“It’s probably the best taste of baseball I’ve ever had,” Clint Frazier said after his successful debut on July 1st. Frazier was brought up by the Yankees for the Houston Astros’ series, and Red Thunder, as Frazier is known, garnered his first career hit (a double) and smashed his first big league home run in that game. The 22 year old Frazier was the first Yankee since 1913 to double and homer in his big league debut.
Frazier has described his style of play as “intense,” and has been quoted as saying “I play as hard as I can. I’m going to go out there and I’m not going to be afraid to run into a wall to catch a ball. I’m going to dive for a ball. I’m going to try to make a play at all times. Same at the plate. I’m swinging hard and I’m trying to do damage every single time. I play like it’s the last time I’m going to be on that field.”
Since coming up to the big club 10 games ago, Frazier has slugged his way to a .286 BA with 3 homers and 8 RBI’s, and shown speed in the outfield and on the base pads. Yankee fans’ excitement reached a fever pitch for Frazier when he hit his first career walk-off homer vs Corey Knebel to give the Yankees a 5-3 win over the Brewers on July 8th. Against the Red Sox on Sunday night, Frazier demonstrated some of that legendary bat speed he is known for, catching up to a David Price fastball for a hit, which was especially impressive since Price was dealing a shut-out.
Frazier is slated to remain in the lineup until Aaron Hicks returns from the disabled list in the first weeks of August. Frazier has confidence in his abilities and has said, ”Obviously I have high expectations for myself,” Frazier said. “I pride myself in all parts of the game. I know when I step on the field that I have the physical ability to do a lot of things that are very special. I’m not trying to be Mike Trout. I’m trying to be Clint Frazier. I’m trying to fill my own shoes, and wherever that takes me when the time comes is going to be awesome.”
Frazier’s “awesome” performance so far with the Yankees will make Girardi’s decisions on playing time for his five outfielders even more difficult. In 60 games this season, spelling the outfielders and filling in when Jacoby Ellsbury was on the disabled list, Aaron Hicks is batting .290 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs. Although many believe the fourth outfielder job is Hicks to lose, Frazier is making his bid for time with the big club and hoping to be more than a brief flash across the Yankees’ 2017 season.