The White Sox are planning to call up outfielder Clint Frazier prior to tomorrow’s game with the Royals, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports (Twitter link). Frazier signed a minor league deal with the Sox in late April, a few days after he was released from another minors contract with the Rangers.
Frazier is poised to make his debut with the White Sox but not his debut with Chicago, as he played in 19 games with the Cubs last season while hitting .216/.356/.297 over 45 plate appearances. Between that lack of production, a month-long stint on the injured list after an appendectomy, and a lot of struggles with the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, it was another setback for a player who was once one of baseball’s better prospects.
However, Frazier had decent Triple-A numbers with the Rangers prior to his release, and he has been crushing the ball since arriving in Triple-A Charlotte. The outfielder has hit .375/.478/.839 over 67 PA with the top White Sox affiliate, due in part to some changes in his batting stance and approach at the plate. As Triple-A hitting coach Cameron Seitzer recently told The Athletic’s James Fegan, Frazier has gone from a closed batting stance and “back to slight open. Then as he makes his forward move into the ball, he gains ground and he stays linear. So he’s actually staying on the pitcher longer.”
The results are obvious, and the White Sox will now see if Frazier can continue any of that success against big league pitching. The right-handed hitting Frazier can complement either Andrew Benintendi or Gavin Sheets (both lefty swingers) in the corner outfield, or could factor into the DH picture.
Sheets didn’t play today due to what was considered to be some minor wrist soreness, so the Sox could either just be adding some depth for precautionary purposes, or Sheets might be a candidate for the injured list if his wrist problem is more serious, or if the Sox want to give him more time to fully recover. At least one more transaction will be necessary to create space for Frazier on the 40-man roster, so the White Sox will have to designate someone for assignment or shift a player to the 60-day injured list.