Clint Frazier On Latest Stint In Minors: 'Ultimately, I Put Myself Here'

But Yankees Outfielder Itching To Return To Majors

WFAN.com
August 09, 2019 - 10:26 am
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Clint Frazier isn't bitter about being sent down to the minors nearly two months ago, but that doesn't mean he isn't itching to return to New York.

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The 24-year-old Yankees outfielder was optioned to Triple-A Scranton on June 16. The move came shortly after Frazier committed multiple defensive miscues in a game against the Red Sox and then initally dodged the press afterward. When reporters finally caught up to him days later, he complained about past media coverage of him and said he's felt like an outsider since he was a child.

In an interview with The New York Times, Frazier said he didn't view his demotion as a punishment, but rather an opportunity to polish up his defense and a chain reaction to the Yankees' trade for Edwin Encarnacion, which figured to cut into Frazier's playing time.

"Coming down here, where 50,000 people aren't sitting in the stands and there aren't all the cameras, has helped kind of just be able to work in silence," he told the newspaper.

Clint Frazier
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

"All my energy is going into being a defender because if I'm fortunate to get that call back, man, I want to be in the outfield and turn heads and people be like, 'Wow, this guy has been working down there," Frazier added.

Frazier said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was "brutally honest" with him about what he needed to do to return to the majors. He needed to improve as a fielder.

"I can't be mad about my situation," Frazier said. "Ultimately, I put myself here."

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The Yankees used a computer simulation earlier this season to show Frazier that he was too quick in his initial route to the ball, slowed down too much as he got closer and would often break the wrong way or take his eyes off the ball to check his surroundings, a habit he developed after suffering a concussion during spring training in 2018 when he crashed into an outfield wall.

That injury cost Frazier most of last season, and it also resulted in limited defensive reps in the offseason, he said.

In an encouraging sign, Frazier made an impressive diving catch for the RailRiders on Tuesday night.

Frazier's hitting, however, has not been a concern. In 53 games with the Yankees earlier this season, he batted .283 with 11 home runs and 34 RBIs, helping the Bronx Bombers win despite an onslaught of injuries.

The injuries have continued to mount for the Yankees, but Frazier keeps getting passed over for call-ups. During his regular appearance on WFAN last week, Yankees manager Aaron Boone insisted Frazier, who was the subject of much trade speculation last month, has not fallen out of favor with the organization.

Despite being at peace about his time in Scranton this summer, Frazier said he thinks "it's crazy that I'm not in the big leagues."

"It's one of those things where I know I'm not a finished product, but I don't know if anyone is a finished product up there," he said.

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