# What would a full season from Clint Frazier look like?

It’s been almost four years of waiting. Four years of wondering. Four years of anticipation. Four years of preparation for the arrival of Red Thunder. At this point, it feels like were going to be waiting another year to finally see if Clint Frazier is for real.

The original trade for Frazier brought us hope of a solid replacement for Brett Gardner once his contract came up. Nobody saw the Stanton trade coming for Christmas going into 2018 or the career resurgence (career high in SLG and OPS) of Gardner himself in 2019.

We’ve gotten a few short glimpses of Frazier’s potential during his 123 games spread across the last three seasons. To his credit, he has actually gotten better offensively each season but the defense still leaves everyone wanting. Defense can be hard to project, especially for someone who has been a negative on defense since arriving to the major leagues.

For now, we can try to project what Clint Frazier would look like if he were given a full season of plate appearances based on how he has improved from one year to the next.

## What we're working with

Frazier doesn’t have anywhere close to a decent sample size of plate appearances. Going back to his minor league statistics, we can get a better idea of what to expect moving forward.

Frazier has carried a strikeout percentage of 29.4% over his major league career but that’s understandable because he hasn’t had a chance to acclimate himself to a new level. Looking at the most advanced levels of the minors (AA and AAA), he was right at 22.5%. Using an MLE (Major League Equivalency) calculator, that should translate to a 24.8% strikeout rate which is much more palatable. Using the MLE for his walk rate in the minors (14.67%), the MLE spit out 11%.

Frazier’s walk rate (to date) in the majors has been about 6.5%. In theory, he could double the amount of walks while dropping his strikeout rate by almost five percentage points. Keep in mind, this is all in theory. It’s up to Red Thunder to get it done.

## Would he hit and get on base more?

So what happens if he fulfils the prediction that the MLE spit out? Using his career stats to date we can compare what he’s done to what he could do:

**Actual Statistics (2017 to 2019)** **BB%** **6.50%** **K%** **29.40%** **Name** **G** **AB** **PA** **BB** **SO** **H** **AVG** **OBP** **Clint Frazier** 123 393 429 28 126 100 **0.254** **0.308** **Possible Statistics (2020 or 2021)** **With BB%** **8.50%** **K%** **26.00%** **Name** **G** **AB** **PA** **BB** **SO** **H** **AVG** **OBP** **Clint Frazier** 123 383 429 36 112 103 **0.269** **0.324** **Possible Statistics (2020 or 2021)** **With BB%** **11.00%** **K%** **24.80%** **Name** **G** **AB** **PA** **BB** **SO** **H** **AVG** **OBP** **Clint Frazier** 123 374 429 47 106 107 **0.286** **0.359**

For projecting his average and on-base-percentage, we can keep his games played and plate appearances the same. A .286 batting average and .359 on-base-percentage looks pretty great. Even if we temper those mild expectations (let’s say a 26% strikeout percentage and 8.5% walk rate), Frazier still sits in a much better position at .269/.324.

Give him enough time and he can adjust to major league pitching. Working at the major league level with hitting coaches Marcus Thames and PJ Pilittere would surely help.

## Would he hit for more power?

What about the power? Frazier hit 46 homeruns in 303 games split between AA and AAA from 2016 and 2019. That’s about 23 homeruns over a full season if those were major league games. Not a bad or good total. Basically average power. With those 23 homeruns would come 40 or so doubles. That makes the power potential much more intriguing.

Let’s assume he can meet that power ceiling playing regularly with the Yankees. Here is what his slugging totals could look like:

**Actual Statistics (2017 to 2019)** **Name** **AB** **1B** **2B** **3B** **HR** **SLG** **Clint Frazier** 393 56 26 4 16 0.463 **Possible Statistics (2020 or 2021)** **Name** **AB** **1B** **2B** **3B** **HR** **SLG** **Clint Frazier** 383 38 40 1 23 0.556 **Possible Statistics (2020 or 2021)** **Name** **AB** **1B** **2B** **3B** **HR** **SLG** **Clint Frazier** 374 42 40 1 23 0.580

Keeping the same statistics from the previous chart, you can see the difference it makes if Frazier can realize the power potential he has. After acquiring Frazier back in 2016, Brian Cashman said "Frazier has an electric bat. His bat speed is already legendary.” If he hits for the power we have seen in the minors, he could make Cashman look like a prophet.

Our “worst case scenario” gives Frazier nearly a 100-point jump in his slugging percentage. We want the “best case scenario” though so if he can reach that level, we could see a season from Frazier where he hits .286/.359/.580. If that line doesn’t make your imagination do a back-flip, I don’t know what to tell you. Keep in mind, this projection only accounts for 429 plate appearances. There are a number of factors that could increase (or decrease) that number.

If Frazier gets moved up higher in the lineup, he could get a couple dozen more plate appearances. There is some danger with increasing the sample size though. The more pitchers see of him, the more likely it is they adapt. That’s baseball though and even a slight negative adjustment still makes this projection a big improvement.

We have plenty of highlights over the last three seasons showing us what Frazier can do. The problem isn’t talent, it’s just opportunity. He needs to stay healthy, take advantage of the chance he gets (and its likely he will get it), and adjust his strategy at the plate. We can worry about the defensive ability (or lack thereof) another day.

If everything falls in line for Clint Frazier, the Yankees may have another All-Star outfielder.