Friday, January 17, 2014

Aaron Judge, OF

The second of the Yankees 2013 first round pick stands out for his gargantuan size, and his athleticism. This combination allowed him to become a three sport athlete (Baseball, Football, and Basketball). Judge excelled in all three sports but ultimately chose to become a baseball player.Unsurprisingly the 6-7 255 pound outfielder is known for his power. If Judge continues to show the type of power he did at the end of his amateur career he could prove to be a great first round pick for the Yankees. 

Vitals Statistics:

Born: 04/26//1992 B:T R-R Ht: 6-7 Wt:255 Drafted: Fresno State, 2013 (1st round)
2013 Stats N/A (sat out with quadriceps injury)


Judge is a very accomplished college player, who had many accolades over the last few years. His most impressive accomplishments include: Two-time First-Team All-WAC (2011 & '12), WAC All-Tournament Team (2012), TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby Champion (2012),No. 3 prospect in Cape Cod Baseball League - Perfect Game (2012),No. 6 prospect in Cape Cod Baseball League - Baseball America (2012), Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American (2011).

While he was a star outfielder in college, he was actually considered a better pitching prospect coming out of high school. However he came into his own in Fresno state and showed the ability to be a future impact bat. Based mainly on his power potential he was ranked 17th on Kieth Law's top draft prospect list and 30th on BA's list. The Yankees ended up using the 32nd pick on him, and signed him to an over-slot deal.

2013 Season:

Between his quad injury and his refusal to sign for slot, Judge did not get any game time with the Yankees. This shouldn't have any impact on his career and the fact that the Yankees eventually caved in and gave him slightly more money that slot shows how much they wanted him. Before Judge signed the Yankees seemed to be have a policy of sticking with slot bonuses for first rounders. This policy seems to go back to the Culver and Bichette picks.

Scouting Report:

Judges biggest tool is his power. He has great right handed power and can hit a homerun in any direction. Judge's biggest problem in college was getting under the ball and not taking advantage of his massive strength. However he has worked on that aspect of his game.

Despite his large size Judge is still a good defensive corner outfielder who can play centerfield if needed. Judge has a great deal of athleticism. He isn't the fastest outfielder, but has good speed and a strong arm. Player's his size often have a hard time covering their strike zone, this is also true of Judge despite his short quick swing.

Mayo said the following about Judge before his successful final season:

"Judge has patience at the plate, runs pretty well and has a strong arm, all the tools for a future right fielder. How he performed during his junior season with the bat was going to determine where he lands on Draft boards. That performance was a bit up-and-down but a team that saw him on a good day -- and put stock in his strong Cape performance -- might be willing
to gamble he'll hit enough to tap into that power at the next level."


Judge projects to be a .260 hitter, so any value he may have will be the result of his power. As of now Judge has shown good discipline so he'll survive having a high strikeout rate. Granderson showed us all just how little strikeouts matter when they come with great power and OBP skills.

Judge has true 30 homerun potential, so it all comes down to whether that power shows up in games. Realistically his ceiling may be similar to the 2012 version of Josh Reddick. He is a good defender with a strong arm so the comparison makes sense, even though he may be a little bit faster.

2014 Level:

Judge may not be the most polished player but he still should start the minor league season in High A. If he starts the year in Charleston it would probably be a short stay. Last season Rob Refsnyder only played 13 games in A ball before the Yankees pushed him to high A.

Chances are the same outcome would occur if Judge was put on the level. Judge would be better suited for Tampa anyway, as the park is much friendlier towards hitters. Either way Judge should be able to move through the system rather quickly.


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