It has been nearly two months since Clint Frazier was sent back down to Triple-A, and with the trade deadline over and some more Yankees outfielders hurt, the 24-year-old still finds himself stuck in Scranton.
The Yankees say it is to work on his defense, and Frazier acknowledges that, but still feels he belongs in the majors.
"It's crazy that I'm not in the big leagues," Frazier told James Wagner of the New York Times. "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. I think I need to be tested against major league pitching and defense in the outfield in every aspect. But I'm not the one who makes those decisions, so I'm going to continue to help the Scranton RailRiders while I can."
Frazier has certainly passed the test of hitting major-league pitching with a slash line of .283/.330/.513 with 11 home runs and 34 RBI in 53 games with the Bronx Bombers this season. As far as being tested in the outfield, Frazier proved to be too much of a liability for the Yankees to use him there as they look to secure home-field advantage for the playoffs.
The outfielder said that weeks after he was demoted in June he had a "brutally honest" conversation with GM Brian Cashman about what he needed to do to get back to the big leagues. The answer was clear that it was his defense.
"I can't be mad about my situation," he said. "Ultimately, I put myself here."
Frazier added: "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.'"
Some of the perception has been that Frazier is being punished by the Yankees for how he had conducted himself during his stint with the team earlier this year. After making an error and misplaying a ball on a June 2 game against the Red Sox that played a factor into the game, Frazier ducked the media.
The next day, he was curt with reporters when asked about it.
"Everyone is trying to write like I'm in juvie down here," he said.
Frazier has not necessarily helped quell that perception, though. He recently posted on Instagram a picture of himself sitting in a parking lot with a hood over his head in front of a building that read, "Scranton Life."
Yet the outfielder denies there was some sort of alterior message.
"Honestly, no. I was laughing, smiling," he said. "I took multiple pictures, and the one with the hood down just happened to look, honestly, the coolest."
Frazier told Wagner he is in "positive spirits," and understands it is going to take some patience to return to the majors. In the meantime, he seems to be using this minor-league stint as a learning experience.
"If I'm called up and fortunate enough to help them again," he says, "then I'll be more prepard."