BBB 2017 Top Prospect Countdown #5: Aaron Judge
The Baby Bombers got a taste of the big leagues last year, most notably Gary Sanchez took the league by storm. Another Baby Bomber to make their Major League debut was big man Aaron Judge, who infamously went back to back with Tyler Austin in their debut. Judge has come into Spring Training looking to lock up the starting right field job, but will be competing with Aaron Hicks in the process.
|Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports|
After hitting a long home run in his first at bat, Judge struggled at the big league level as he finished the 2016 season batting .179 with four home runs and 10 RBIs in 27 games. His strike outs were a problem too as he struck out 42 times in 85 at bats. Before being called up, Judge was having a solid season with Triple A Wilkes-Barre as he had a .270 with 19 home runs and 65 RBIs in 93 games.
It is well known that Judge tends to struggle in his first taste of every level as he struggled in his first taste of Triple A in 2015, but always manages to adjust at each level. That’s not a guarantee that Judge will find success at the MLB level, but he has a long enough track record that it’s worth considering. The power is there, but it is yet to be determined if Judge can cut down on some of the strike outs.
At 6’7” and 275 pounds, Judge has easy power and can hit the ball to all fields with authority, but with a big frame, strikeouts will always be a part of his game. For Judge’s size, he plays solid right field defense and has a strong arm as well. Judge won’t steal many bases (13 in his minor league career), but he can get around in the outfield.
The Yankees would love to take the right field job and run with it and unless he struggles mightily in Spring Training and needs a little more time in the minors, expect Judge to be the starting right fielder. Judge has the power potential to have a 30 home run season and if he can cut down a little bit on the strikeouts he can have a pretty successful 2017 season.
MLB Comparison: Dave Winfield, Giancarlo Stanton