Clint Frazier batting second for Yankees in opener vs. Twins



MINNEAPOLIS — Clint Frazier looked at the bottom of Monday’s Yankees-Twins lineup to see if he was in it.


His name wasn’t there.


It was higher.


Second.

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“I texted my parents and my agent,” Frazier said. “I had to do a double-take. I was surprised.”


Joe Girardi explained his decision to move the 22-year-old rookie left fielder into the No. 2 hole.


“His at-bats have been really good,” Girardi said. “He’s athletic and he runs the bases really well, so we just thought let’s give it a look. I don’t think (hitting second instead of seventh) will really affect him.”


Frazier has posted a .983 OPS with three homers in his first 35 career at-bats.

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“I think everything has slowed down for him,” Girardi said. “He seems compact, he’s obviously got the bat speed and a pretty good eye. I’ve been pleased with the progress that he’s made. I think his leg kick is under control. He’s not rushing to get into the hitting position.”


Said Frazier: “It’s going really well. I think my MLB debut kind of set the tone for how I was feeling at the plate.”


Frazier has shown particular aggressiveness on the bases, using his speed. He went first to third on a hit on Sunday in Boston.


“One of the biggest things I’ve tried to remember is my at-bat isn’t over once I reach first base,” Frazier said. “I know how it is playing the outfield, so I want to be the guy that’s always trying to run in other guy’s faces to force a good throw. Up here they’re not going to knock you for being aggressive as long as it’s a smart play.”


Frazier has said his MLB experience so far has “far surpassed” his expectations.

Frazier is adjusting nicely to the big leagues.

Frazier is adjusting nicely to the big leagues.

(Seth Wenig/AP)


“My teammates, the coaching staff, the training staff, everyone has made me feel at home. I have no complaints,” he said.


Frazier also spoke of his first taste of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, playing in three of the four games this weekend.


“That was awesome. You dream of that moment,” Frazier said.


As for playing the Green Monster, though, Frazier categorized it as “different.”


“I’ve only seen it in video games in the past,” he said. “It’s not too hard, but I only had one ball hit to me. It’s definitely pretty unique.”


Frazier has leaned on veterans Matt Holliday, Didi Gregorius and even Aaron Judge for advice.


The toughest part: not having his name in the lineup everyday. It’s also unknown whether Frazier will stick around once Aaron Hicks finally comes back from his oblique injury.


“It’s not fun not knowing when you’re going to be in the lineup,” he said. “It’s something I’m not used to, but something I need to get used to while I’m up here.”


JUDGE NOT PRESSING


Joe Girardi said Aaron Judge hasn’t been pressing despite his 1-for-18 start to the second half.


“I just think he’s been a little off,” Girardi said. “You worry if guys really press and they’re not able to turn the page, but I haven’t seen that from him. He continues to have that smile on his face and play loose. I haven’t seen him press.”


NEWS AND NOTES


The Red Sox had their protest of Saturday’s game denied, according to John Farrell. … The Yankees will face 44-year-old ex-Bomber Bartolo Colon on Tuesday. … With Aroldis Chapman unavailable, Dellin Betances was slated to serve as the team’s closer. … The Yankees got into Minneapolis at 4 a.m. local time.

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