When Clint Frazier was called up to the Major Leagues, he started receiving congratulatory text messages from those in his inner circle. Frazier thought the extra attention was normal; after all he was just called up to play for the New York Yankees. But three weeks after his initial call-up, he was receiving messages from people he hadn’t spoken to in years.
“Ever since I got called up to the big leagues,” Frazier said in an interview with NJ.com.”There have been a lot of people who have tried to sneak their way into my life that didn’t play a role for many years.”
So who stepped in and offered Frazier some advice? Outfielder Matt Holliday, of course.
Frazier and Holliday have a ‘mentor/mentee’ relationship since meeting in Spring Training, and despite going their separate ways in April, they still kept in touch via text message. When Holliday got wind of Frazier’s recent dilemma, he offered the rookie this piece of wisdom:
“It was just, keep your circle small. I had a lot of attention on myself and a lot of people were trying to get involved in my life. He was just saying, keep your circle small, make sure you know who’s there for you and who’s not.”
Holliday still isn’t sure how the conversation arose, but he was glad he could help mold Frazier into a maturing baseball player.
Frazier isn’t the first Yankee rookie to ask for Holliday’s help. In Spring Training, Holliday developed a friendship with Aaron Judge which stemmed when the two of them had adjacent lockers. Judge would pick Holliday’s brain about mechanics, his approach at the plate and his philosophy.
“‘What’s your hitting approach?'” Judge would often ask Holliday. “‘What are you doing in a situation, with a certain pitcher? What are you doing with this guy? He’s a sinkerball pitcher, what do you try to do with those guys?’ I’ve picked up a couple little things.”
Even with Judge’s starpower rising, he would make time to ask Holliday questions on how he could improve his game.
Being approachable by the rookies is what makes Holliday a huge asset to the Yankees. So would the Yankees consider a reunion next season with Holliday due to his veteran presence? Judging by how Frazier and Judge’s seasons are going, that might have to be something the Yankees consider as the book closes on the 2017 season.