On Sunday, March 13, 2016, the start of daylight savings time, MLB.com’s Morning Lineup newsletter ranked “each team’s player most likely to spring forward”. For the Yankees, it chose number two prospect, Aaron Judge.
The 6’7″, 275 pound Judge is obviously a power hitter. In fact, Yankees Universe, after scrutinizing his batting practice reps in Florida, is most impressed with his home run power and potential.
After dominating in the minor leagues, scouts think Judge is having difficulty adjusting to the Major League pitchers’ arsenal of secondary and tertiary pitches. “The Major League level is the highest level, so it’s just getting used to playing in the games….” Judge said. “Last year… I was surrounded by a lot of good veterans and they showed me the way….”
This spring training, he has 13 at-bats and a batting average of .077. “I think his at-bats have been pretty good,’” Manager Joe Girardi remarked. “I think he’s been really patient. I don’t see him chasing pitches. He’s struck out a little bit, but it’s early in spring training so you don’t make too much of it. But I think he’s having patient at-bats.”
Judge, at 23 years of age, is demonstrating a mature outlook on spring training. “That’s what [it] is for,” he said. “I’m getting to see good pitching, getting my timing down. It’s great, I’m excited. I don’t pay too much attention to results right now.”
In 2016, with 7 strikeouts in 13 at bats and his only hit being a three run home run, cautious optimism is advised before fans make a Judge-ment.