Captains' Frazier steers ship with big night

Indians' No. 2 prospect matches his career high by driving in four runs

Clint Frazier made his first start of the season in the designated hitter role for Lake County. (Lianna Holub/

By Tyler Maun / | June 13, 2014 1:01 AM ET

Through his first two months of full-season ball, Clint Frazier has filled a lot of roles -- leadoff man, center fielder, run producer and base stealer among them. But now he's focusing on being one thing -- himself.

The Indians' No. 2 prospect matched a career high with four RBIs while delivering three hits and scoring three times as Class A Lake County beat South Bend, 13-6, on Thursday.

"I was just going to try to go up there with a clear mind-set and not think too much," Frazier said after the Captains salvaged the finale of their three-game road set. "That's very easy to do whenever your season's not going the way you want it to. I just went out there and tried to play the game like I did when I was in high school, have a lot of fun and just be me at the plate. I had a good night."

The fifth overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, Frazier entered the day as a .241 hitter with just one multi-RBI game this season. He had a hand in his team's offensive charge from the outset. Frazier singled and scored in a two-run first inning and helped Lake County draw even in the third, driving in Logan Vick after a leadoff triple and later scoring on Eric Haase's sacrifice fly.

The Captains took over in the fourth, and Frazier helped push the inning into overdrive. Lake County loaded the bases against South Bend starter John Omahen, and Vick walked in a run to end Omahen's day. With no outs and the bags still packed, the Silver Hawks summoned Tom Jameson.

"The first thing I saw was this big 6-foot-4 guy coming in and I was like, 'This guy's probably going to throw really hard,'" said Frazier about the 6-foot-7, 245-pound righty. "The first pitch he threw me was inside at 86 miles per hour. I kind of got happy when I saw that. He came back with a fastball right down the middle the next pitch, and I got my pitch and hit it to center field."

Frazier blasted a bases-clearing double and the rout was in motion. The 19-year-old later scored the fifth of nine runs in the inning. Frazier's three-hit day was his first since May 31 and his fourth such performance of the season.

"Whenever things aren't going good, you start pressing," he said. "You get outside your comfort zone. You try to do things you normally wouldn't do. That's the big thing I've tried to set my mind to this year is being Clint Frazier, not trying to be what the fans want me to be. Just going out there every single night and doing the best I can and coming off the field knowing that I laid it all on the line.

"I went from being a guy in high school that, if I didn't hit a home run in a game, I thought it was a bad game. Obviously, I can't do that in the Minor Leagues. My approach has to be refined out here. I have to be realistic when I step in the box. I'm not going to hit a home run every single time."

Despite a sluggish start to the season -- Frazier batted .224 in April and .248 in May -- the outfielder has come up big for the Captains when it's mattered most. He now sports a .400 average (14-for-35) and 16 RBIs with runners in scoring position this year.

"I like pressure positions," he said. "Not that when runners are on, I feel pressured, but it's just a situation where I dig in the box like, 'OK, let's go. We've got to get a run across right here.' I'm not thinking a lot when runners get on base. I didn't know I had good numbers until I looked the other day, but things have gone the way they have and I'm very thankful right now."

Lake County reliever Alexis Paredes (2-1) earned the win, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out two and not issuing a walk in four innings.

Omahen (1-2) took the loss, charged with eight runs on eight hits while walking one in three innings.

Tyler Maun is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @TylerMaun. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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