New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier said he will try to put less pressure on himself in 2017 after he tried to live up to higher standards following the trade that sent LHP Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians.
"I went from trying to fill Clint Frazier's shoes to trying to fill Andrew Miller shoes," Frazier said, according to the New York Daily News' Mike Mazzeo.
Frazier, 22, was the center piece the Yankees received in the deal, as he was rated the No. 27 prospect by MLB.com, No. 44 prospect by Baseball America and No. 53 prospect by Baseball Prospectus entering 2016. Before being traded to New York, he hit .276 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs in 89 RBIs with Double-A Akron.
But after the trade, he hit just .228 with three home runs and seven RBIs in 25 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
"I think I kind of lost who I was when I was struggling last year," Frazier said. "I didn't know how to recover from such a slump that I went through. I think that was good for me to grow as a player and grow as a man, and I'm looking forward to this year."
Now, he said he will no longer watch Miller pitch because of the high expectations he put on himself.
"The guy did what he did because he's one of the best pitchers in the game," Frazier said. "To try to live up to the hype that he had because I was traded for him was hard. He went out there and did what he did and I struggled, and I think for the first time in my life I was humbled to a maximum tee. I needed that. I needed to get off cloud nine and realize that there are things I need to work on. I'm glad that a guy like Andrew is who I got traded for, so I need to continue to work everyday."
While GM Brian Cashman said in October he thought it was unlikely Frazier would begin the season in the majors, Frazier is hopeful he will make his MLB debut in 2017.
"I think if I perform, I'll be in the right spot," Frazier said. "I'm not the general manager. I can't call myself up. But I think everything is going to fall into place the way it should be."