By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
Clint Frazier always could see the writing on the wall.
Now, he is ready to take down the wall.
He was the call-up for an injured player and then was the one that was sent back down. Frazier was viewed as a big-tooled outfielder with the strong bat and questionable glove when the Yankees acquired him from Cleveland in 2016.
However, it has been a ride up and down Routes 380 to 80 from Scranton to Bronx for him. A concussion sidelines in 2018 sidetracked him most of 2019. His line of 16 homers and 66 RBIs through the previous three seasons was average at best.
Yet, Frazier was still the subjects of trade rumors in late August, as many clubs believed there still was some untapped potential in him.
For his sake, so did the Yankees. His Scranton days appear to be over.
With their usual rash of injuries – especially repeat offenders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton- Frazier apparently finally has found a home in the outfield. He has been playing right field, but is slated to move to left when Judge returns and move aging Brett Gardner out of the lineup.
Through Sunday’s game, Frazier had a line of .270 with five homers and 19 RBIs in 27 games. Tuesday night, Frazier launched his sixth homer, a two-run shot in the team’s 20-6 lopsided win over Toronto. He has been as consistent with his glove as with his bat, continuing to squash the rumors of his shaky fielding.
For the most part, Frazier has slipped under the radar and quietly has done his job.
However, he has been noticed. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. The Yankees’ (27-20) win Tuesday was their sixth straight, and they are gaining momentum toward the postseason at the right time with just over a dozen games left on the regular slate.
“I think Clint is very much in this mix,” said Yanks’ skipper Aaron Boone recently. “When Aaron Judge comes back, he’ll go to right [field], so it may mean more left field reps for Clint, but Clint has earned his way into our lineup on a regular basis. He continues to play extremely well for us on both sides of the ball, so I think it’s going to make us deeper.”
Frazier can slip further back into the shadows with Stanton and Gio Urchella back from injuries and fellow former Scranton alum Devi Garcia, who looks like the real deal with a strong seven-inning outing Tuesday. Judge should be back in the lineup by the weekend.
The pressures that have haunted home over the past three years has wound down.
It’s Frazier time to show he is the prospect everyone has been waiting to regularly produce.