The state of Georgia consistently puts out some of the best prep talent year in and year out for the MLB draft. There's something in the water down there that gives HS baseball players loads of tools. Just look at what Domonic Brown is doing this year and you can see the type of talent the state can produce. The prime-time Georgia prospect last year was Byron Buxton. This year, it's Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier.
Don't let that fool you though, Clint Frazier is not your typical Georgia prep prospect. Austin Meadows fits the mold of the usual Georgia prep though. Frazier is different in that he's not all raw tools. I don't want to call him "toolsy" because that has the connotation of just raw tools with no polish. Frazier has tools, but he's not "toolsy", if that makes any sense. He's much more polished than other prep prospects and his frame lacks the projection.
He has one of the better arms in the prep class, in fact Baseball America rated it as one of the three best prep arms. I like his throwing motion so I think he can play right field if he is unable to play center. He'll start out in center field to see if he can stick there since he'll have more value there. He has the speed for it now with his sub-6.5 60 times, but he could slow down. He has a muscular build for his 6'1 frame and it indicates that he could add mass and slow him down.
But, that mass is what also draws you to him. He projects to have above-average to plus power down the road as he gains strength. To go with his strength, he has great bat speed and has some nice loft to his swing. It's more difficult for guys with smaller statures to create the kind of leverage for the high end power, but he uses his body well and gets his hips turned and weight shifted, so he can hit for power.
It's hard to know how high school hitters will hit when they get to pro ball. You can watch their plate coverage and see how they handle pitches in all of the zones and how they react to off-speed pitches, but it's not easy to project. The quality of pitching is a huge jump into pro ball and some just never catch up. With that said, he shows those signs you need to see to give you confidence that he could become an above-average hitter in the pro ranks.
He has the great bat speed to get around with upper level velocities. He covers the plate well. He's hit well in the showcases when he's at least facing the top level prep pitching in this year's draft, but it was still noticeable that it was much tougher on him with some great breaking balls. It's possible that he might struggle early on with advanced breaking balls in pro ball. But, that's very common in prep hitters, and something that is something he can improve on. He's displayed an aggressive approach as a hitter which could lead to some strikeout issues in pro ball.
The big thing with him is that he has an extra little make-up bonus. He seems to play with that little bit extra. He has grit. He has a drive. That's something that can be invaluable.
This is the special aspect of Frazier's value. He is perhaps the safest high school prospects I've come across in recent years. There are safe high school prospects like Albert Almora last year, but I wouldn't put him on Frazier's level. He just simply has the skills right now to adjust really well to pro ball and not struggle as bad as most HS prospects do in their first taste of the minors. As a major league floor, I would give him the room to at least be 4th outfielder. He would be deserving of spot starts and or a platoon guy and not sacrifice much productivity. He'll be able to at least play all three positions.
His ceiling is that of an above-average center-fielder with the ability to launch 25 home runs in his best seasons. He would also likely have a batting average over .275 that year with about a .350 OBP. Not bad if I do say so myself. I think it's possible that this might be lofty, but I don't think its outside the realm of possibility.
College Commitment: Georgia
Projected Draft Round:
First. Plain and simple. Keith Law's latest mock draft has Frazier falling all the way outside the top 10, but by all indications, the Astros are still considering calling his name at 1.1 on draft day.
Will he sign?
Yes he will. There has been absolutely no indications otherwise.
A right-handed hitter, Frazier ran a 6.6 second 60 at the East Coast Pro Showcase over the summer. He also might have a more advanced bat than most of the high schoolers in the class, with a quick, short stroke that generates more power than you might expect given his frame. The lack of physicality might concern some, but his collection of tools should keep him high on Draft boards all spring.
Clint Frazier is a 2013 OF/3B with a 6-0 190 lb. frame from Loganville, GA who attends Loganville HS. Extremely strong tightly wound body, 100% quick twitch fiber. Right handed hitter, straight stance, short rock back load, late quick hand hitch to start swing, extraordinary bat speed, very short swing arch, plus/plus raw power without length or effort, patient hitter who sees the ball and explodes on it. 6.42 runner, former third baseman now in the outfield, centerfield tools, has had a tender arm but still showed plus raw arm strength. Five-tool talent and can use them. Good student, verbal commitment to Georgia.
Frazier has burst onto the scene as one of the top prospects in his class and is making a strong case to be one of the first selections in 2013. The Georgia outfielder does everything well on the field and is an impressive all-around talent with the chance to make an impact with his bat and his legs. Despite not being a particularly big guy, Frazier has exceptional bat speed that he generates thanks to his impressive present strength and very quick hands. Accordingly, there's a lot of raw power in his swing, but Frazier has also shown the ability to consistently square the ball up and drive it to all fields. He's a plus runner with 60 times in the 6.5 second range and he definitely has the tools for centerfield at the next level with good range and a very strong arm. Frazier was hands down the most impressive player in the major showcase games this summer and has solidified a reputation as one of the few players in this class with a chance to be an impact player. The only knock on Frazier is that he is relatively old for his class, but that's a minor dent in an otherwise stellar profile. If everything pans out, Frazier has the chance to be a five-tool talent with a dangerous power/speed combo.
Twitchy athlete with good present strength and some physical projection remaining. Exceptional power prospect. Absolutely elite bat speed and top-of-the-scale raw power. Hit tool has to develop, including plate coverage, pitch recognition and approach but has the elite bat speed to cover some weaknesses in the overall hitting approach. Potential average hit that should allow 80 raw to play in games. .270-.280 hitter with 40+ home runs at peak. Athletic enough and runs well enough for CF assignment but instincts are not there yet (new to the position). May not get there and may fit better in RF where plus speed will play just as well. Ultra-aggressive player with high energy and good makeup. Potential star-level player with power as the standout tool.
Baseball Prospectus (Nick J. Faleris)
Off the field, Frazier doesn't necessarily look the part of a potential 1-1 draft prospect, but it takes very little time for him to win you over once you see him in action. His ceiling is an all-star level center fielder that fits in the top half of a first division lineup, and his skill set is varied enough that there is room for him to grow into a valuable Major League piece even if aspects of his game ultimately fall short of their lofty potential. Outside of the tools, Frazier stands out for his energetic and hard-nosed approach to the game, and should be well suited to handle th rigors of the minor league developmental arc. Highly motivated and supremely talented, he is an easy early-1st round prospect that should get strong top five overall consideration. A team willing to absorb some risk could five years from now find themselves the happy employer of a perennial all-star.