Carlos Beltran to Take Aaron Judge Under His Wing
Yankee outfielder Carlos Beltran will have his spring training locker alongside fellow outfielder and top prospect Aaron Judge.
It appears that Beltran wants to give his apparent replacement everything he has to offer.
Beltran reached out to manager Joe Girardi before pitchers and catchers reported to George M. Steinbrenner Field on Thursday morning, and asked if Judge’s locker could be moved close to his.
Judge was the 2013 first-round pick for New York and is the 18th-best prospect in baseball, according to Baseball Prospectus. Scouts rate the 6-foot-7, 275-pounder with having extreme strength, a strong arm and incredible athleticism for someone of his size.
This is the second straight major-league camp for Judge and he is expected to head to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at the start of the regular season, where he’ll work on hitting breaking balls and pitch recognition.
“Being next to a legend is awesome. Carlos is a guy I’ve watched for years growing up, just how he handles himself on the field and off the field, he’s a class act, so it’s a pretty cool honor and privilege to be here.”-Aaron Judge
The Yankees will place him on the 40-man roster, and who else would you rather learn how to be an elite outfielder, then form Carlos Beltran.
Beltran is likely in the final season of a borderline Hall of Fame career, as the 38-year old has already hinted at retirement. This is his last year under contract as a Yankee.
The switch hitter has 392 home runs over his 18 year career with the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, and the New York Yankees. He’s a career .280 hitter with almost 2,500 career hits along with 8 all-star appearances and was the American League Rookie of the Year in 1999. Certainly someone I’d want Judge to follow around.
Beltran is also known for coming through when October rolls around. Although he has no World Series ring, he has 16 home runs, 40 RBI’s and a batting average of .332 in 54 postseason games and is accredited for being a very good breaking ball hitter.
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Breaking balls were the source of Judge’s .224 batting average and .680 OPS in Triple-A and he will benefit not only from some more minor league time, but a benefit from a mentor like Carlos Beltran.
“He’s a guy who’s the future of this organization, and I feel like I can help him,” Beltran said. “When I was growing up in the big leagues, I had some veteran guys who took care of me, helped me along the way. The game of baseball isn’t about what you can do for yourself. It’s about trying to impact younger guys. I take pride in that and I want to help him as much as I can.”
Judge is part of a new core of young players the Yankees are hoping take over the Bronx in the next few years. He is in a group with first baseman Greg Bird, catcher Gary Sanchez, right-hander Luis Severino, and infielder Rob Refsnyder.
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New York is hoping that these youngsters will make an impact sooner rather than later, and could use all the help they could get with development.