Clint Frazier was the most-hyped prize in the trove of prospects the Yankees received when they dealt Andrew Miller to the Indians last July. He was Cleveland’s top position prospect and so there was anticipation that he’d get called up before the end of the season. But the outfielder did not earn it, hitting just three homers and striking out 30 times in 101 at-bats with Triple-A Scranton.
At least he’s identified why.
“The biggest adjustment switching clubs was the pressure I put on myself. I got a lot of attention with Cleveland but that just grew times 10, I felt like, when I came over here,” Frazier said Tuesday at a midtown event in the Yankees Winter Warm-Up. “I went from trying to fill Clint Frazier’s shoes to trying to fill Andrew Miller’s.”
“The guy did what he did because he’s one of the best pitchers in the game. To try to live up to the amount of hype that he had because I was traded for him was hard,” Frazier added. “He did what he did and I struggled. I think for the first time in my life I was humbled. I needed that. I needed to get off Cloud Nine and realize there were things that I needed to work on. I’m glad that a guy like Andrew is who I got traded for, so I need to continue to work every day.”
His solution for that? “I’m not watching him pitch,” he said.
Frazier was joined by prospects Gleyber Torres (from the Aroldis Chapman trade with the Cubs), James Kaprielian and Chance Adams at the event, a Town Hall Meeting, where fans could get to know them. Starlin Castro and GM Brian Cashman also were there.
“To be ranked the No. 1 farm system by a few people out there is awesome. The direction that it’s trending right now is going upwards,” Frazier said. “I think we have so many people around us right now that we’re almost bound for success. We have so many great pieces that help puzzle us together. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
In February Frazier will be with the Yankees for his first major-league spring training. But the 22-year-old won’t get caught up in the expectations he’ll reach the bigs during 2017.
“It’s the goal to make it up there this year,” Frazier said. “I think if I perform, I’ll be in the right spot. I think everything is going to fall in place where it should be.”