2013 MLB draft: Interview with projected top pick Clint Frazier
Clint Frazier is a 6’-1″, 200-pound center fielder from Loganville HS in Georgia. He is widely regarded as one of the top two high school players in the country and has true five-tool potential. His plus arm, plus speed, power to all fields and incredible bat speed projects him to be one of the first players selected in the 2013 MLB draft, with some publications projecting him first. As a junior, he hit .424 with 24 home runs and 58 RBI, and stole 14 bases over 118 at-bats, leading Loganville to the state title. He has been timed at 6.4 in the 60, and his arm has been clocked in the upper 90s from the outfield. Here is footage of him at the Under Armour All-American Game held at Wrigley Field last summer.
I recently had a chance to bounce some questions off Clint and want to thank him for his time, as well as wish him the best of luck this season and with the draft.
When did you start playing baseball? What was it that drew you in?
I started playing when I was three years old. My mom would throw to me in the front yard, and I’d use a huge yellow playmate bat that was almost bigger than me. I played in a little church tee-ball league and continued to love the game. I’ve always had a passion for the game and a desire to play in the major leagues.
You are tabbed as the number one or two high school player by virtually every publication. Is there pressure in reading that, or do you just block it out and play your game?
I don’t feel any pressure at all, honestly. I’ve come to the conclusion that the rankings don’t determine what kind of player I am, nor will they matter once I step on the field for the high school season. I’m just going to go out and play my normal game and put the rankings behind me.
One of the major things scouts look for in hitters is bat speed. You have some of the best in the draft, and some of the best I have seen. How did you develop it?
I don’t think you can really teach bat speed. So, with that being said, I think it’s a God-given ability to be able to swing the bat with such force and speed combined. If it wasn’t for the Lord, I wouldn’t have what I have today, so everything is because of Him.
What did you work on most this offseason?
I mainly worked on being healthy for the season. I rested my arm all fall, enabling me to have a well-rested, healthy arm. As far as from a playing standpoint, I’ve worked on hitting the ball to the big part of the field more consistently. I’m using my power to all fields as much as I can in these pro workouts, and that’s helping me a lot as a player.
Who has been the biggest influence in your baseball career?
I wouldn’t just label one person as somebody who has influenced me the most, but Austin Meadows has been a big influence over these past few months. He’s been somebody I can always look toward for some friendly competition. Without him, I’d have nobody to work against all summer, fall and spring.
You and Austin are friends and both of you are considered top picks in the draft. What kind of relationship do you have? Is there a friendly competitiveness between you guys?
We’ve become good friends over the course of our baseball careers. We’ve been playing against one another since we were nine years old, and there is nobody better to be in competition with than a good friend like him. We have a very good friendly competition going on; he uses me as a motivator and I use him as one, too.
The name Mike Trout has been thrown around as a comparison for your game. What is that like to hear? Is there anyone you model your game after?
Mike Trout is one of the best in baseball, and it means a lot to be compared to him. I love being compared to somebody with such a high ceiling, and there is nobody better to be compared to than him. I model my game after him the most because he’s what I want to be when I’m 21 years old.
Best baseball movie ever made? Why?
I honestly don’t have a favorite movie. I’m not a big TV or movie watcher. I prefer to go on YouTube and look at highlight films of professional baseball players.
If you could sit down with one player, past or present, who would it be and why?
I would sit down with Bryce Harper. He lived up to all the hype and was a professional player at 19 years old. I really like him as a player, and he’s currently one of the players I’d love to be as good as one day!
Baseball players are known for being superstitious. Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I do the same thing before I hit every single time. It all starts on-deck and ends right before every pitch. I imagine myself getting a big hit, preferably a home run. Then, when it’s time for me to hit, I will lick the fingertips of my right hand in the batter’s box. I don’t know why I do it, but it works.
If baseball didn’t exist, you would be a …
I would be a football player. I come across as a football player more than I do a baseball player. I like to be very physical, and that’s why I play my game with such intensity.
You are committed to Georgia. What was it about the university that made it the right fit?
They are my hometown team and saw my talent much earlier than other schools, and they also gave me a scholarship offer as a 10th-grader. I wanted to play in the SEC with some of the best competition, so I chose Georgia.
What was the best moment you ever had on a baseball field?
The best moment was getting the walk-off hit in the final four last year. We were down by one run and the bases were loaded. I was up to bat and down to my final strike. I hit a game-winning double to send us to the state championship … which we went on to win. (See video footage of the game-winning hit)
Last question, and it’s hypothetical. You get called up to the show, it’s your first major league at-bat. Who would you dream about facing on the mound?
Justin Verlander. He’s arguably the best current-day pitcher, and there is nobody else I’d rather face than him. The way he pitches is incredible and I’d love to be in the middle of an at-bat with him.
I want to thank Clint again for his time. You can follow him on Twitter @CJF19
Feel free to follow me @DanMKirby for draft updates and prospect news.