Pinstripe Preview: Aaron Judge
One thing comes to mind when you think of Aaron Judge: raw power. At 6’7” and 230 pounds, he is one of the largest players in Major League Baseball and draws comparison to Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins. Judge was drafted by the Yankees 32nd overall in 2013, and has become a highly touted prospect in the Yankees’ farm system. Yankee fans have continuously heard about Judge’s size and power over the past couple of years and they finally got a glimpse of it in 2016.
Judge spent most of 2016 in triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he had a slash line of .270/.366/.489 with 19 homeruns and 65 RBIs. Following the retirement of Alex Rodriguez, Judge and fellow prospect Tyler Austin were called up to the big leagues on August 13th. Both rookies burst onto the scene when they became the first teammates to hit back-to-back homeruns in their first MLB at-bats. Judge’s homerun showcased his power as it hit off the top of the restaurant glass in dead centerfield of Yankee Stadium (446 feet, according to MLB.com). Unfortunately, his success didn’t last long, In 84 at-bats he struck out in 42 of them and had a slash line of .179/.263/.345. He also only hit four homeruns with 10 RBIs. In mid-September he suffered an oblique injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season.
Judge is having a pretty good start to Spring Training, he’s hitting .429 with six hits, two RBIs and one mammoth homerun that hit off the top of the scoreboard at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Judge will likely start the season with the Yankees as long as he’s healthy and continues to perform in Spring Training. My guess is he will have a RF/DH role on the team, but with the addition of Chris Carter and Matt Holliday, he will probably play more in right field. Granted, Aaron Hicks might take over right field when the Yankees are playing against right handed pitching because that is how Joe Girardi likes to manage. Hopefully Judge learns from his time on the Yankees last season in August and September. If he can make the right adjustments at the plate and stay consistent the Yankees offense can be scary good this season.
Article by: Paul AlvaroFollow @PAlvaro18