Yankees Judge Aaron Already Ready To Play In The Bronx
When is a Yankees player better than his box score? When there is a difference in the type of outs, he is making. Aaron Judge has only three hits but may have already earned a chance to start the season in the Bronx.
The Yankees have already seen a lot of hitting this spring from their young prospects. Greg Bird has two doubles and two home runs. Gleyber Torres look perhaps better than advertised. Didi Gregorious, Gary Sanchez, and Aaron Judge have all hit home runs.
To be fair, Judge’s should probably count as two. And it might never have landed if it had not hit the scoreboard. He hit that thing so hard the cow it was made from feeling it…and he’s dead.
But that is not going to win Aaron any shots at playing for the Yankees. They know he can hit long home runs. Everybody in baseball knows that. The Yankees also know he struck out in half of his at-bats last year. Everybody in baseball knows that, too.
Why Didn’t He Use His Sunglasses?
The solution is simple. Aaron is huge, in case you hadn’t noticed (6’7”, 275). The Yankees think that, if he just puts the bat on the ball, good things will happen. He can guess completely wrong and hit a home run. Or muscle any breaking ball into the outfield.
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Case in point. A couple of days ago he reached for a pitch. He hit it sky high; I think it brushed the sun. And as does happen in the Florida sun, with no big league bleachers to cast a long shadow, the outfielder completely lost the ball. He ended up approximately 40-50 yards from the ball.
That was the part of the play that got all the attention. What everyone missed is that the ball landed on the warning track. So with a horrible swing on a badly misread pitch, Aaron Judge came within a few feet of hitting a home run. That is what a man his size can do.
And that is why he may have already earned 200 AB’s in the bigs. His numbers so far are okay: 3 hits in 9 AB’s. But one of those was the aforementioned lost-in-the-sun ball. No, in his case, it is the outs that are significant.
And Spring is all About Hope
Judge has made contact almost every time up to bat. His outs have been ending up in someone’s glove, someone other than the catcher. The hope is that he is just beginning to get comfortable with his new leg kick and putting the ball in play is the first sign of good things to come. The more comfortable he gets, the more hits and home runs he will produce. Again, that’s the hope.
It’s early in spring training but, since the Yankees and Hal Steinbrenner were already inclined to give Judge a chance to play in the Bronx, even these scant early reviews probably seal the deal. Particularly for a player with his track record and potential.
There were times this off-season when I thought Aaron Judge might not make it. I feared I might never see him launch moon shots at passing D trains.
Next: Here's How The Yankees Can Solve The Gleyber Torres Dilemma
Now, I plan to buy tickets to as many games in April that I can. And if I am late to a game, I definitely will not be riding the subway.
Editor’s Note: This story was written prior to the games played on March 2.