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Indians prospect Clint Frazier on a tear

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Yes, I know this photo is from last year.
Yes, I know this photo is from last year.
Doug Gray

Cleveland Indians outfield prospect and 2013 first-round pick Clint Frazier is on a tear with the Lynchburg Hillcats in the High-A Carolina League. In his last 38 games, Frazier is hitting .353/.458/.581 with five homers, 28 walks, and 31 strikeouts in 136 at-bats. His overall season line now stands at .283/.379/.459 with 29 doubles, 12 homers, 55 walks, and 103 strikeouts in 394 at-bats. He's also stolen 13 bases.

The Carolina League is dominated by pitching this year and his slash line parses out as an impressive 145 wRC+. His OPS ranks third in the circuit. It's a fine season for anyone, but he's only 20 years old, more than two and a half years younger than his league peers.

Frazier got off to a slow start this year, prompting us to ask "where is his power?" back in early May. He began to heat up shortly after that article was published. Observers credit the improvement to a slight modification to his hitting mechanics and a larger change in his philosophical approach: he stopped trying to pull everything and has shown sharper strike zone judgment. His BB/K/PA ratio has been excellent since July 1st. Combine these changes with his famously outstanding bat speed and you have this tear.

He is also playing well on defense, handling duties in center field without trouble after the promotion of Bradley Zimmer to Double-A. With Zimmer around Frazier is still likely a corner outfielder as he moves up, but he has the range to play any of the three positions and his arm is adequate for right.

Overall, Frazier right now looks like the player the Indians projected when he came out of high school. We'll have to see how he performs once he moves up to Double-A, but he's shown he can deal with failure and make needed adjustments.