TAMPA — Clint Frazier says he’s undaunted by the number of outfielders the Yankees have and believes there’s still a place for him in the Bronx.
“I think I’ll surprise some people when spring [training] starts,” Frazier said after working out at the team’s minor-league facility Tuesday. “I did a lot of work this offseason, and I’ll show I’m ready to contribute to this team if given the opportunity.”
That’s the hard part.
With the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton to add to a group that already included Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks and Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yankees seem to already have a surplus of outfielders — leaving Frazier ticketed for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Frazier’s name was linked to trade talks during the offseason, including when the Yankees spoke to the Pirates about right-hander Gerrit Cole, who ended up being dealt to Houston.
The 23-year-old Frazier didn’t pay much attention to the talk and was confident he’d be back with the Yankees, regardless of the makeup of the roster.
“As far as I knew, I wasn’t getting traded,” Frazier said.
He showed signs last season of the “legendary” bat speed general manager Brian Cashman raved about when Frazier was acquired from the Indians in the Andrew Miller trade in 2016.
Frazier had a .715 OPS in 142 plate appearances with the Yankees and spent the offseason working, he said, on his “mobility, flexibility and a little strength.”
The goal this season will be to work on his approach at the plate.
“I’m just trying to create some length in my swing to keep my bat in the zone longer,’’ Frazier said.
Frazier’s production at the plate slipped dramatically after bursting on the scene by going 17-for-56 with three homers in his first 15 games after being called up from SWB. But he went just 19-for-95 with 33 strikeouts in his final 28 games, including 4-for-23 following his return from an oblique injury.
That won’t affect his attitude this spring.
“Everyone knows what they’re capable of, and I do know what I can do,” Frazier said. “I think I’m in a good spot, regardless of who’s around me.”
The arrival of Stanton, though a plus for the Yankees, undoubtedly makes Frazier’s attempt to stay in the Bronx more difficult.
“I’m really excited,’’ Frazier said. “I don’t know how you couldn’t be, knowing all the success Stanton has had. I want to be a part of this with him.”