Frazier could be the big right-handed bat Tribe fans have been wishing for. Credit: Matt Bretz
Don’t Forget About Frazier
While Bradley Zimmer is the favorite Tribe prospect according to most fans and experts, people shouldn’t forget about Clint Frazier. Drafted in the first round the year before Zimmer, Frazier is a stud prospect in his own right. Ranked as the best prospect in the Tribe system by two of our writers (including myself), he’s arguably got an even higher ceiling than Zimmer. The one knock I hear with Frazier is some are worried about his swing and if he’ll hit enough at the big league level. It’s a legit concern but consider this, at the same level this year (High-A), Frazier is actually striking out slightly less than Zimmer did (22.8% vs 23.0%). Frazier’s got some of the best raw power in the organization and some of the best bat speed I’ve ever seen from a Tribe prospect. I had the chance to watch him at Lynchburg this year and the sound of the ball coming off his bat versus other players (including Zimmer) was simply different. Almost sounded like he was using a metal bat while everyone else was using wood (which of course wasn’t the case).
Sure Frazier is more likely to end up in RF than Zimmer, but he has a better arm as well so could settle in nicely there and end up a plus defensive player (something Tribe fans haven’t seen in a long time out in RF). Indians have let Frazier play CF some and he is still very athletic and one shouldn’t completely rule him out there. He also has surprising speed for a guy whose power is what most want to talk about. He stole 12 bases in 2014 and already has 11 this year. He’s no Zimmer on the bases but not crazy to think he could be a 15-20 SB guy in the big leagues.
Oh, and did I mention that Frazier is right-handed? How many years have we heard fans screaming for the Indians to get a right-handed power bat now (seems like forever)? Well, he’s not as close as Zimmer but Frazier could see Cleveland sometime in 2017 (or 2018), and when he does he should be a big-time home run threat from the right-side of the plate. So while Zimmer is the sexier prospect and closer to the big leagues, I’m still sticking with Frazier as the top prospect. I love his power and think the bat will play at the higher levels.
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