A few weeks into Spring Training and the developments in the baseball-player hair world have been monumental. We’ll get to the biggest story first, which is relevant because it drops one of our reigning Top 5 off of our list. And to hear him tell it, he has no intention of returning. Sometime late last week, this happened —
— if you don’t recognize him, that’s Andrew McCutchen. The locks are gone, a chapter of his life put behind him, some are being auctioned off for charity. Still on anybody’s shortlist of the best players in baseball, McCutchen will appear in this column no longer as one of the most distinctive looks in the past half-decade of MLB play is laid to rest. As Mark Hoppus once said, “I guess this is growing up”.
On to the rest.
5. Brad Miller, SS, Seattle Mariners
This is based on a short glimpse of a helmetless Miller in the Seattle dugout during a very early Cactus League game, of which I was unable to make a screen-grab. His dirty blonde-ish hair was grown out a bit, featuring a prominent left-side part, maybe a little reminiscent of a 1990’s Leo DiCaprio look. Pending further review, the evidence was strong enough to unseat Gordon Beckham as the vaguely-innocuous, All-American, white guy infielder of choice. At least for the time being.
4. Yoan Moncada, SS, Boston Red Sox
This is entirely a projection rating here. I can see that the underlying fundamentals are very strong, but there is still a lot of room for growth, and creativity. How will Moncada’s hair adapt to the professional game in America? It remains to be seen, but his ceiling remains as high as anyone’s. However, since he will not open the year on the Red Sox major league roster, he will be taking a leave of absence from this list starting Opening Day, possibly to someday return. The Red Sox hope it’s sooner rather than later.
3. Zack Greinke, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The revelation of the spring so far, Greinke showed up to Dodgers camp with long blond locks flowing out from his cap almost to his shoulders. It’s something of a radical departure for a guy who’s always been known to be a bit idiosyncratic. In so many ways, Greinke has flourished in Los Angeles, and his hair is another. Combined with Kershaw, who has always been a fringy good-hair guy (good shape and volume, but it’s always seemed a bit too careless and ill-considered to grade out with top marks), Greinke gives the Dodgers’ rotation a 1-2 punch in the hair game that is equal to their pitching prowess. (Brandon McCarthy is another Dodgers’ starter who’s been considered for this list, on the basis of his strong hairline, hair density, and the flecks of resplendent silver that are beginning to poke through).
2. Angel Pagan, CF, San Francisco Giants
It’s been awhile since anyone has seen Pagan play, as he missed most of the second half last year, so, needless to say, Giants fans were waiting with bated breath to see the player who would show up to camp this spring. Would it be the slight, non-descript, and fungible fourth outfielder of his early career, or would it be the swarthy Adonis who set hearts and baseballs aflame last summer? The Giants offseason has been a tough one, even coming off of a World Series win. They’ve watched key players leave, fallen short of landing all their big FA targets, and had to settle for uninspiring solutions at third base, right field, and in the rotation. But anyone who was still looking for a bright spot heading into 2015 got it: Angel’s back, baby.
1. Bryce Harper, RF, Washington Nationals
What can you say, kid’s still got it. Just look.
Next week: Yes, society judges people, especially men, on the basis of their hair – but, does it judge them harshly enough?
Featured Image: Via USA Today Sports