FutureBacks.com Q & A: Alex Frazier

FutureBacks.com Q & A: Alex Frazier

Alex Frazier will be the first to admit it, "When I first got to pro ball in Missoula, I was more an athlete playing baseball than a baseball player." The Diamondbacks took a chance on the raw talent in the 30th round of the 2001 draft, and hope this season might be the one where Frazier makes the D'Backs scouts look like geniuses. Managing editor James Renwick caught up with Frazier at his home in Florida.

James Renwick:  How has the offseason been going?

Alex Frazier:  Right now I'm just hanging out with my kids, I've been substitute teaching some, and working out a lot, just getting ready for the season.

James Renwick:  You were a three sport athlete in high school and got offered D1 scholarships in football and basketball, what made you turn to baseball?

Alex Frazier:  Really, when I was a kid, I didn't have the typical dreams of playing baseball professionally, I just loved to play it.  I grew up playing with friends, and just really having fun.  As we moved up and got older some of the guys sort of got weeded out when pitchers started throwing harder and such, and I managed to stick around.  But I wasn't one of those kids who was all baseball, all the time.  I really only played football for one year, my 10th grade year, and then I ended up getting my knee scoped twice when I got hurt.  It was almost like something out of a movie, I got hit as I was scoring a touchdown, and just got hurt, but most of the football interest in me came from that one season.  As far as basketball, I knew I was not really tall enough to go too far, and my main goal coming out of high school was to get college paid for.

James Renwick:  So you'll go back to college?

Alex Frazier:  I only have a little left before I graduate, so yeah, I'm not sure if it will be during the offseason, or online, or after I'm done playing baseball, but that's always been a big goal for me, to get my degree.  I majored in CIS, in computers, but then changed my major to International Trade, and I really enjoy the economics stuff.

James Renwick:  On to baseball, speed is a big part of the game, and your stolen bases were way up this year, why is that?

Alex Frazier:  I think a lot of it was just believing I could do it.  The first half I didn't run that much, but the coaches started to see that I could run, and so they let me.  The second half I started getting the green light a lot more, and I took advantage of it.  One of the things I've been working on is speed.  I really think the combination of power and speed can set me apart.  If I can steal some bases it can become a real advantage for me.  I was hitting in the cleanup spot most of the first half of last season, but in the second half I got moved to the three hole.  If my speed can distract the pitcher a little bit, and cause him to make a mistake to the clean up hitter I know that can help, so I really think speed can be a big advantage for me.

James Renwick:  Your strikeouts were high this season, are the Diamondbacks comfortable with the numbers because you were hitting in a power position?

Alex Frazier:  I don't allow myself to make excuses or exceptions because of where I'm hitting.  I'm trying to cut it down.  I'm working on letting the ball get really deep in the strike zone, and working on improving my pitch recognition.  

James Renwick:  A lot of the guys I've talked to have said it's tough in the offseason to work on that stuff because you're not facing pitching of the caliber you see during the season, what is your take on that?

Alex Frazier:  It is tougher, but you can kind of simulate it, and as long as your working on specific things, it can work.  We're doing a lot of different things, like soft toss drills.  What you're trying to do is keep from getting way out front, and pulling the ball in the cage.  You just work on letting the ball get deep, and trying to get it up the middle, or even the other way.  And then as we get to the middle of February and near March a lot of the Pro guys start getting here, a lot of pitchers trying to get their arms back in shape, and that's where you can really start getting things done.  I've been working out at The Winning Inning baseball school, and there are a lot of guys at that school.  Mike DeFelice, Miguel Cairo, guys like that can really help.  It's a lot of positive feedback, DeFelice has been a big help, talking to us about what catchers are looking at, what they are seeing when a hitter's in the batters box.  I'll be going out to Tucson on February 20th, getting there a little early, getting used to the weather, and just getting in and getting to work.

James Renwick:  What is your daily offseason workout?

Alex Frazier:  I work out from 12:30 to 5:00 just about every day.  Some days I go to Winning Inning in Tampa.  I've been working out a lot with Marland Williams, doing a lot of speed drills and running drills with him.  We'll hit soft toss, then go one of the local High Schools and hit on field.  Next we hit weight room, then we run the stairs at the stadium, then agility drills.  Marland's a little guy, but he is really strong.  If you've ever seen him with his shirt off, he's built a lot like Junior Spivey.  

James Renwick:  Who's putting up more in the weight room, you or Marland?

He's pretty strong.  I guess I might be a little stronger.  The thing is, I never played football except that one year, so I might be naturally strong, not necessarily stronger in the weight room.  I'm working to get a lot stronger, but not necessarily bigger.  I showed up at camp at 239 pounds two offseasons ago and trainer and coordinators got on me, saying I should be a linebacker, not a baseball player.  I was lifting with football guys, and so all I really did was eat and lift, and I didn't run.  Now, I'm doing a lot of running, a lot agility training, and when I am lifting weights, it's more baseball lifting.  A lot of lunges, some squats, but not as much shoulder stuff.  The Diamondbacks give you an offseason workout book, and we go by it and then add a little of our own stuff, those stadium steps, some sprints, backpedaling, and running hills.

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