Clint Frazier is 19 years of age. He has freckles and an awkward, kid-like smile. He has an incredible head of red hair. His teammates greeted his arrival by sporting Ronald McDonald wigs. He’s an agile outfielder who can also hit for power. He possesses incredible bat speed, and has used being pitched around to his advantage. Oh, and he wants to be the next Mike Trout.
In a recent interview with FanGraphs’ David Laurila, Frazier discusses a variety of items, including how close he was to being a member of the Red Sox, how he spent a good portion of high school trying to impress scouts, and the portions of his game he has worked on since being selected fifth-overall by the Tribe in 2013.
In high school, I’d have had a much higher batting average if I’d learned to hit the ball everywhere. In pro ball, I worked the first five months on trying to hit the ball up the middle and to the opposite field. The majority of my base hits this year have been opposite field. That’s something I worked hard on. I didn’t want to be thought of as a dead-pull hitter. I wanted to change opinions and maximize my ability by using the whole field. I’m more of a threat if I hit the ball all over the place.
I asked my coaches what type of hitter they thought I’d develop into, and they said someone who can hit .300, steal 30 or 40 bags, and also hit 30 homers. I want to be like Mike Trout. I want to be a guy that hurts you in every part of the game. I don’t want to be a guy that’s known for striking out a lot and hitting a lot of home runs with a low average. I want to be one of the best hitters to step into the box, and [good] in the outfield and on the bases.
Frazier was named Gatorade National Player of the Year after hitting .438 in his final season at Loganville [Ga.] High School. After signing with the Indians, he went on to hit .297/.362/.506, in 196 plate appearances, in the Arizona Summer League.
He’s gained roughly 10 pounds of muscle since being acquired, going from 183 to 195 pounds, and has managed to marry his new muscle with his already plus-plus bat speed, increasing the weight of his bat from 31 ounces to 32.5 ounces. Upon being drafted, our own Jacob wanted to clear the air, stating that comparing Frazier to Trout—arguably the game’s best all-around player—would be presumptuous and borderline unfair to a kid who had yet taken a swing at the major league level. Hearing Frazier consider Trout to be a goal rather than a peer, however, is something that’s tough to not get excited about.