Yankees News, 3/9: Clint Frazier details hardships of his confidence, X-factor for 2021 season

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier
Sep 1, 2020; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Clint Frazier (77) catches the ball during the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier earning the starting left-field job has been a culmination of hard work, determination, and self-assurance. Frazier has dealt with many problematic factors over the past few seasons, ranging from a lack of confidence to concussion symptoms that lasted for months. However, he didn’t stop working for one moment, showing resiliency and discipline toward his craft.

Last season, Frazier’s hard work paid off, being named a Gold Glove finalist as a result of his defensive prowess. He earned a .984 fielding percentage, allowing just one error over 36 games.

Based on his performance in 2020, Clint is confident in his abilities moving forward. The past has taught him valuable lessons, ones that have finally secured him a starting job on one of the best teams in baseball. However, Frazier detailed those demons and how influential they became early on.

“Any time your confidence is stunted, it makes anything in life hard — not just playing baseball,” Frazier said. “Ultimately, I think I made enough plays in a row for me to have all the weight off my shoulders going forward, feeling comfortable and a part of the team out there.”

If there’s anyone who is happy to see Frazier reach his potential, it is Yankees skipper Aaron Boone. Boone has watched the 26-year-old struggle and then emerge as an even better player, showing resiliency and the desire to accomplish his personal goals. Despite having an extremely difficult defensive 2019, he bounced back in a big way, showing he can be an every-day outfielder.

“He blew us all up,” Boone said, chuckling. “I think back to the Red Sox game where he had a couple of blunders out there. His defense has always been something that’s been talked about or questioned: can he get to a certain point? We’ve seen the work over the last couple of years suggest that he could become a very good defensive outfielder. We saw that turn into results last year.”

The New York Yankees are still fighting one major problem and it’s the X-factor:

The Yankees have dealt with significant injuries in recent years, but 2020 saw their entire outfield go down. If the season wasn’t delayed last year, the Yankees would’ve been without Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, and likely Giancarlo Stanton.
Hopefully, the hiring of Eric Cressey, the team’s new Director of strength and conditioning, will change the narrative moving forward. If they can remain healthy, the Yankees will have one of the best teams in baseball, but it is a big “IF.”