Yankees News: Clint Frazier Named Starting LF Ahead of Spring Training

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2021

New York Yankees Clint Frazier (77) at bat in a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone has seemingly penciled in Clint Frazier as the starting left fielder heading into 2021.

"Clint has earned his place," Boone told reporters Wednesday.

Frazier finished last season with a .267 batting average with eight home runs in 39 games, plus a career-high .905 OPS. He has seen inconsistent playing time since making his debut in 2017, totaling just 162 games in four seasons.

Without a minor league season last year, Frazier began the year at the team's alternate site before an injury to Aaron Judge opened an opportunity in August.

Judge will certainly get the nod in right field when healthy, while Giancarlo Stanton is set as the team's designated hitter. It leaves left field as the only other full-time option for Frazier, taking the position held by Brett Gardner for many of his 13 years with the organization.

While Gardner is a fan-favorite, he only hit .223 with five home runs and three stolen bases in 2020.

Frazier provides a bigger impact at the plate with his ability to get on base with regularity while changing games with his power.

The former first-round draft pick was a highly touted prospect but struggled with consistency once he hit the majors. Last year's production should be enough for the Yankees to have confidence in him going forward, trying to improve an offense that led the American League in runs scored last season.