Washington Nationals: Time To Take A Chance On Clint Frazier

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 6: Clint Frazier #77 of the New York Yankees reacts against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Yankee Stadium on June 6, 2021 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 6: Clint Frazier #77 of the New York Yankees reacts against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning at Yankee Stadium on June 6, 2021 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
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Clint Frazier is another bounce-back candidate the National should take a chance on.

Today was the deadline for teams to finalize their 40-man rosters before the Rule-5 draft. Eligible players not on the team’s 40-man rosters can be selected by other teams. For the Nationals, they notably added Donovan Casey and Evan Lee, but left off Tim Cate and Jordy Barley.

Earlier tonight, the Yankees decided instead of keeping him unprotected to designate Clint Frazier for assignment.

Drafted fifth overall by the then Cleveland Indians in 2013, Clint Frazier is a former top prospect. Traded to the Yankees in the Andrew Miller trade, he made his MLB debut with them in 2017.

After a slow start to his career, he finally found some success in 2019, hitting  .267, with 12 homers, 28 RBIs, and an OPS of .806. The next year, he hit .267, with eight homers, 26 RBIs, and an OPS of .905 in 39 games. Unfortunately, this past season Frazier took a major step back. He hit a meager .186 with five homers, 15 RBIs, and an OPS of .633.

A major reason for his struggles was injuries. He started dealing with dizziness in June and ended up missing the rest of the season. Over the past five years, he has dealt with numerous injuries that have sidelined him. In fact, he hasn’t had more than 246 plate appearances in a year.

Despite his down year, this is a perfect player for the Nationals to buy low on. In the midst of a rebuild, they have the time to allow Frazier to work through his growing pains. Only 27, he fits the timetable for the team’s next core. His career wRC+ of 105 is slightly above league average, showing he can still be reliable with the bat.

A corner outfielder, he struggles defensively. In his career, he has eight outfield assists, -20 DRS, and a -14.8 UZR. Instead, he is a candidate for DH. It is widely assumed that the universal DH will be implemented for next season.

The Nationals outfield is crowded, with Victor Robles, Lane Thomas, Yadiel Hernández, and Andrew Stevenson all vying for spots (Juan Soto is a lock). But, Frazier’s bat has a higher ceiling than the other four.

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