He’s earned the respect he deserves. Clint Frazier is officially a starter for the New York Yankees and boy has it been a long time coming.
Entering the 2020 season it was unclear what type of role Clint Frazier would have on this loaded roster. But another wave of injuries made Aaron Boone’s decision easy. It was Frazier’s job to lose and it doesn’t look like he’s giving it up anytime soon.
In 34 games played, Frazier is hitting .296 with eight homers, 26 RBI’s, and an OBP of .410. The best part is that with Gardner on his way out, this could be your number nine hitter for the near future. That’s a scary thought for the rest of the American League.
This season, Frazier’s role is more important than ever. Who knows how healthy Judge and Stanton truly are and what type of production we will get from them come October. Furthermore, Frazier’s glove has improved tremendously, allowing him to be the starting left-fielder as Stanton and Judge ease themselves back to full form.
Frazier’s impact on this team extends beyond the 2020 season. Two weeks ago I discussed why it would be a risk to sign Aaron Judge to a long-term deal given his injury history. Clint Frazier is the solution to that problem and there are two ways the team could approach this when Judge hits the market after the 2022 season. The first is to let Judge walk. I know this sounds crazy, but if Judge does perform to his potential over the next two seasons, he will surely warrant record money. And with Stanton and Cole already on the books, it doesn’t seem possible nor likely.
The second route this team can take is to use Frazier as leverage. Depending on how Frazier performs over the next two seasons, the Yankees may not have to lay out that kind of money to Judge. In which case Aaron would have to decide between a team-friendly deal or the end of his Yankee career.
The future is certainly bright for Red Thunder and his performance over the coming seasons could shape this organization for years to come.