Aaron Judge Homers Off Andy Pettitte in Batting Practice
Good news Yankees fans: Aaron Judge is already hitting home runs.
According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, the Bronx Bombers’ top-ranked prospect hit multiple long balls during a batting practice session thrown by former Yankee Andy Pettitte.
"“During his day-long visit to Yankees camp, Andy Pettitte volunteered to throw batting practice and afterward, was asked if anyone homered off him,” Martin said.“’The wind was blowing out,’ Pettitte said with a laugh as he left the team’s minor-league complex. ‘I think Judge hit a couple onto Dale Mabry [Highway].'”"
Crushing home runs in batting practice against the 43-year-old Pettitte might not seem like much of an accomplishment for Judge.
But, Yankees fans could be seeing the 23-year-old go yard in the big leagues in the near future.
Judge, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound physical specimen, figures to be one of the key players to watch as the Yankees head to Tampa for spring training.
Last season, Judge hit .255 with 20 home runs and 72 RBIs between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
With Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran likely making up the Yankees’ opening day outfield, it may be tough for Judge to make the big club to begin the season.
However, Judge could come in handy as the season progresses into July and August.
Both Ellsbury and Gardner had putrid second halves in 2015. Beltran is 38 years old. Keeping all three of them fresh is going to be crucial to the success of the Yankees in 2016.
Even with the addition of Aaron Hicks to help increase the team’s outfield depth, Judge’s immense talent and upside could end up catapulting him to the Bronx this season.
Next: Derek Jeter to Attend Spring Training
It remains to be seen whether or not Judge will put on the pinstripes at some point in 2016. Until then, he can take pride in the fact that he homered off Major League Baseball’s all-time postseason wins leader. Even if it was just in batting practice.