Clint Frazier is a star in the making for the Yankees
It's been a long, long time since the Yankees fan base has had a reason to be legitimately excited about the farm system. Though I've been critical of him in the past, it can't be argued that Brian Cashman did a terrific job reloading the Yankee minor league system at the trade deadline this year, giving Pinstripe fans real hope for the future.
One of the biggest names acquired at said trade deadline was Clint Frazier, who came to the Yankees amongst others in exchange for the ever dominant Andrew Miller.
Frazier has been ranked at #1 and #2 respectively in MLB.com and Baseball America's top Yankee prospects. Additionally, the former fifth overall pick has been ranked at #15 and #21 in each of the aforementioned sites' most recent league-wide top prospects list.
In other words, Frazier has real potential that's being recognized by credible baseball authorities and that's incredibly encouraging for Yankees fans, who have been victimized by prospects busting far too often in recent years.
MLB.com suggests that with Frazier's raw power potential and speed in the outfield, the 22 year old could be a future all star. Here's the scouting grades given for Frazier; keep in mind these ratings are on the 20-80 scale.
Frazier is above average in every category listed and has a real chance to be the first five-tool star the Yankees have had in a while. Frazier backed these grades up with a solid year in the minors in 2016, hitting .263/.335/.447 with 16 homers in 119 games between AA and AAA.
Frazier's major league player comparison is none other than Yoenis Cespedes, whom the Yankees had been linked to in the free agent market this offseason. I understand that these player comparisons can be tedious, but it at least gives us some kind of idea of what a prospect might be like should he reach his full potential. If Frazier can perform like Cespedes with the exception of being more consistent than the Mets slugger, he's going to be a star in the Bronx.
Another reason Frazier may see a rise to stardom is his activity on numerous social media platforms. This may seem like an irrelevant detail in Frazier becoming a star, but it has some merit to it.
From his comical daily tweets to his humorous snapchat stories of his roommate dancing in a bizarre manner, Frazier has been warmly welcomed into the Yankee fanbase.
Yankees fans appreciate feeling close to their players this way. It's nice to know Frazier isn't too good to interact with his fans and post goofy comments and videos for our entertainment.
This culminated in a post that received quite a bit of attention when Frazier tweeted a picture of himself after a haircut at Bryce Harper, suggesting he had figured out a hairdo for them to keep some of their flowing red hair if Harper ends up on the Yankees.
.@Bharper3407 maybe i can give you some hair pointers when you join the yankees in the future ⚾️🔥 pic.twitter.com/UY3HatooxV— Clint Frazier (@clintfrazier) November 24, 2016
Predictably, this got a lot of love from Yankees fans who have long lobbied for Harper to sign with the Yankees when he hits free agency.
However, I contend that if Frazier lives up to his potential, signing Harper may not be necessary to give the Yankees the star players have been missing in recent years - Frazier can fill that hole.
ETAs for Frazier to reach the Bronx seem to vary a little bit, but it seems it's generally thought that it will be sooner rather than later.
Some predict he will be called up the second half of the 2017 season, much like Aaron judge was this past season. Others feel his first chance may come in spring training for the 2018 season.
I don't think either plan is bad. It would be nice to give him some big league exposure this upcoming year and see how he reacts, but it also certainly makes sense to let him spend a full season at AAA to truly refine his skill set and be ready to go in spring training the following year.
Regardless, Frazier appears to be a star in the making that we should see before too long. I've never been known to be a prospect hugger, but I think Frazier has to be the most untouchable Yankee prospect. He's knocking on the door of the big leagues and figures to be pretty productive once there.
His performance coupled with his amusing personality are sure to make him a fan favorite in the Bronx.
There's been much talk that the Yankees may trade for a starter, but Frazier needs to be off the table. They paid a steep price to acquire him and it's time the Yankees fully commit to the youth movement.
Statistics and info courtesy of MLB.com and BaseballAmerica.com