Coming into the 2019 Yankees Spring Training season, a man was looking to make a statement. A young outfielder that was seeking to supplant the gritty fan-favorite veteran. That man’s name is Clint Frazier. And while Clint hasn’t lit this Spring on fire. There are signs that 2019 will be Clint Frazier’s year.
2018 was a lost season for Clint Frazier. Concussions derailed his entire campaign. But finally healthy and hungry, Frazier has something to prove. Clint came into Yankees Camp speaking about wanting to win the Left Field job from Brett Gardner. Frazier has been a polarizing character from the moment he was traded for in 2016. Some Yankee fans find him tedious and too loose-lipped. While others (myself included) think that Clint’s outgoing and passionate nature bodes very well for him. I have stated on many occasions, and throughout different outlets, Clint Frazier is this generation, Paul O’Neill.
Same But Different
Yes, the current format of the New York Yankees lineup is peppered with right-handed batters. And Clint is another righty in the mix. But when studying the bat of Frazier, it is a bit different than the rest. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton demolish and crush balls like they are WWE Superstar Rusev. Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andújar spray the ball with liners. But when Clint Frazier swings the bat, it travels square in the middle of those two styles. Frazier gives a chill-inducing crack of the bat. And it’s easy to understand the “legendary bat speed” quote of Yankee GM, Brian Cashman when you see Clint swing. Yes, it’s another righty bat in a heavily right-hand lineup, but Frazier provides a different intensity to the swing path than the rest.
Something to Prove
2019 is going to be a make or break season for Clint Frazier and his time in Pinstripes. He has a skill set that can translate in the Majors. And a desire to be successful. But he also has a persona that can rub certain people the wrong way. Some call it brash and downplay what truly is driving Frazier. And that is passion, love for the game, and a desire to be the best. It won’t be easy, it won’t go without someone complaining about it, it won’t be a silent approach. But in 2019, Clint Fraizer will be a driving force to another successful playoff run for the New York Yankees. The firestarter in the dugout in 1999 was O’Neill, in 2009 it was Nick Swisher, and in 2019 it will be Clint Fraizer.