Prospect Interview: Alex Frazier (Part 2)

In Part 2 of FutureBacks.com's interview with South Bend Silverhawks outfielder Alex Frazier the young Diamondbacks prospect talks about how important it is to improve his defense, how just making the Major Leagues is not his goal, and pits Kelly Clarkson and Trick Daddy head to head.

James Renwick:  Alex, you got better as the year went on, most players wear down, why was that?

Alex Frazier:  I think partly because of the coaching, partly because of the things I've learned in the offseason.  Mainly its just being focused, in High School I wasn't really a baseball player, I was an athlete playing baseball.  At Junior College we mostly practiced condiditoning and discipline.  Not as much baseball talk.  Now I've come in to pro ball, and I'm learning more about my swing, what to do in certain situations.  I've been working with Roy Silver at Winning Inning Baseball Academy, and he's really about teaching.  If we were in the cage for three hours two of those hours are talking about hitting in specific counts and with men on base.  Not over thinking, just getting it to where it is a  reaction.  Last season I started hot, and then hit a little slump, but at the All Star break everything just clicked, I just mentally relaxed a little more.

James Renwick:  Is the difference in your batting average from #3 to #4 as obvious as getting better pitches to hit, or is there a comfort factor, and with your speed has anyone in the organization ever talked to you about hitting lead off?

Alex Frazier:  My dream is to get to the big leagues, hitting 1st or 9th doesn't matter to me.  In order to hit first I have to cut down on my strikeouts, I know that.  If that's where they wanted me I'm sure I could do it, I'd have to start taking more pitches, just being more patient, but I can do that..

James Renwick:  You started mostly as the Designated Hitter, some in left field in 2004.  How comfortable are you playing in the field?

Alex Frazier:  I really didn't have a problem in Missoula or Yakima with defense.  I DHed mostly in the first half, because at South Bend we had five or six outfielders.  I don't know if it came from not playing, I'm not making excuses, but in the second half when I started playing in the outfield more, I was taking bad routes, and that might have been rust.  This offseason that's really been a priority for me.  When the other guys are taking batting practice I'm taking fly balls.  I'm talking to coaches and guys who've been in the game for a long time, I'm just working on it all the time.  I have to work harder than 'Smoke' (Marland Williams) on jumps and routes because his speed just makes it so easy for him.  The most important thing this offseason has been defense, because to me it's embarrassing.  I want to be a good hitter, but I'd rather be a great defensive player, I'm too good an athlete to not play good defense.

James Renwick:  Who is someone you pattern your game after?

Alex Frazier:  That's a tough question, because it sounds like I'm bragging.  I would say I'm in between Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado, even though Carlos is lefty.  

James Renwick:  Those are lofty names.

Alex Frazier:  I don't want to compare myself to somebody whose at the bottom of the food chain.  I want to get to the top of the food chain.  I want to become an All Star.  Not everybody makes it, but if you're satisfied with just making it, you're selling yourself short.  I want to be a great player.

James Renwick:  What is the thing most people would be surprised to learn about your game?

Alex Frazier:  My intensity within.  If you look at me I'm kind of laid back, I look kind of casual, and I don't show a lot of emotion all the time.  If people could turn me inside out and see my drive to learn and drive to get better, I think people would be surprised.  I probably get on coaches nerves because of all the questions I ask.  I'm always trying to get better, trying to learn, I'm just not going to scream and jump around all the time.

James Renwick:  What's in your CD player right now?

Alex Frazier:  Trick Daddy.  I think.  I don't know because I go back and forth between Trick Daddy, TI, Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer.  You could catch me with anything in there, you never know.


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