With Spring Training beginning, Brett Gardner and Clint Frazier have started battling for the starting position in left field. Meanwhile, it appears that manager, Aaron Boone is favoring Clint Frazier. NJ.com has said that Aaron Boone has already begun talking about which players will be starting for 2019, while also showing he is not interested in Bryce Harper. His comments about the competitive battle in left field show love for Clint Frazier.

Frazier will need to outperform Brett Gardner both offensively and defensively if he wants to play every day this season.

Frazier also needs to focus on staying healthy. He spent a lot of time sidelined in 2018 because of issues surrounding multiple concussions.

Clint Frazier still has a lot of work to outperform Brett Gardner

There's more that Frazier will need to do to close the gap on Gardner. Gardner has become a leading defensive player for the Yankees in left field. Gardner is no longer able to perform at center field, but he still has the strength and endurance to play in left field. Following the opening game of Spring Training, Boone was talking Frazier up and complimenting him for a defensive play made during their game on Saturday. Frazier was credited for backing up a throw in the infield.

While what Boone has said could be seen as a throwaway comment, it should be taken seriously.

Boone speaks to the media, saying exactly what he means. Deciding to praise Frazier for a standard play is a clear strategy he's using with the media. Boone is working to prepare the public for the reality of Frazier taking Gardner's job when the season begins. Boone and the Yankees would definitely go with the up and coming 24-year-old over the established 35-year-old veteran if their play is close.

Frazier though does hold a significant advantage over Frazier.

Aaron Boone is making sure the public sees Frazier as a possible outfield starter

Brett Gardner is now the longest-tenured Yankee on the roster, meaning that Boone can't simply throw out a player that has so much fan support like garbage. Boone is attempting to build a narrative that Frazier is ready to replace him, and it needs to be understood and taken seriously by the time Opening Day begins.

CBS Sports reports that while he may lose out to Frazier, Brett Gardner still has a way to get a fair amount of at-bats, even if he's not at left field. He's able to play all three outfield spots. His strong left-hand bat can battle against righties. Gardner's speed also makes him a speed weapon. With Spring Training just beginning, it's too early to call Frazier the winner, but Boone is definitely working the press to make sure that the public sees that as an option down the road.