In Cleveland Indians prospect watch, Clint Frazier showed fans why he’s currently the Tribe’s No. 2 overall prospect by starring in the MLB Futures game Sunday night.
The future is bright, and comes with long red hair for the Cleveland Indians.
Clint Frazier, The Tribe’s first-round selection in 2013 is now one of baseball’s top prospects, as the Logansville, Georgia native has a chance to be the Indians first real home-grown power-hitting prospect to roam Progressive Field since Manny Ramirez got promoted established himself as a regular in 1994.
Yes, that’s a long, long time. The Indians draft history from the mid 1990s to 2008, when Brad Grant took over the draft in 2008 is a sorry one. It’s been beaten to death by MLB scribes, so no need to rehash the hash.
Let’s focus on now.
If you saw Frazier starring in the MLB Futures Game, you might not have recognized him from his draft day photos, except for the bright red hair. Back then, he was a beanpole looking teenager right out of high school who looked like the kid working at my neighborhood Subway. Tribe fans had to be thinking to themselves: This is the kid they’re projecting to be a power bat?
Well if you saw Frazier, 21, Sunday night, you witnessed what the Indians front office envisioned when the drafted him three years ago.
With forearms larger than northeast Ohio and bat speed quicker than the Rapid Transit Rail, Frazier went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a stolen base.
You’ll understand why teams will be asking for Frazier as Cleveland looks to improve heading into the trade deadline, and after watching him mash, you’ll also understand why the Indians will be reluctant to trade him.
Frazier’s spent all season at Class AA Akron, and he’s having an outstanding campaign, slashing .287/.369/.483 with an .853 OPS, and 11 homers and 43 RBIs.
The Eastern League is known for strong pitching, so it’s encouraging to see Frazier have this kind of success in his first season at Class AA.
While rumors are sure to fly, especially after Frazier’s dominant outing, don’t expect the Tribe to move their promising prospect, unless their blown away, according to ESPN Insider Jim Bowden.
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“The Indians have the best starting rotation one-through-five in baseball right now. They not only have a legitimate chance of winning the AL Central but a real possibility of getting back to the World Series,” Bowden wrote. “Although they have been scoring enough runs, there is no question another impact bat would help. Whether it’s Carlos Beltran of the Yankees, Jay Bruce of the Reds or Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, there are plenty available on the trade market. Frazier would be difficult to part with because he profiles as a 20 home run, 20 stolen base talent. The only way they include him in a deal is if the return puts them over the top.”
He’s a young right-handed power stick who’s AFFORDABLE. In case you haven’t noticed, the Indians have needed one of these for the better part of a decade.
With the franchise so close to having one of these weapons that they developed, I can’t imagine GM Mike Chernoff shipping such a prized asset away so that another team can reap the rewards.
This isn’t to say the Indians need to hoard prospects, because the minors are filled with young talent, but Frazier is untouchable, and we finally saw why on Sunday night.