Jackson Frazier

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Clint Jackson Frazier

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Jackson Frazier played as Clint Frazier until 2022, when he asked to be called by his middle name. He was selected by the Cleveland Indians and scout Brad Tyler in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft with the fifth overall pick. He soon agreed to terms with the Indians for a $3.5 million bonus and made his pro debut with the AZL Indians on June 25th, going 2-for-5 with a triple and a home run against the AZL Brewers. He hit .297/.362/.506 in 44 games that season.

In 2014, Frazier was assigned to the Lake County Captains of the Midwest League, where he hit .266/.349/.411 in 120 games. He showed good power potential with 18 doubles, 6 triples and 13 homers and also scored 70 runs. In 2015, he played 133 games for the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League, hitting .285 with 36 doubles and 16 homers, 88 runs scored and 72 RBIs. He was basically doing everything that could be expected of a first-rounder by that point, and prospect watchers took note, with Baseball America putting him at #44 on its top 100 prospect list heading into 2016, and mlb.com being even more upbeat by placing hit 27th. The Indians were flush with outfield prospects however, with Tyler Naquin breaking into the everyday line-up that season, and Bradley Zimmer poised to make his big league debut. For his part, Clint was assigned to the AA Akron Rubber Ducks, hitting .276 in 89 games, with 13 homers and 48 RBIs. On July 26th, he was promoted to the AAA Columbus Clippers, but after 5 games, he was the key player in a trade with the New York Yankees on July 31st. The Indians acquired closer Andrew Miller, in return for four players, Frazier and Ps J.P. Feyereisen, Ben Heller and Justus Sheffield.

Frazier made his debut with the Yankees on July 1, 2017, after having started the year in AAA with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He was called up after fellow OF Dustin Fowler had suffered a season-ending injury in his first game with the Yankees two days earlier. It was an excellent game as, starting in right field and batting 9th, he went 2 for 4 with a double and a homer, off Francis Martes and Tony Sipp respectively. He scored twice and drove in a run, but the Yankees lost 7-6 to the Houston Astros. On July 8th, he hit the first walk-off homer of his career, a three-run shot off closer Corey Knebel of the Milwaukee Brewers to give the Yankees a 5-3 win. Frazier hit a solid .298 with 3 homers and 8 RBIs over his first 13 games, but GM Brian Cashman was quick to throw cold water on the notion that he had earned a permanent spot with the team: Cashman stated on July 20th that Frazier would return to AAA as soon as Aaron Hicks, who was having a career year until sidelined by an oblique injury in late June, was ready to return to the line-up. In all, Frazier played 39 games for the Yankees, hitting .231 with 4 homers and 17 RBIs.

Heading into the 2018 season, Frazier would normally have been expected to compete for a spot on the team, and possibly as a starter, but these were made more complicated by the Yankees' off-season acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton. With Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury all still on hand, he was looking at a very crowded outfield picture to break into. His prospects were further dimmed when he suffered a concussion after running into the outfield fence during a Grapefruit League game on February 24th. As a result of the injury, he was limited to 54 games in the minors and 15 in the majors. He did manage to hit a solid .311 with 10 homers and 21 RBIs in 48 games for the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and went 9 for 34 (.265) with the Yankees. In 2019, he failed to make the team out of spring training in spite of the fact both Hicks and Ellsbury were injured, but when Stanton joined a crowded injured list on April 1st, he was called up to the Bronx. He hit .324 in 18 games, with 6 homers and 17 RBIs, making a very strong case that he should be in the mix for regular playing time even after all the injured players returned, but on April 25th, he became the 15th member of the team to be placed on the injured list, the result of a sprained left ankle. He also showed some defensive lapses when he returned, and fell down the depth chart with Mike Tauchman and Mike Ford leap-frogging him. He ended up playing 69 games, hitting .267 with 12 homers and 38 RBIs and was left off the postseason roster.

In 2020, he started the year on the practice squad, as the Yankees simply had too many outfielders for the number of slots available on the major league roster. However, after Stanton and Aaron Judge were both placed on the injured list in the first three weeks, he was called back and had three fabulous games starting on August 12th, going a combined 7 for 11 with 3 doubles, 2 homers and 8 RBIs. Not surprisingly, the Yankees won all three games, not a missing a beat in spite of not having their two big boppers in the line-up. Overall, he hit .267 in 39 games, with 8 homers and 26 RBIs, for an OPS+ of 150, far and away the best of his career. Still, he had to fight for playing time in the postseason as the team's big boppers were back healthy, getting just 7 at-bats as the Yankees played two series. He did get a couple of hits, including a homer off Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays in a start in Game 1 of the Division Series on October 5th. He was once again unable to find regular work in 2021, and in this case his own health issues, including vertigo and dizziness, possibly after-effects from his crash into an outfield wall in spring training of 2018. As a result, he played just 66 games, batting .186 with 5 homers and 15 RBIs. His unavailability for most of the season meant that the Yankees had to play Brett Gardner a lot more than they would have wanted, and then traded for All-Star Joey Gallo at the trading deadline. He did not appear in a game after June 30th, and on November 23rd, with a need to trim down the roster to 40 players in anticipation of the 2021 Rule V Draft, he was given his release.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Tommy Birch (Des Moines Register): "Remember former New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier? Well, he's now 'Jackson Frazier'", Yahoo! News, June 29, 2022. [1]
  • Bryan Hoch: "Frazier has sights on starting job in Yanks' OF: Promising young star discusses lessons learned over rookie season", mlb.com, February 16, 2018. [2]
  • Bryan Hoch: "Frazier overcame much to become elite OF: Outfielder rebounds from concussion symptoms to become strong defender", mlb.com, March 8, 2021. [3]
  • Bob Klapisch: "All eyes on Clint Frazier", USA Today Sports, July 1, 2017. [4]

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