The old adage “prospects are suspects” almost took on a whole new meaning this past Sunday when the Yankees #2 prospect committed a brain fart against the Pirates that nearly took himself and the team’s #9 prospect out of the conversation for a place in the Yankees next dynasty. And in the process, he provided a scary reminder how, in a thinking man’s game, one thoughtless moment can easily wreck a team — or two careers.
On a can of corn to the gap in right-center, centerfielder Dustin Fowler was moving toward the ball, calling for it all the way and taking a good line to it in a tricky breeze. At the moment the ball was about to settle into Fowler’s glove, almost out of nowhere, right fielder Clint Frazier came flying into the picture in mid-air, laying out below Fowler with glove hopelessly extended, and took him out of the play like a down field blocker on a punt return. The ball glanced off Fowler’s mitt as he went down, caromed off Frazier’s skull and rolled away from the tangled pair for a three-base error charged, ironically, to Fowler.
Fortunately, no harm was apparent to either player. But looking at the video, even on multiple viewings knowing what’s coming, can still make one flinch each time at how narrowly tragedy was avoided. From the Daily News:
|Photo: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports|
Like Fowler, Frazier has come up through the minors playing centerfield, so he understands the centerfielder’s job is to catch anything and everything he can possibly get to, and the corner fielders’ job is to let him. So perhaps it was just his muscle memory kicked in.