Gleyber Torres during a spring training workout.|Art or Photo Credit: AP
The YES Network will premiere its Yankees Access: Prospects special - featuring exclusive, in-depth interviews with Yankees prospects Clint Frazier, James Kaprielian, Blake Rutherford and Gleyber Torres, this Sunday, February 26th, at 4 pm ET, immediately following YES' Blue Jays-Yankees Spring Training game telecast.
The one-hour special includes interviews with the four Baby Bombers, their family members, and amateur coaches and trainers, coverage of their distinct off-season training regimens, and the players talking about certain key turning points in their lives.
• Clint Frazier
• Parents Mark and Kim Frazier
• Sister Taylor Frazier
• Loganville (Ga.) High School Head Baseball Coach Jeff Segars
• Trainer Bill Sonnemaker of Catalyst Fitness
Upon returning home after his first season of minor league ball, his family revealed that his father had lost his job earlier in the year.
His parents kept the news from him until he finished his season so as not to upset him; within days, Clint had taken care of the family's finances.
Clint on learning of his family's difficult financial times
"When I got back, I just remember asking my mom, we were in my sister's room, and I remember just saying 'Where's dad's truck?' He had a company truck and she was like 'Oh, it's in the shop.' I was like, 'No it's not.' I said, 'That thing's been there for two weeks, it's not, where is it?' She said that he [Clint's father] lost his job. My parents hid it from me because they wanted me to be able to focus on baseball. I was thankful that they were thinking about me in that aspect, but I was also upset because I knew I could help."
Mark Frazier, Clint's father
"I told him, I said, 'Bubba, daddies are supposed to take care of their sons. Sons are not supposed to take care of mom and daddy.' He said, 'Well, as much as y'all have sacrificed for us, for me and his sister,' he said, 'That's the least I could do.' It's very humbling, very humbling to go through that, but [I'm] very, very proud."
Kim Frazier, Clint's mother
"It's very humbling, you know, to have your child turn around and take care of you. You kind of feel like you're supposed to do that for them, but the word here was nobody could, we didn't tell him. He had too much to concentrate on, so when he came home we had to tell him. And literally the next day he came in and said, 'I've taken care of things,' so he did something real nice for us."
Frazier on his relationship with Reggie Jackson
"A lot of people don't know, but I got to spend a lot of time with Reggie down in instructional league. And he could tell I was frustrated, you know. Him and I were talking, I still wasn't performing the way that I wanted to. And he pulled me aside, I mean we only played, I think, six innings per game out there and someone else would come in to finish the game out, and he pulled me aside and you know, said 'You're going to ride home with me today, you're not riding the bus home.'"
"So we get in the car, I don't know what to expect. I'm in the car with Reggie Jackson in my Yankees uniform, and he wants frozen yogurt. So we go and get frozen yogurt. And I told him, 'Reggie, if anyone had any doubt that you were Reggie Jackson, I just clarified it by wearing the Yankees jersey in here.' I felt like a little kid going to a baseball game in your full uniform. And we didn't even talk about baseball, I don't think. We talked about off-the-field things, things that he's struggled with, things that I've struggled with, and overall we connected on a personal level. So, I've met a lot of people, I've met Yasiel Puig, Colin Kaepernick, Abby Wambach, Stuart Scott, I mean I've met a lot of really great people, but overall, Reggie stood out the most to me."
• James Kaprielian
• Aunt, Claudia Falbo
• Beckman (Ca.) High School Athletics Secretary Sissy Oberlin
• Beckman High School Head Baseball Coach Kevin Lavalle
• UCLA Head Baseball Coach John Savage
James contended with his mother's cancer battle since he was in first grade; sports was his sanctuary as he grew up and his mother continued to fight cancer.
His mother went into remission twice but ultimately died while he was at UCLA.
When invited to play for Team USA's Collegiate National Team as a sophomore at UCLA, he initially chose not to play in order to be near his mother, whose cancer by then was deemed "terminal."
Two days after his mother's passing, James left to join Team USA, and 18 days after her death he started against Chinese Taipei and pitched six shutout innings in Team USA's win
James on his hesitation to leave his mother to play for Team USA
"I take my dad to the side of the room when my mom was occupied or something, and I was like, 'Hey I don't think I'm gonna play for Team USA.' I said, 'I didn't think I was gonna play for Team USA this year just because I wanted to spend time with my mom.'"
"He [James' father] said, 'We'll think of something, don't worry about it, we'll figure it out' And then when the room cleared out, my mom called me back over and she looked at me and she was like, 'You're gonna go play for Team USA, I don't care what you say.' Selfless. Just says so much about the person that she was and is."
Claudia Falbo (James' Aunt) recalling James' mother telling James to go play for Team USA
"She [Barbara] said, 'James, you've worked your whole life for this, and it's something that's out there for you and I want you to do it. Do it for yourself. Do it for everything you've worked for. And remember, I'm with you and I always will be.'"
James on pitching in a Team USA game shortly after his mother's passing
"My mom had just passed. It was hard for me to be there, at all. Talking to people there was tough. I was fortunate enough to get the ball against Chinese Taipei on the Fourth of July. We got to wear the camo (camouflage) uniforms, USA across our chest. My mom was on my mind every single pitch and she was out there with me. I wanted to make her proud and we ended up having a good game, to say the least."
• Blake Rutherford
• Parents Roy and Julie Rutherford
• Blake's Little League coach Tom Costello
• Blake's Travel baseball coach Daylon Monette
• Blake's Chaminade (Ca.) HS head and assistant baseball coaches Frank Mutz and Bobby Livingston, respectively
• Blake's trainer Ryan Sorensen of Proactive Sports Performance Training Center
Blake's biggest role model was Derek Jeter; Blake was a passionate Yankees fan since he was a young child.
Segment includes home video of his family's 2016 MLB Draft Night party, when he and his friends and family found out he was drafted by the Yankees.
He reveals that running the sand dunes near his home is his favorite workout (video included in program).
Blake on Derek Jeter:
"I grew up a real big Derek Jeter fan. He's my biggest role model and he's someone who I aspire to be like, just the way he treated people on and off the field and who he played for. I was able to latch onto the Yankees at a young age and ever since I knew what baseball was, I've always grown up and been a die-hard Yankees fan."
2016 Draft Day - Blake's family and friends erupted in "Let's Go Yankees" chants when he was drafted by the Yankees
Julie Rutherford, Blake's mother
"It was the most exciting thing, and Blake was happier than I've ever seen him in his life."
Tom Costello, Little League Coach
"It didn't seem real, at the moment. Total elation. Everybody was jumping and screaming and just so happy for him, because they knew what the Yankees meant to Blake."
• Gleyber Torres
Video of Gleyber training at Doral Community Park in Miami, where he did agility training with fellow Venezuelan athletes.
Video of him taking batting practice and fielding drills alongside the Venezuelan National team at Florida International University.
Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, along with Omar Vizquel, were his role models growing up.
Gleyber on following in Derek Jeter's footsteps
"I will take pride in representing the Yankees. The tradition of Derek Jeter and the legacy he left. I feel honored to continue that legacy."
"I felt very emotional when they traded for me because I'll be playing the same position.
Gleyber talks about his relationship with fellow Venezuelan Omar Vizquel
"He's watched me train over here. He told me that I have great hands. He thinks I look a little pressured and said it's just a matter of time that I learn how to deal with it. He was happy to see me, and I am happy that he is helping me out and giving me advice."