When Clint Frazier arrived at camp Sunday morning, he knew he was the odd-man out, given the current outfield rotation of Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton. However, Frazier decided he wasn’t going to make it easy for the Yankees to send him back to Triple-A to begin the 2018 season.
Over the winter, Frazier worked on his swing mechanics, and when asked he broke down the many changes he made.
“There aren’t as many moving parts,” Frazier said to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com on Sunday. “I feel like I’ve got my swagger back.”
“The leg kick is not high. I’ve tried to create some natural separation (from my hands and my body) so it starts with keeping my hands on my shoulder.
“Then I simply lift up my hands, and I pull back with my right hand only because in the end, I had that hitch in my swing — cocking with my hands. Now there’s less of that.”
Frazier told Kuty he worked on trimming down his upper body by making his biceps and chest leaner. Frazier hopes the work he put in over the offseason could give him an edge, especially since he’s currently sixth on the Yankees outfield depth chart behind $153 Million man Jacoby Ellsbury.
This isn’t the first time Frazier tinkered with his swing; Yankees minor league hitting coaches tried to adjust his swing when he first joined the organization via trade. The Yankees initially wanted to adjust Frazier’s lower body by keeping his back leg planted on the ground. While the initial advice helped to an extent, Frazier believed jerking his hands before swinging forward slowed down, as what Yankees general manager Brian Cashman called it, his “legendary bat speed”.
Frazier will reveal his new swing during Monday’s full squad workout, and he looks forward to showing it off.
“It’ll be the reveal party of everything I’ve been doing.”
During Frazier’s cup of coffee with the Yankees last season, he hit .231/.268/.448 with four homers and 17 RBI. And while the previous changes to his swing helped cement Frazier’s status as an outfielder with big league potential, it will be interesting to see if the new changes will help open Yankees brass’s eyes and potentially give Frazier a chance to make the Opening Day roster.
If anything, Frazier adjusting his swing could certainly keep him in the conversation.