Red-headed Yankees have been few and far between. Hall of Famer Red Ruffing won six titles in pinstripes in the 1930s and ’40s, but he surely never donned a man bun.
Clint Frazier, one of the most impressive members of the Bombers’ recent youth movement, may have enough pop at the plate to override front office concerns over his hair length.
The right-handed utility outfielder, No. 24 in MLB.com’s latest Prospect Watch, is poised to make his debut in the big leagues in 2017.
Frazier, 22, caught the attention of scouts in Loganville, Georgia and was drafted fifth overall, the first high school player selected in 2013, by the Indians. He ascended the levels of Cleveland’s farm system, racking up 37 homers and 158 RBIs by the end of 2015.
Frazier’s future with the Indians looked secure as he started the season in Double-A Akron, and he was promoted to Triple-A Columbus later in the year.
However, Frazier was traded to the Yankees last season in a deal in the Andrew Miller deal. He completed the season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and finished with a .263 average, 16 home runs and 55 RBIs in 119 games with three teams.
Frazier’s path to wearing pinstripes seems inevitable, although he’ll return to Triple-A to start the season. He continues to deal with being overaggressive at the plate, striking out 122 times in 2016.
Most likely to get an opportunity in left field, Frazier will also have to polish his fielding after allowing a fly ball to bounce off of his head earlier this week. Still, the Yankees see him as a future star and another potential farm system success story.