season, and looked like he was destined for the trading block come July. After a slew of injuries to the Yankees core though, Frazier was called up on April 1 and has quickly had one of the few steady bats in the lineup since then.
Right now his slash line sits at .293/.311/.585 with an .896 OPS. If he had enough at-bats he’d be tied with Aaron Judge for the second-highest batting average on the team, and he currently has the fifth-highest OPS+ on the team at 135. And he also has a higher slugging percentage than Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge, plus a higher OPS than Torres.
Obviously he’s put up these numbers with fewer at-bats than those two, but the point still stands. Frazier — when he’s in the lineup — has been every bit as good as guys like Torres and Judge who, along with DJ LeMahieu, have had to carry this lineup due to all the injuries they’ve suffered.
Frazier’s viability in the lineup has made him an asset even when Hicks and Stanton return to the lineup and makes guys like Mike Tauchman — who was a 20 home run and 80 RBI guy in the Rockies minor league system — suddely expendable and could be used to bring in help at the trade deadline.
It would be smart for Boone to continue to try and find Frazier at-bats as the season progresses.