The Detroit Tigers were tied to Clint Frazier back in 2017 and now that he has been released by the New York Yankees, is he a good reclamation project?
Back in 2017, one of our former contributors during the Michael Fulmer rumors to the New York Yankees suggested that the Detroit Tigers should not go after Clint Frazier. In hindsight based on the numbers he has put up, that is a fair statement based on him being drafted in the first round, fifth overall in 2013 out of Loganville High School in Georgia.
His numbers this season were not good, finishing with a slash line of .186/ .317/ .317 and his career numbers heading into this season were .258/.331/.475 with 24 home runs. He has been high with strikeouts and his defense has him rated at -6 in 2021 and in right field, -5.
The above sounds like a total pile on but there is a lot to like about Frazier. For one, he had double-digit walk rates in his limited time in New York with 15.6% in 2020 and in 14.7% this season. He has had an .ISO of over .200 minus this season so there is power in the bat.
The ground ball rate sits around 41.4% for his career and 39.4% for fly balls so he can elevate. Further proof is his max exit velocity rate that put him in the 80th percentile rate and last season, the same number for his Outs Above Average. Despite the DRS numbers he does have a quick step in the outfield and has had a barrel rate of over 10% in his career. Prior to this season, he has had OPS+ of over 100 so he can get on base.
Heading into the 2022 season, the Detroit Tigers outfield of Akil Baddoo, Robbie Grossman, and a combination of either Riley Greene, Daz Cameron, or Victor Reyes will be roaming Comerica Park. If they are going to get a big money shortstop, an outfield like Frazier with his ability to at least draw walks, given a fresh start, could benefit.
As MLB Trade Rumors discussed in their article, injuries including vertigo and unknown ones affected him this season. Detroit may consider a more proven bat but he is 27 years old and there is enough there in his raw tools for some consideration.