Exhibition games don't start until later this week, but Yankees prospect Clint Frazier already has passed his first real test of Spring Training.
During his time in the Indians system, Frazier's flowing red locks became his signature look. When he was traded to the Yankees, he knew that long hair would not last long.
With Spring Training fast approaching, Frazier visited the barber earlier this month. Despite trimming a few inches off the old block, the 22-year-old caused a mini-stir because some of his hard-to-miss hair was peeking out from under his cap during workouts. Despite the uproar, the Georgia native's "'do" was given the thumbs-up from Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
"It's not every day that we see hair that color. He's got curly hair; there's really nothing he can do about that," Girardi told MLB.com. "This is the person that God made him. It's above his shoulders. I don't have any issues with it. There's a lot of people in that clubhouse that wish they had his hair."
The Yankees have one of the best-known dress codes in all of sports, if not the world. The rule, implemented by then-owner George Steinbrenner, required players to be clean shaven (save for mustaches) and prohibited players from growing their hair below the collar.
"It's a rule that the family has carried on from their father," Girardi said. "I know some players like facial hair and would prefer it, but in the long run and reality, does it change the player if he has a beard or not? … I think they understand where it comes from. I haven't really had anyone come into my office and say, 'We need to change this.'"
The Yankees acquired MLB.com's No. 24 overall prospect from the Indians as part of the blockbuster trade for reliever Andrew Miller last summer. Frazier posted a .263/.335/.447 slash line and swatted 16 homers in 119 games between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016. He was extended a non-roster invitation to Spring Training in January.
"Awesome. Being around a lot of the guys out here was a really cool experience for me," Frazier told MLB.com. "I got to spend some time with Brett Gardner in stretch and just get on a personal level with him, getting to know him a little bit and him getting to know me. That was a pretty cool experience for me."