(Audacy) White Sox outfielder Clint Frazier has been through a lot during his MLB career. After being drafted at No. 5 overall by Cleveland in 2013, he was then traded to the New York Yankees at the 2016 deadline for star reliever Andrew Miller.
Frazier made his MLB debut with the Yankees the next year, batting .231 with four home runs in 39 games. However, he started the 2018 season on the injured list due to a concussion. Ongoing symptoms from that concussion ended his season early and set Frazier back more than he could imagine.
The 28-year-old Frazier spent time with the Cubs in 2022 and the Rangers earlier this year before finding his current home with the White Sox.
On the Audacy Original Podcast “Baseball Isn’t Boring” this week, Frazier opened up about his struggles with concussions and how he’s feeling now upon returning to Yankee Stadium.
“The crazy thing about baseball is one day it’s like, ‘I can do this for the next 10 years’ and then the next day it’s like, ‘There’s no way I can do this for the next week,’” Frazier said. “The ebbs and flows of the momentum that I let my mind take me to those places is really what I battled -- was ‘Can I get back?’
“Ultimately, I really did struggle with the concussion. I know there are still unknowns of what my days were like, but ultimately you have the ability to look at what kind of player I was and once I sustained those things what followed. For me, it was more trying to get back to a healthy player. It took a lot of time to get back from that and that was really the focus for me. Until that was put away, I didn’t know if I would be back.”
Concussions are an issue across all sports, and Frazier felt that firsthand. He noticed those ongoing symptoms impacting his ability earlier this year too.
“I don’t know the exact day, but I started to realize in spring training this year that the biggest thing I was noticing was on defense I would really struggle with depth perception, like really noticing where the ball was at,” he said. “I’m sure people can make fun of me diving for balls that maybe I didn’t need to, but I was struggling to actually notice where the ball was in space.”
Frazier continues to deal with those concussion symptoms but at a much more manageable level, at least for now.
“Once I got past that, I started to realize in spring training like, ‘Hey, starting to feel pretty good' -- seeing the ball, hitting the ball, catching the ball, everything just started to feel like baseball again,” he said. “It really wasn’t baseball for a while for me.”