The Rise of Red Thunder: Yankees Promote Clint Frazier

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CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 10: Clint Frazier (75) of the Yankees minus his trademark hair walks around second base after the third out during the spring training game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies on March 10, 2017 at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Halfway through the first game of a pivotal series with the Houston Astros, news broke that the second-place New York Yankees were going to call up one of their top prospects.

That prospect, who as of right now is technically their number one prospect (since Gleyber Torres is out for the season), is outfielder Clint “Red Thunder” Frazier.

The Rise of Red Thunder: Yankees Promote Clint Frazier

Why Now?

Recent injuries to outfielders Dustin Fowler and Aaron Hicks have left the slumping squad in need of some depth at the major league level.Fowler was supposed to resolve that problem, but was shockingly injured just one inning into his pro debut.

Additionally, since Mason Williams was recently designated for assignment and Tyler Austin was placed on the 10-day DL, the Yankees needed a player who could be reliable in the field and provide some production at the plate. A major league stint for Frazier prior to the all-star break seemed to be the logical move.

In 73 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Frazier has 12 home runs, 42 RBI, a .257 batting average, and a .345 OBP. Frazier has seen time at all three outfield positions this season, much like Fowler, as well as a handful of games as the team’s DH. With the team in the midst of their worst month of the season, it is quite possible that general manager Brian Cashman and the Yankees front office want to see if the talented youngsters they already have in-house can provide this team with the boost they need to get back to playing better baseball.

This move might be a stop-gap solution as the team awaits Hicks’ return from the DL, but anything is possible if Frazier begins to swing a hot bat. After all, Hicks only took over the starting role after Jacoby Ellsbury was forced to miss time due to a concussion.

Trade Implications

Yankees Owner Hal Steinbrenner has previously commented on the likelihood of the team being buyers at the trade deadline, but Frazier is almost certainly untouchable. As for if the team will make other moves—for a corner infielder, a starting pitcher, or for bullpen help—this move should not have a major impact.

The team has been mentioned in rumors around players such as Eric Hosmer, Eduardo Nunez, and various pitchers, but none of those rumors seem to have progressed substantially at this point.

Cashman and Girardi would love nothing more than for the so-called “Baby Bombers” to revitalize this team like Gary Sanchez did late last season, but only time will tell what impact Frazier will truly have on the team.

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