HOUSTON — Clint Frazier believes this is just the beginning of his success after a breakthrough, homer-filled weekend in Baltimore.
Frazier passed another major test Monday night, recording his second straight multi-hit game and missing a home run on an RBI single off the top of the left-field wall in the fifth of the Yankees’ terrible, 4-3 loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park.
And all this happened against Justin Verlander. Not the Orioles staff. Frazier has nine RBIs in 21 at-bats.
“I’ve talked the talk because I know I can walk the walk,” Frazier told The Post.
Frazier was the highlight on a night the bullpen blew a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning. Zack Britton gave up a two-run double with two outs in the eighth to No. 9 hitter Robinson Chirinos and then Adam Ottavino allowed the go-ahead run in the eighth on a walk and two singles.
Britton also allowed a key walk. A bad night.
Frazier knows the question is: Can he sustain this type of success?
Walking the walk is a lot easier when you get consistent playing time.
“As long as I can get the consistent at-bats,” he said, “I have a good chance to show off what I can do. It’s just a matter of getting reps and opportunity, and right now I feel like I have a good opportunity and I’m trying to make the most of it.”
Frazier has never lost confidence in himself, and that is a great thing.
As Aaron Judge told The Post: “To succeed up here, you have to have that kind of confidence. We need Clint to step up now, and he’s done a great job for us.”
There have been a series of setbacks along the way for Frazier, like last year’s concussion issues, but he is making the most of this opportunity and is showing the abilities that made him such a top-rated prospect.
On Sunday he collected his first career multi-home run game and set a career high with four hits and equaled a career high with four RBIs. This comes the day after his three-run, go-ahead home run in the eighth inning on Saturday against the Orioles.
Frazier, 24, entered the season with only 168 major league at-bats.
“Whenever you are used to playing every day and then you start playing every other day, it’s difficult not to press,” Frazier said. “I’m trying to make my mark and let everyone know what I can do and I’m trying to hit a seven-run homer every time I am in the box.
“Now that I got a couple of games under my belt, I just needed a little momentum to feed off of.”
Aaron Boone is impressed.
“The talent is apparent, the bat speed, the power, the speed that he brings to the table,” Boone said. “It’s good to see him get some early results, and [Saturday] was the biggest hit we had all year to this point, those are things for a young player who is getting an opportunity, those are the kinds of things that will hopefully allow him to settle in and get comfortable at this level.”
Getting comfortable really began in spring training and with the relationship Frazier built with veteran Troy Tulowitzki.
“Tulo has been great for me,” Frazier said. “I love him, man, he’s a good role model for me. He’s definitely everything that you could imagine in a teammate.”
“With a guy like that, as a veteran player, you just have to put your arm around him, kind of teach him the game,” Tulowitzki said about his approach with Frazier. “Have a conversation with him whether it be over a meal or just in the clubhouse. Kind of tell him your experiences of what you’ve learned and when it kind of changed for yourself and your career.
“Just share that with him,” Tulo added. “The time will come. You can’t push anybody like that. They’ll figure it out on their own. But the talent is definitely there.”
Frazier needs to show success is sustainable. That’s the challenge.
Published at Tue, 09 Apr 2019 14:03:50 +0000