If you make poor life decisions and chose to watch College Football over the Arizona Fall League Championship, you missed your last chance to see Clint Frazier (and any semi-meaningful baseball) in 2015. The Indians No. 2 prospect was statistically a non-factor in the game, but he was incorrectly called out in his third at-bat and provided some excitement late with a long fly ball that was caught on a great diving play by New York Yankee outfielder Tyler Austin. As a team, the Scottsdale Scorpions won their fourth AFL Championship in team history and their first since 2010.
But who cares about that, let’s take a look at each of Frazier’s at-bats.
1st inning, 0 outs, 0 runners on base
Frazier led off the game with a disappointing at-bat. He fought off a couple pitches and showed off his tremendous bat speed, but ultimately struck out looking on four pitches.
3rd inning, 2 outs, 0 runners on base
In his second at-bat, Frazier made weak contact to shortstop Yadiel Rivera. It looked like a routine play, but the bouncer ate Rivera up and Frazier reached on a fielding error. This was one of four errors committed by Surprise, and one of seven total errors in the game. If you watched the Indians in the first half of 2015 you know what the defense looked like for most of the game today. Frazier was stranded on first when Mike Gerber lined out in the next at-bat.
5th inning, 0 outs, 0 runners on base
Frazier once again lead off an inning, and once again it did not last long. Taking a cue from Francisco Lindor, Frazier decided to bunt, but the ball hit him on the way out of the box and he was called out. At least that's how it looked in the moment, but replay revealed that Frazier was hit in the leg first (while still in the box) before the ball bounced and hit him in the hand (when he was out of the box). If replay review was available in the Arizona Fall League, it would have been an easy call to say that it was a foul ball. Unfortunately, no such thing exists in the AFL and he was called out.
Obviously you are going to know when a ball hits you, and Frazier knew the ball hit him while in the box. He was visibly angry heading to the dugout but mostly kept his cool. Hopefully it will feel good to know he was right after the game when he checks the replay.
7th inning, 1 out, 0 runners on base
This will show up as an ordinary fly ball out in the box score, but Frazier made great contact and put a big charge into the ball during his seventh-inning at-bat. To that point, it was the best hit of the game, no doubt, but Yankees prospect Tyler Austin robbed Frazier of at least two bases with a great diving catch in left field. If seeing Frazier’s swing and hearing the crack of the bat in this at-bat does not at least make you a little bit tingly thinking about the future, I do not know what will.
9th inning, 0 outs, 0 runners on base
Frazier was not doing much more than swinging for the fences in a hideous final at-bat. Honestly, after a mostly okay game--despite the poor stat line--this at-bat just looked like Frazier was done and wanted to go home. Three straight hard swings blindly hoping he made contact without being close on any of them.
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Despite the poor stat line and horrendous final at-bat, Clint Frazier was not that bad in the win. He made good contact in one at-bat, got robbed by a bad call in another, and he made several difficult catches against a glaring sun. If it wasn't for that final at-bat and a mildly disappointing leadoff, I would have called this a pretty great game despite not tallying a hit. 2017 cannot come soon enough.