He’ll have to rely solely on his game to stand out from now on.
The 22-year-old outfielder had his hair cut Friday morning at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees’ spring training facility. He now adheres to the team’s long-standing policy, enacted under Steinbrenner himself, banning long hair and facial hair.
“It definitely became a distraction,” Frazier told Rickie Ricardo, the Spanish radio play-by-play voice of the Yankees. “I think people were talking about my hair more than my game, and that’s not what I want to be known for.”
Frazier said his hair is now the shortest it has been since he was in seventh grade. He added that he had to ask for smaller a helmet and hats.
The New York Post reported that his trimmings were collected and will be donated to charity.
“I feel like I can finally settle in and be a part of something here and look the same as the guys,” Frazier said. “I mean, I have one goal: to be the best player that I can be. And I want to limit all the distractions I can to accomplish that.”
Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, a Yankees special adviser, gave Frazier a hug after checking out the new style.
“I think this is a great step in the right direction that he’s doing,” Jackson said. “I thought he was concerned about fitting in with the Yankees and the way we do things. It takes time for all of us to change sometimes.”
“I don’t know if I could remember back how I thought when I was 22, but I sure was a wild antelope in the woods, that’s for sure,” Jackson added. “To compare him with what I went through, he may be went through it for a couple of days. Phew, I went through some times for months. It was a tough road for me a long time. It took me a while. He’s way ahead of me.”
The hair policy remains in place seven years after Steinbrenner’s death.
“I think it has value because of tradition,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s a tradition by a man who meant so much to this organization. It needs to be respected by all of us.”
The Yankees acquired Frazier from Cleveland in the Andrew Miller trade in July. Baseball America ranks him as the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect, and No. 39 prospect overall. He is expected to begin this season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)