MOOSIC — Clint Frazier is extremely aggressive on the basepaths. It’s part of what has made him the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ most-dynamic hitter.
However, while his speed and aggressiveness is one of his best weapons, it also comes back to bite him at times. Like when he was thrown out trying to steal third base with Mike Ford up to end the first inning during Wednesday’s 10-5 loss to the Durham Bulls.
Frazier is still learning when to use that aggressiveness to his benefit without letting it hurt himself and his team.
“Yeah, he can run,” RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell said. “But yeah, you have to know, for one, he got a really late jump, so you have to shut it down if you even start. You just don’t go. But you don’t really want to think about going in that situation anyway. With a left-handed hitter up, it’s very easy for a catcher to make a throw. You have to take all of that into consideration. And they’re learning. Right now, there’s a few base running errors we need to take care of.”
Out of six attempts, Frazier has been thrown out twice this season.
McKinney using middle of the field
Billy McKinney is spending a little extra time during batting practice and early work on using the middle of the field as a hitter. And it’s paid off.
The outfielder has recorded three hits through the first two games of his series against Durham, and each has either dropped somewhere in center field or have gone over the center-field wall.
McKinney brought a .178 batting average back to PNC Field. But in two games he’s bumped it up to .212.
“I guess a little bit in pre-work and stuff, but right now, I’m just trying to get that feel,” McKinney said. “There are some swings I feel pretty good on, but I’m just not being myself. I’m just trying to get there and just try to help the team win.”
“I think it’s a good sign,” Mitchell added. “You can see it in batting practice. He’s making a conscious effort in staying inside the ball, not pulling everything, hitting the ball up the middle the other way and it’s paying off for sure.”
Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle