Rick Hahn loves bargain bin shopping. As the old saying goes one man’s trash is another man’s starter on the White Sox. Each year Hahn always seems to catch lighting in a bottle by stumbling on a player who over-performs with the White Sox after being cast off by the rest of the league.
Last year it was Johnny Cueto and Elvis Andrus. The year before, it was Brain Goodwin. In 2019 in was James McCann. If you want to revive your career, then Chicago is the place to be.
Could this seasons diamond in the rough be Clint Frazier? On Sunday, the White Sox called up Frazier after a few weeks of watching him rake in Triple-A. Charlotte.
Upon joining the team, the man formally known as Jackson already has three hits, three walks, and two stolen bases in ten at-bats with the White Sox.
Frazier was a highly touted prospect when he entered the league. Cleveland drafted him with the fifth overall pick in 2013. Frazier eventually cracked the top 25 in the MLB’s top 100 prospect rankings. However, concussion issues have plagued Frazier throughout his career. In six MLB seasons (five with the Yankees), he has a .238 batting average and owns a career 0.3 WAR. His best season came in 2019 when he hit .267 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs, all of which are career highs.
Last season he played 19 games with the Cubs, hitting .216/.365/.297 over 45 plate appearances. He was then outrighted to the Iowa Cubs. He signed with the Texas Rangers this offseason, failed to make the team in Spring Training, and was released in April before signing with the White Sox three days later.
This could be his last chance in the big leagues, so he is hungry to make the most of it.
In his White Sox debut, he went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Since then, he has reached base in all four games he has played with the White Sox.
Fraizer could turn out to be a valuable asset to the club. The White Sox failed to address right field this offseason, and rookie Oscar Colas did not pan out in his first few weeks of MLB action. Colas could still return before the season’s end. After all, he is considered one of the White Sox’s top prospects.
In the meantime, Pedro Grifol has been penciling Gavin Sheets into the lineup as the right fielder. This puts the White Sox in the same position they were in last season, with a first baseman in the outfield. The White Sox need his left-handed power in the lineup and cannot hide him at DH with Jake Burger in the lineup.
Sheets also struggles against left-handed pitching. This season he has four at-bats against lefties and has struck out three times.
If Frazier continues to hit, he could serve as a platoon player with Sheets in right field when a lefty starter is on the mound. He also gives Grifol a late-inning option off the bench.
There is reason to believe that Frazier has turned a corner. According to the Athletic, he recently switched opened up his closed stance to be in a more neutral position. This has allowed him to move into the ball, stay linear, and stay on the pitch longer.
Frazier worked with Texas Rangers hitting coach Tim Hyers, who he has known since he was a teenager. He says that Hyers helped reinstill confidence in him. After simplifying his approach and treating his at-bats like it’s a whiffle ball game in his hometown of Decatur, Georgia, the results speak for themselves.
This has allowed him to play looser and be more aggressive at the plate.
In 16 games with the Charlotte Knights, he slashed .375/.478/.839 with seven home runs and a 1.317 OPS in 16 games).
Charlottle’s hitting coach Cameron Seitzer also applauded his aggressive approach.
“A big thing for Frazier is just staying aggressive, being on time, and driving the fastball to right-center,” Seitzer told The Athletic. “Obviously, it’s been a game-changer for him.”
Another dumpster dive from Hahn that no other team wanted, and who hasn’t had any MLB success in years. Hahn has a really solid track record of pickups like this working out fabulously. I’m sure he’s going to be their savior after they have not had a legit RF on the roster for 3 straight years.
And he has already played center field with Robert out. Good to have an actual outfielder in the outfield. Would be very cool if things finally clicked for him at the plate. Sounds like he has some speed and plate discipline which can’t be said of many of the current Sox.
What happened to being Jackson Frazier? Lol!