If he can master his emotions, he might be in the big leagues sooner than later"I think he is getting pretty close," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who watches most of Frazier's Triple-A at-bats and is noticing that the game is slowing down for the right-handed hitter.
IT IS SOMEWHAT hard to believe that just four months ago, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Frazier was a bigger story than Aaron Judge -- who now leads the voting for the American League All-Star team -- and was considered by many to be a better prospect than the 6-7, 282-pound wunderkind.
In the spring, his hair made news until he ended up in the principal's office, with Girardi strongly suggesting that he not only trim a little from the side, but shave it all off. 5, and his go-to number is 19, which he wore in high school.
This spring, Frazier's mane, which flirted with the old George Steinbrenner rules about Yankees hair length, made headlines."My hair was bigger than my game in the media," said Frazier in the Rail Riders' clubhouse earlier this month. Frazier, whose hair has always been the longest among his friends, didn't want to give in to tradition.
Finally, the melodrama, which landed Frazier on the front page of the New York Times and the back pages of the New York tabloids, ended when Girardi told him it was time for a trim.
The 22-year-old, one of baseball's most highly rated minor leaguers, always sticks out -- even when he doesn't want to.
He strides to the plate with confidence, sporting distinctive red batting gloves that match the hint of his favorite color in the lettering of the Rail Riders' navy blue jersey. 27 prospect in all of baseball, according to ESPN's Keith Law, but Frazier might be No.
Could A-Rod have had a picture of himself painted as centaur? Considering Frazier's perceived bravado, could Frazier have asked for a Yankees number to be unretired? Meanwhile, Frazier's unwavering belief in his own talent can rub some people the wrong way. Then they'll say that's why you made it."I'm not going to shy away from letting people know I'm confident in my ability," Frazier said.
MATT HOLLIDAY, THE Yankees' 37-year-old DH, made a big impact on Frazier during a series of spring training lunch conversations.
Clint Frazier says he chose his walk-up music simply because he likes it, but the words speak volumes.
Frazier's talent is there, but what's beneath his already-famous red locks could decide whether he lets himself down.
His hairdo had become a distraction, both to the team and the player, in the manager's mind, so it had to go -- though, Girardi stresses, he didn't want Frazier to snip his personality in the process.
It's not as if the Yankees haven't had players with pizazz, dating back to an outfielder named George Herman Ruth.
In his mind, that left him with one choice -- going straight from high school ball in Georgia to the pros."Zero part of me was going to school," said Frazier, who was given a .5 million signing bonus out of Loganville, Georgia.