Jacob deGrom upon learning hair distracts hitters: ‘I’ll never cut it’
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom may be known to the casual baseball fan more for his long hair than his sizzling stuff. And while that may be unfair to the pitching prowess of the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year and 2015 All-Star, the reason the 27-year-old has been so dominant may be attributable in part to his wild, flowing locks, despite how they once confused teammate Matt Harvey.
A batter who faced deGrom during the postseason last year — meaning it had to be player from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs or Kansas City Royals — told NorthJersey.com’s Bob Klapisch that the right-hander’s hair proved to be a distraction during at bats.
“First of all, I see this guy on the mound who looks like a stick figure,” the hitter said. “I mean, you don’t see major league pitchers who look like that. And he’s got that hair – you can’t not look at it, it’s everywhere. It bothers me when I’m trying to pick up the ball out of his hand. All I see is hair.”
When informed by Klapisch about the unidentified player’s observation, DeGrom laughed, saying, “That’s pretty cool.”
The pitcher said he’s never considered his long hair being a possible distraction to batters, but now that he does know he isn’t planning on doing anything drastic.
“Not really, I don’t talk to hitters much,” he said. “But I guess now I’ll never cut it.”
There of course much more behind deGrom’s success and frequent dominance above and beyond his long hair, starting with his blazing fastball. But in a game where any edge is exploited, expect deGrom take to heart the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young classic, “Almost Cut My Hair,” and keep letting his freak flag fly.