Who Has the Brighter Future: Aaron Judge or Gary Sanchez?

Aug 17, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Gary Sanchez (24) celebrates hitting a solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with Aaron Judge (99) during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Gary Sanchez (24) celebrates hitting a solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with Aaron Judge (99) during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

Fans of the New York Yankees are already taking sides as to which of their young stars has the brighter future in MLB: Aaron Judge or Gary Sanchez?

The New York Yankees brought up two of their most heralded prospect in the month of August, rightfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez. The front office has made it clear that both Judge and Sanchez have earned everyday jobs with the Yankees, and so far they have made that decision pay off for the team.

Through his first 14 games, Sanchez has gone 21-for-54 with five HR and 11 RBI. Through his first six big league games, Judge has been similarly impressive, going 7-for-23 with two HR and four RBI.

Sanchez has been the hotter hand at this point, but Judge has plenty of time to catch up. Which of these two talented youngsters will be the new King of New York? Lets break it down.

Prospect Pedigree

Both players were consensus Top 100 talents among the major prospect lists before the season, but opinions varied pretty widely as to where they ranked. Baseball Prospectus was the highest of the Big Three lists on Judge, putting him at #18, and were actually the lowest on Sanchez at #92. Baseball America had them more or less swapped, with Sanchez at #36 and Judge at #76. MLB.com had them much closer together, but preferred Judge at #31 to Sanchez at #59.

In the Yanks Go Yard midseason Top 30 list, with 199 points and three first place votes, Aaron Judge narrowly beat out Gary Sanchez, who received 195 points and one first place vote.

Baseball America is arguably the most respected prospect list in the industry, but we have to defer to the masses here and concede that Aaron Judge has the better pedigree as a prospect.

Edge: Aaron Judge

Hit Tool

Judge has a slight edge across all professional levels with a .280 batting average compared to Sanchez’s .276 career mark. Where The Judge really stands out though is his ability to get on base. His career .374 OBP is miles better than Sanchez’s .339. Sanchez is kind of a hacker at the plate.

While Judge’s 23.9% K rate in Triple-A is much higher than Sanchez’s 14.4%, Judge also walks almost twice as frequently as Sanchez (11.5% vs. 6.7%).

The massive Judge has been very successful in making adjustments to his timing and swing in the last year to cut down on his strikeouts and make more contact, especially against soft stuff. His size could be a major obstacle down the road, but for the moment, he seems to be making it work.

Edge: Aaron Judge


Both young sluggers have showed off their immense power during their brief time in the majors. In his first MLB at-bat, Judge hit one of the longest homers ever in the new Yankee Stadium and already has two long-balls and a double in just 20 plate appearances.

If anything, Gary Sanchez’s MLB debut has been even more impressive, socking five home runs and three doubles in his first 13 games. He also has a much longer track record of in-game power production than Judge, hitting 15 or more homers in five of his last six seasons.

There have been concerns in the past that, for all Judge’s size, his power wasn’t actually showing up in games. That hasn’t been the case this year, with 21 home runs between Triple-A and MLB, even after missing a month with a knee injury.

MLB Pipeline assigns both guys a 60 grade for power, which translates roughly to 25 home runs a year. That seems about right for both guys on average, although Judge probably has the higher ceiling, while Sanchez has the higher floor.

Edge: Draw


Despite his huge size, Judge actually grades out as an average runner. He won’t hurt you on the bases and amazingly can even play a passable centerfield, which hopefully Yankees fans will get to see soon. Like most catchers, Sanchez is a below-average runner. He’s not Jose Molina slow, but he’s slow.

Edge: Aaron Judge


Judge is a competent rightfielder by all accounts. He’s not going to win a Gold Glove, but he should be able to provide average defense in a corner spot for the foreseeable future. Given his size, a move to first base or even DH at some point seems inevitable, but probably not until he’s well past 30.

The 23-year-old Sanchez has long been seen as a poor defender, but has made great strides with his effort to improve his defense the past two years. He is still probably below-average, but because he can handle the catcher position passably, he is a more valuable defender than Judge overall.

Edge: Gary Sanchez


Judge has a strong arm in rightfield, MLB Pipeline grades it a 60. He threw out seven runners in 76 games with Triple-A Scranton this year.

Unfortunately for Aaron, Sanchez has one of the best arms behind the plate I have ever seen. Every throw to second is a laser. It is truly elite and should completely shut down the running game against New York.

Edge: Gary Sanchez


Overall, Aaron Judge takes three categories against Gary Sanchez’s two, with one a draw. Both players possess impressive power potential, something that should be evident to Yankees fans who have watched their first few weeks in the show.

Sanchez has position scarcity on his side and that arm is the best raw tool that either one possesses, but Judge’s polished approach at the plate and athleticism give him slightly more superstar potential than his Yankees teammate.