New York Yankees: Clint Frazier earned a regular spot in the lineup for 2021 and beyond

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

In a year in which Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton spent most of the regular season on the shelf; and Brett Gardner and Mike Tauchman underperformed, Clint Frazier was a bright spot for the New York Yankees. He started the season behind all of them for playing time, and with patience, hard work, defensive improvements and a much better batting eye (and mechanical adjustments,) the red-haired thumper claimed his fair share of at-bats.

For the season, Frazier slashed .267/.394/.511, ëven though he struggled down the stretch and lost playing time to Gardner in the postseason. However, Gardy’s future with the Yankees is uncertain and Stanton is set to handle designated hitter duties in most of his starts. That means Frazier should have earned a regular spot for 2021 and beyond.

In just 39 games, Frazier ranked fourth among New York Yankees’ position players when it comes to fWAR, with 1.3. Only DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit and Giovanny Urshela had better marks, and all of them played in more contests.

The Yankees are better off with Frazier as the starting left fielder

When asked about whether Frazier had earned a spot in next year’s lineup, MLB.com’s beat writer for the Yankees Bryan Hoch said he believes the “Red Thunder” should be the primary left fielder going forward.

“I believe Frazier has earned that opportunity. Take out his 1-for-20 skid at the end of the regular season and Frazier was clearly one of the team’s best offensive performers, batting .306/.422/.595 with eight homers and 26 RBIs in his first 33 games. We knew his bat would play, but Frazier’s defense improved markedly, which he believes is partially attributable to being further removed from his 2018 concussion,” he wrote.

Hoch also praised Frazier’s patience. “When the Yankees came into this year, there did not appear to be a clear avenue for Frazier to score at-bats over Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Tauchman. Credit to Frazier: he waited, then made the most of a chance. Gardner’s status is uncertain, Tauchman hardly played down the stretch and the Yankees view Stanton as a full-time designated hitter. The Yanks are still too right-handed, but Frazier’s time appears to be now.”

With a quick bat, an improved approach (highlighted by a 15.6 BB%) and a decent glove, Frazier has potential to deliver a four-WAR season in 2021, which would be hug for the Yankees.

New York Yankees News: Luke Voit and Clint Frazier to get big raises, others not so much

Eight New York Yankees players have become arbitration-eligible now that this baseball season is over. A few Yankees will get a nice raise, while others will receive less than they may have been expected. Every year some players reach arbitration, some for the first and some in their second year. With this past pandemic season, how much players will get paid in question? Teams, including the New York Yankees, don’t have the money they normally would have for this responsibility and money needed to improve the team.

Arbitration amounts will be figured differently this year, in a complicated formula of performance this year .vs what that performance would look like in a normal 162 game season.  For non-first time eligible players, they will get a raise they would get in a 162 game season and receive something less than 40% of that raise. However, you figure it; the pandemic will affect the raises giving to all players.

Some players will get more and some will get less. For instance Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez will be among those getting less. They will both receive raises of only slightly more than 10% over their 2020 base salary.  Those that will get the most money are the ones that played the best in 2020. Luke Voit who earned $636k in 2020 is projected to get a huge raise, as much as $5M to $8M. Clint Frazier is next, he earned just $588K in 2020 and is expected to get a raise that will put him at about $2M a season.

Gio Urshela got $2.475 million last year and is expected make around $4M this year. Gleyber Torres is another New York Yankee player that will receive a good size raise. In 2020 he earned $675K, he will likely earn about $3M. Other players, including Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Jordan Montgomery, and Chad Green, will get smaller raises and will all earn in the $1 to $2 million area.

What is unclear is with will happen with Tommy Kahnle who missed most of this year and Domingo German, who was suspended for the year. Kahnle will most likely earn a similar amount next year compared to what he earned this year. Domingo German is in a different situation, at this point it’s not even clear if the Yankee organization will accept him back into the fold.

These raises are only projected and could change for many reasons. One of those reasons is what the Yankees will do with their free agents, most notibly DJ LeMahieu who the club will likely want to keep. The future of Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton and J.A. Happ is less clear. The Yankees will also have to make the annual decision to keep fan favorite Brett Gardner who has an option for 2021. The team can buy out the 37 year old  for $2.5 and lessen the outfield gut. They will also have to decided what to do with Miguel Andujar which for the most part they have no particular use.

 

Miguel Andujar best serves the New York Yankees as a trade piece

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

Now before the Andujar fans start to attack me, let me be clear, I like Miguel Andujar. I would love for the New York Yankees to figure out a way to get his bat into the lineup every single day. He’s a tremendous hitter with such a natural feel when he’s at the plate.

Disregarding his defense, Miguel Andujar is a great baseball player. The problem is that he doesn’t fit in anywhere with the Yankees. It’s not his talent level, and it’s not his inability to be flexible for the team as you saw this year from him trying to play the outfield.

Andujar has done whatever he could to get back on the field with the Yankees. However, there is just no room for him anywhere. Gio Urshela has turned into a star for the Yankees. He’s just as productive at the plate as Andujar, but he combines that with gold glove caliber defense at third.

Andujar tried out left field this year, but Clint Frazier has claimed that spot moving forward. Frazier’s drastic improvement defensively to go along with his great bat have locked up a corner outfield spot for him. We also all know that Giancarlo Stanton has the DH spot locked up for years to come.

What the Yankees should do?

Believe me, it pains me to say it, but the Yankees should really look to move Andujar in the offseason. About a month ago, I wrote asking fans the question on if the Yankees should deal Andujar. The results were pretty split in the comments mainly because of the love for Miggy.

I get it. Andujar became a fan favorite back in 2018 when he came up and shined for the Yankees. That year, Andujar should have won the rookie of the year award in my opinion. However, that honor was given to Shohei Ohtani.

The Yankees are going to be busy this offseason. Priority number one should be locking up DJ LeMahieu. DJ has been the anchor for the Yankees the last couple of years and he’s going to finish in the top four of the MVP voting for the second consecutive year.

Once the Yankees lock up LeMahieu, the infield and the outfield will be set for the future. All of those spots are locked up without Andujar. The focus should then turn to pitching. The Yankees have Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, and James Paxton all hitting free agency.

The Yankees bullpen has also been shaky at times during this season. If I’m Brian Cashman I’m calling up teams ready to deal Andujar for pitching upgrades. Andujar re-established his value with the way he swung the bat towards the end of this season.

Sure, his value still isn’t as high as it was after 2018, but I don’t think it ever will be. No matter how much it hurts to say it from a fans perspective, the right move would be for the Yankees to trade Miguel Andujar and either bolster their starting rotation or get another solid piece for the back of the bullpen.

Yankees’ set to start Clint Frazier over Brett Gardner in game 1, but why?

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees will face off against the Tampa Bay Rays in game one of the ALDS on Monday evening. The matchup will feature Gerrit Cole and Blake Snell, the team’s top starting pitchers. This should be one for the ages, as both teams have displayed hostility during the regular season, notably from a 100 mph fastball that closer Aroldis Chapman through at the head of Michael Brosseau. This sparked significant animosity between the two teams, and it has spilled over into media pressers and public forums.

The New York Yankees are still deciding on several big factors:

However, the Yankees are still making final decisions on their lineup and how they will operate against a strong Tampa team. One big decision lies in left field, as they decide between Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner.

Gardner, who started off his postseason with stellar performances against the Cleveland Indians, would theoretically be getting the start on any given day. He is currently hitting .375 with one homer and three RBIs. He also has two walks over 10 plate appearances. He was a significant reason for the Yankees’ domination of the Indians, but it is seeming that management will go with Frazier in game one against the Rays.

As George A. King of the New York Post suggests, starting Frazier in left field makes sense only because Blake Snell is pitching. Matching him up against a lefty pitcher gives the Bombers an advantage, as Gardner has struggled against similar arms. Against lefties this year, Frazier hit .250 and Gardner .211.
King also mentioned that Gardner has hit .286 in his career against Snell, while Frazier is 1-for-8 and .125.

Modern-day baseball is a game of numbers, and manager Aaron Boone has remained steady in that mindset. Looking at their past performances, it actually seems as if Frazier has less success than Gardner against Blake, but simply batting against lefties the advantage is clear. The sample size against Snell is too small for both players to make any sure-fire justifications.

Who do you think the Yankee should start in left field in game one? Comment below!

New York Yankees: Will Clint Frazier play at all in the ALDS?

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Entering the American League Wild Card Series, one of the biggest questions facing Aaron Boone and the New York Yankees was who was going to play left-field. Boone trusted his gut, and went with Brett Gardner. He’s more experienced, and he knew how to play the wall in left at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Also, Gardner began to heat up at season’s end.

Boone’s decision to play Gardner over Clint Frazier paid off as he was a contributing factor in the Yankees sweep over the Indians. In game one, Gardner went 3-for-5 with with a home run and three runs batted in. He struck out just once and added a double.

Game two saw him go hitless, but he got on base twice with walks and scored once in a game that the Yankees won by just one.

So, although Frazier was by far the better player in the regular season, it may be Gardner getting all the at-bats in the postseason. And unfortunately for Frazier, it isn’t really his fault. He’s stayed hot, but Gardner’s finally playing really well and his experience is unparalleled.

However, we may see Frazier against lefties and in pinch-hit scenarios. He pinch-hit in game two, but was struck-out on three pitches. Believe it or not, but it was just his first postseason at-bat.

Unless Gardner suddenly goes cold, it’s hard to see Frazier starting unless a lefty is on the mound. What Boone has done so far has worked, and it’s led the Yankees to wins. And for Gardner, he’s playing like his life depends on it. His contract expires after this season, and he’d like to come back for another season in the Bronx.

New York Yankees: Will Clint Frazier and Gary Sanchez start tonight?

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

The New York Yankees trounced the Cleveland Indians 12-3 on Tuesday’s night game, the first one of the best-of-three Wild Card series at Progressive Field. Brett Gardner, whose presence in the lineup over Clint Frazier was questioned by some fans and media members, answered with a 3-for-5 performance, with a double, a home run, two runs and three RBI.

Meanwhile, starting catcher Gary Sanchez took a seat in favor of Kyle Higashioka, who has the (unofficial) title as Gerrit Cole’s personal backstop. Higgy went 1-for-5 with a strikeout and an ugly throw to second base (well, to center field) but Cole produced a masterpiece, hurling seven innings of two-run ball and 13 punchouts.

Tonight, the second game of the series will be played at Progressive Field, also at 7:00 pm ET. Cole will obviously not be on the mound, which means that Sanchez should get the start over Higashioka. Sanchez, despite his struggles this season (.147/.253/.365) is clearly the better offensive performer, and Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone said that the situation would be fluid.

What will the Yankees do?

The starter in left field for tonight’s game is more of an unknown at this point. Gardner had a bad performance at the dish (.223/.354/.392) but he picked things up near the end of the season and, well, had a helluva night yesterday.

Frazier, however, had a breakthrough of sorts in 2020. He improved his defensive game and adopted a more patient approach that led to a .267/.394/.511 line, but scuffled down the stretch: in his last 39 plate appearances, the Red Thunder had a .156 batting average, whereas Gardner hit .394 in his last 42 appearances.

Clint Frazier, arguably one of the New York Yankees’ breakout stars in the 2020 season, had a .050/.240/.050 line with a .176 wOBA and a 4 wRC+ (!) However, those struggles don’t take away what he achieved this year: the team’s fourth-highest fWAR mark among position players, with 1.3, in only 39 games.

Let’s see what Boone and the Yankees do tonight, but Clint Frazier and Gary Sanchez are also deserving of playing time.

New York Yankees News: The Bronx Bombers clinch a playoff berth for the 22nd time in 26 years

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton

The New York Yankees yesterday, clinched their playoff berth in the 2020 postseason. Entering yesterday’s Red Sox game, the Yankees were hoping to clinch on their own terms, but a loss to the Red Sox prevented that. Instead, a loss by the Seattle Mariners to the San Diego Padres. But a playoff berth is a berth, and the Yankees will take it.

With the guarantee of playing in the postseason, the Yankees join the Chicago White Sox, the Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, and the Minnesota Twins who have also clinched their spot in the playoffs.

Just two weeks ago, when the Yankees were on a losing streak and dipped to .500 in the standings, it looked like the New York Yankee might miss postseason play altogether. But then they went on a rip, winning ten games in a row. One off the Blue Jays, three off the Baltimore Orioles, three more off the Blue Jays and two off the Red Sox. Then when the seattle Mariners lost their game yesterday, the Yankees place in the postseason was cemented.

The New York Yankees have had a topsy turvy baseball season. They started off the regular season with a bang, going 8-1. Then their fortunes changed losing 15 games out of 20. Their pitching wasn’t working and the lineup they had to put up due to so many injuries, just didn’t click like it did in a similar situation last year. Little by little as star players returned the, Yankee began to turn it around.  Pevious to yesteday they won 10 straight games, as the Yankee pitching greatly improved and the hitters dramatically gained power, hitting 29 home runs in 10 games, and scoring 43 runs in the 3 game series with the Blue Jays.

The New York Yankees will go into the playoffs with the healthiest team on the field than they have had all season.  DJ LeMahieu upon return was DJ, Gio Urshela continued where he left off, Giancarlo Stanton has found this stroke, and slugger Aaron Judge is sure to find his. The Yankee pitching for the first time this year, has shown what they can do.  Ace Gerrit Cole leads the team in wins, J.A. Happ has been billiant in last few starts, and Mashiro Tanaka has improved.  The additon of Deivi Garcia has only improved the pitching situation, and the return of Zack Britton to the bullpen has only stenghtened it.

The addition of Clint Frazier to the regular lineup, has had a great impact on team, with his quick bat speed, and improved fielding.  He has made some dramatic diving catches. With missing players, Luke Voit took up the mantle to be the Yankee star of the season, hitting 21 home runs, leading the sport, and putting his hame in contention for the AL MVP.  The Yankees shocked the Toronto Blue Jays Sept. 17 smashing five home runs off right-hander Chase Anderson, including back-to-back-to-back blasts on three consecutive pitches by Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, and Luke Voit. After an out, Stanton and Torres slugged back-to-back drives, helping to power a 10-7 victory.

The Yankees are missing a few key elements to the mix. Luis Severino is out for the season, James Paxton is questionable, and Domingo German may not return until next year.  The bullpen will be missing Tommy Kahnle, who is out with Tommy John surgery.  But, even considering these missing parts, the Yankees have experience in dealing with such adversity.

Although it’s still mathimatically possible, it is doubtful that the Yankees can regain the lead in the East from the Tampa Bay Rays, there are only seven games left in the season.

The crazy season will end on September 27th, and the most unusual posteason will start off on the 29th. Instead of four postseason spots in each league there will be eight, for a total of 16 teams making the playoffs. The wild card series will start on the 29th.  As it stands now the Yankees will face the Minnesota Twins in the Wild Card Series, at Target Field. The ALDS, the ALCS and the World series will be held in the “bubble” at Arlington, Texas brand new stadium, the retactable roof, Globe Life Field.

According MLB’s “bubble plan,” which ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported, all games after the wild-card round will be played at Houston’s Minute Maid Park (NLDS), Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium (ALDS), San Diego’s Petco Park (ALDS, ALCS) and Arlington’s Globe Life Field (NLDS, NLCS, World Series), pending approval from the players union.

When the Yankees meet the Twins on September 29th, Aaron Cole will be on the mound, Masahiro Tanaka, and then either J.A. Happ or Deivi Garcia in game three. Prediction: Yankees 2-1. How far the Yankees get into the postseason and if they reach and win the World Series, is anyone’s guess, I won’t tread there yet.

New York Yankees Recap: J.A. Happ shuts out the Red Sox for the Yankees 10th straight win

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees had a historic win last night at Boston’s Fenway Park when Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ pitched the Yankees best game of the year going into the eighth inning, shutting out the Boston Red Sox with 113 pitches.  It was the Yankees 31st win of the season and their tenth in a row.  It was also the Yankee 12th straight win over the Red Sox, including last year, the first time it was done since 1936.  It was also the tenth in a row for the first time since 2012.

J. A. Happ stepped to the mound in the bottom of the first ahead by two runs, and he never looked back. Happ was dominant in the game, allowing no runs in eight innings pitched. It was the first time a Yankee pitcher pitched eight innings in a game. At the top of the first, Clint Frazier drove a ball to the left-field for the Yankee 2-0 lead. Clint Frazier, other than Happ, was the star of the game. Clint Frazier went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.

If the New York Yankees ended the season today, the AL would look like this: the Rays playing the Blue Jays, the Yankees playing the Twins, the Athletics playing the Astros, and the White Sox, playing the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees magic number is now 1, to clinch a playoff spot.

The New York Yankees offense started in the top of the with Red Sox starter Mazza loading the bases on his 17th pitch of the inning. Gio Urshela had a sac fly, driving in DJ LeMahieu. Clint Frazier singled, driving in Aaron Judge, and the Yankees had a two-run lead.

At the top of the fourth inning, Kyle Higashioka drove in Clint Frazier from second, then Tyler Wade hit on right to short, but in the Red Sox’s second mistake of the game, the throw was thrown beyond the first baseman, scoring Mike Tauchman, and it was 4-0 Yankees, knocking out Sox starter Chris Mazza.  The fifth inning was worse for reliever Dylan Covey.  Covey allowed Luke Voit to single to left, Brett Gardner motored all the way from first base to score. Frazier then homered to right-center, driving in Voit, and it was 7-0.

The New York Yankees picked up another run in the top of the ninth. At the bottom of the frame, Nick Nelson came in for Happ and closed it out for the final score of Yankees 8, and the Red Sox were shut out of the party. Happ took the win, going eight innings with 113 pitches while striking out 9 Red Sox players. Chris Mazza took the loss for the Sox.

In the game, Clint Frazier went 3 for 4 with a homer driving in 3 runs. Gio Urshela had a good night also, driving in 2 runs. Luke Voit, Kyle Higashioka, and Tyler wade got in in the fun, driving in a run apiece. Today Deivi Garcia will take the mound for the Yankees in a 1:07 pm matinee at Fenway. He will face the Red Sox’s Tanner Houck, as the Yankees go for their 11th straight win.

Yankees: Clint Frazier’s post-game comment will hit you in the heart

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees finished up a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday evening. By a score of 10-7, the Yankees had eight homers in their eighth consecutive victory.

They are now preparing for a matchup against the Boston Red Sox, who have been awful during the abbreviated 2020 season. The Yankees should steamroll them with ease, especially as Aaron Judge prepares to return on a full-time basis. They also gained back Gleyber Torres to finish this sweep, providing essential momentum that could lead them into a top seed in the playoffs.

Nonetheless, one undervalued player delivered a quote after Thursday’s win that will surely hit you in the heart. Outfielder Clint Frazier, who has battled adversity to reach this point in his career, is finally an every-day starter with the team. He now represents the complete package — an offensive weapon who also contributes defensively. Last year, he struggled in the outfield but returned in 2020 a different human being. At just 26 years old, the Yankees simply can’t keep him on the bench any longer.

“To be the one that gets to go out there when the team’s at full strength meant a lot to me”

The New York Yankees have their future after Brett Gardner:

The Bombers have control over Frazier until 2025, and I expect him to be an influential factor moving forward within their ranks. It was thought that he might be a trade option at the deadline this year, but general manager Brian Cashman waited idly by and let the deadline pass without any deals. So far, it seems to have paid off, as they are fully healthy team has returned in full force.

Over 31 games this year, Frazier is hitting .291 with seven homers and 23 RBIs. Defensively, he has just one error and a .980 fielding percentage. Compared to last season, he had three errors and a .963 fielding percentage. His maturity has been an amazing development for the Yankees, who now consider him an integral part of the outfield moving forward.

New York Yankees’ Clint Frazier has earned his spot

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Back at the trade deadline in 2016, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman decided to sell. He traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and received Gleyber Torres. Cashman also traded Andrew Miller for Justus Sheffield and Clint Frazier.

While Sheffield was traded later for James Paxton, the Yankees have held onto Frazier. The former fifth overall pick in the MLB draft showed so much promise, and has always been known for his legendary bat speed. However, Frazier struggled to get a chance.

Anytime the Yankees were at full strength, Frazier would be behind the eight ball in the outfield. Despite many fans wanting the Yankees to give him the left field job over veteran Brett Gardner, Boone would keep Frazier on the bench or they’d keep him in AAA.

In 2019, Frazier really impressed many with his performance on the field. For the Yankees in 69 games, Frazier hit .267 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs. However, his defense left a lot to be desired. Well, Frazier is finally blooming into the player many thought he could be in 2020.

The Yankees New Left Fielder

I can’t imagine the feelings that Clint Frazier was having when the Yankees told him this week that he’d continue to start. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were both coming back this week which in the past meant Frazier would be heading to the bench.

However, not this time. Instead, veteran Brett Gardner is the one that’s heading to the bench. The Yankees‘ Red Thunder is finally getting to start when the team is at full strength. This is something that couldn’t stop Frazier from smiling during his post-game interview yesterday.

“There was definitely a moment tonight when I was smiling under my mask in left field. To go out there with the team at full strength meant a lot to me,” Frazier said to the media. There is no doubt about it that Frazier has earned this spot.

Again, the Yankees have been talking about his offensive potential for the last couple of years, but his defense is what has really impressed me thus far. Although, his offensive numbers are tremendous this year. Clint Frazier is the starting left fielder for the New York Yankees, and that shouldn’t be changing anytime soon.