The New York Yankees shocked the baseball world on Monday, December 11th when they announced that they had traded for the 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton.
Yankees fans were cheering, our team had taken the Astros to Game 7 of the ALCS this past season, and acquiring the reigning NL MVP could only help their cause for the upcoming season. The one person that it did not help was Clint Frazier.
Frazier was the centerpiece in the Andrew Miller trade from 2016, and was supposed to be a large part of the Yankees future success. His legendary bat speed (according to Brian Cashman.) helped him to rise through the minor league system last season, and gave him an opportunity to showcase his talents in the major leagues last year because of an injured outfield.
The 23-year old went through his rookie struggles and battled injury during his time in the show last season but was looking to come into this season with a fresh bill of health and an opportunity to win some playing time. But now with the acquisition of Stanton, Frazier is the odd man out.
He is currently the fifth outfielder on a team loaded with outfield talent, and it is going to be extremely hard for rookie manager Aaron Boone to find a roster spot for him let alone get Frazier consistent playing time.
“But my eyes are not set on Triple-A.” said Frazier when talking about his plans, and honestly, he should feel that way.
Starting the year in AAA seems like the only logical option the team has for the 23-year old and make sure to get him reps daily until there is an opening on the 25-man roster.
Like with every season, things like injuries happen. One injury to the outfield and the Yankees could make sure to have Frazier on speed dial, ready to step in at a moments notice.
Frazier ultimately has no control here in this situation, but the only thing he can control is his own performance. If he comes into Spring Training and plays to his overwhelmingly high potential, he can make much, much Aaron Boone’s job much harder.