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OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 11: Aaron Judge The New York Yankees first round draft pick 32nd overall looks on during batting practice before a MLB baseball game between the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on June 11, 2013 in Oakland, California. Judge had not yet signed a contract and was with the Major League Club just taking batting practice. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Beltran prepared to mentor Judge

Present, meet future. Future, meet present.

Aaron Judge reported to Spring Training earlier than some other position players and found his locker right next to Carlos Beltran‘s – just as Beltran had planned.

According to Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media, Beltran called Joe Girardi a few weeks before camp opened and requested that Judge’s locker be close to his. “I guess Carlos is feeling this is the heir apparent to right field and whatever Carlos has to offer, he wants to give it to Aaron,” said Yankees’ equipment manager Rob Cucuzza to Kuty.

This is an important year for Judge, who’s considered by many to be the organization’s top prospect. He pretty much conquered Double-A with the Thunder last season, but couldn’t duplicate his success with the Railriders after being called up to Triple-A in June. Pitchers routinely kept Judge off-balance with a variety of breaking pitches, so his main goal going into the offseason was to work on his patience and pitch recognition.

Beltran, on the other hand, could be entering his final year in baseball. He’s mentioned multiple times this winter that he plans to assess his situation after this year when his contract expires. He’ll be 39 on April 24, so if he wants to play past this season it will likely be year-to-year. Beltran turned in a solid season in pinstripes in ’15, at times looking like the Yankees’ most consistent hitter.

Hopefully the eight-time All-Star has plenty of knowledge to pass down to the Baby Bomber. Position players officially report to the Yankees’ Spring Training Complex on Feb. 24.