One of the major lingering questions revolves around New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman finding another outfielder. The Yankees have been linked to Brett Gardner this off-season, as the two sides usually find common ground. Gardner did state this past season that he wants to play one more year in front of his family. With that being said, the likelihood of him returning to New York is high, especially if he settles on a more cost-efficient deal.
However, while Gardner started a majority of games in 2020, one young player has finally started to reach his potential. Clint Frazier, who was originally drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Indians in 2013, was a Gold Glove finalist this past year but was also effective on offense. He finished with a .267 average, eight home runs, and 26 RBIs. While his strikeout rate is a bit high at 27.5%, the expectation is that he will become more comfortable and efficient with more at-bats.
The Yankees, who were recently linked to players like Yasiel Puig, seem to be committed to Frazier and his growth.
Cashman stated in regards to Clint’s future with the Yankees:
â€œClint Frazier has continued to reinforce that he is a force and has gotten better and better,â€™â€™ Cashman said. â€œThis past year was another testament to that. Going into this, without a doubt, heâ€™s solidified himself as the guy, and heâ€™s been a guy thatâ€™s been saving us quite a few times when injuries hit.â€
Frazier made a significant jump from 2019 to 2020. While he was a defensive liability two seasons ago, his development was extravagant and finally convinced the Yankees that he can be their future starter in left field. With one of the quickest bats in the MLB, more action will only help him improve. He is set to earn just $2.1 million in 2021, an absolute steal for a player of his potential and quality.
â€œHe had a hell of a year,â€™â€™ Cashman said of Frazier. â€œHeâ€™s working his tail off this winter. Heâ€™s hungry. He wants to keep getting better.â€
It is always nice to see players continuing to work during the off-season, and “Red Thunder” has the potential to take a big step forward offensively, claiming an everyday role on the starting roster. Ultimately, this is his chance to cement himself in the outfield, and based on his progress over the past year, I donâ€™t think he will let it pass him by.