Judging from Spring Training, Aaron Judge Is What the Yankees Need
With the right-field position up for grabs within the New York Yankees organization, fans are eyeing 24-year-old Aaron Judge — and rightfully so
Not only being a mammoth in the field, Aaron Judge is an absolute monster at the plate. Honing his 6’7” body for the better, Judge already has two homers under his belt in spring training. I’m still almost positive neither ball has even landed yet, especially his first shot. His first home run of spring training was just feet away from completely clearing the stadium. The kid can hit a baseball for sure. Really hard, and really far, at that.
Last August, Judge lived up to the hype of his name after sending a ball well out of Yankee Stadium in his MLB debut. (Can I add this freaking awesome side-note: it was directly after Tyler Austin’s MLB debut hitting a home run as well? According to MLB.com, the duo were the first teammates to ever accomplish such a feat of hitting back-to-back homers in their MLB debuts.)
Judge’s big league debut bomb traveled an estimated 446 feet.
In his second ever MLB game, Judge went yard yet again. Granted, it wasn’t as far as his first home run, but a home run still looks pretty when it soars into the stands.
Judge’s power at the major league level shouldn’t come as a surprise at all, though. During his time in the minor leagues, he crushed balls left and right. Judge was the 32nd pick in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft, but unfortunately tore a quadriceps muscle while participating in base running drills, putting him out for the 2013 season. After beginning his journey in 2014 with the Class A South Atlantic affiliate of the Yankees, the Charleston RiverDogs, Judge powered his way to a .333 batting average and a .530 SLG — and not to mention his 45 RBI and 9 HR in just 45 games with Charleston.
It didn’t take long for the Yankees to move Judge to the Class A-Advanced Florida State team, the Tampa Yankees. While wrapping up his 2014 campaign in the sunshine state, he hit .283 with a .442 SLG, 8 HR, and 33 RBI in just 66 games.
Judge began his 2015 season with the Yankees’ AA-affiliate, the Trenton Thunder. He hit .284 with 12 HR in 63 games, and earned a promotion to the AAA-affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. In his time with the RailRiders, he batted .270 with 65 RBI and 19 HR in 93 games.
I know that’s a lot to take in, but simply take this single fact away from it all: the kid can hit.
Now fast forward real quick to what’s currently taking place in spring training. Yankees fans, including myself, are having an absolute ball watching Judge, and we have high hopes and dreams of seeing number 99 on Yankees rosters in a couple weeks when Opening Day comes. This past winter, team owner Hal Steinbrenner himself, said that he wants Judge as his starting right fielder.
Me too, Hal. Me too.