Scouting Yankees Prospect #14: Aaron Judge

The Yankees selected outfielder Aaron Judge in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Fresno State University. Despite signing too late and injuring his quad muscle, thus preventing him from making his official professional debut just yet, he offers a significant long-term ceiling.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Aaron Judge
Position: Outfield
DOB: April 26, 1992
Height: 6'7"
Weight: 270
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

"It's a pretty awesome feeling," Judge told PinstripesPlus.com about being selected by the Yankees. "The Yankees are by far the best organization in the league. There's so much history with this organization and they're winners. It's good to be apart of a winning organization.

"I see myself fitting pretty well in the outfield in the next year or two. I'm a big guy and power comes with that so I'll probably be a big power outfielder for the Yankees."

He signed towards the July 15th deadline [officially agreeing to terms on July 11th] so at most he would have gotten a month's worth of playing time in with the Staten Island club, but a pulled quad muscle put him on the shelf indefinitely.

As frustrating as the delayed debut was and has been for everyone -- the fans, Judge himself, the Yankees -- his selection was more about the long-term potential anyway.

"The impression of Aaron Judge is a tremendous ceiling," Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer told PinstripesPlus.com on draft day. "There's a big ceiling on Aaron Judge that he could become a real special player. He's got the tools, traits, and characteristics that we like.

"He's an athlete, he's playing in the middle of the field right now, he has huge power, he has tremendous work ethic, and he's shown us the potential for all five tools to be pluses. So he's a high ceiling guy that we were very excited about where we were able to take him."

He is often compared to Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton because of his size, stature, and athleticism, a comparison that Judge himself sees too.

"He's a big guy, he's a great athlete, he's got tremendous power, he's a great arm, and when I watch him play I try to mold myself to him because were both pretty big guys," Judge said.

Because of his immense size [he is actually one inch taller than Stanton] the inevitable question has been raised, especially since Judge has yet to step into an official minor league game yet -- will he be able to make the necessary swing adjustments because of his unique size?

"Well, I think if you just want to pin it to the specific inch at 6-foot-7, you might be able to say that, but how many 6-foot-7 guys have there been? All I know is that [Dave] Winfield was close to 6-foot-7, Stanton is close to 6-foot-7, so I'm not going to split hairs on the height," Oppenheimer said.

"My basis, and what I'm looking at, isn't to pinpoint a certain height and rule everyone above that height out - that's a crock to me. There's a lot of people clamoring for us to go trade for Giancarlo Stanton, and what is there an inch difference between these two?

"So it's easy to poke holes at that sort of thing, but you know what? There haven't been many 6-foot-7 athletic guys like this that we've seen come through. I can't think of many, and the ones I can think of have become pretty good players.

"If you watch the guy play there's a grace about him that makes you forget he's 6-foot-7."

So while many pundits blindly assess Judge as a long-term project, the Yankees themselves believe they're getting a player with an incredibly high ceiling but one who isn't necessarily much of a project either.

"Well I don't know why he would be considered a project. I have no idea why that would even be brought up. All anyone has to do is look and see that he's had some success in college baseball. Anyone who says that this guy is a project says to me that they're not paying attention," Oppenheimer concluded.


Batting and Power. Judge is a physical freak. Not only does he stand 6-foot-7 but he is built like an NFL defensive end cut in the mold of a Jason Pierre Paul type, one who possesses plus bat speed. The whole package screams plus power potential to all fields. He also has shown, at least at the amateur level, to have the requisite pitch recognition and patience to be a solid hitter for average too. How he handles being pitched inside more at the professional level where he can't extend his huge arms as frequently is a wait and see proposition, however.

Base Running and Speed. He's not just big, he is actually quite quick and athletic too. He shows an impressive first burst jump for a slugger and he had an 88 percent success rate stealing bases in college. Whether he can duplicate that at the professional level remains to be seen, but he has the wheels to be a double-digit stolen base guy each year, one who could approach 20 stolen bases.

Defense. Because of his high level of athleticism, Judge has actually played some centerfield coming up through the amateur ranks. He will shift over to right field at the professional level, however, where his range should be above average and his arm strength is borderline plus. He should be a very, very solid defensive corner outfielder.

Projection. With plus power potential to all fields, a high level of athleticism for a slugger, real defensive abilities in the corner outfield spots, and reportedly great makeup, Judge not only has the ceiling of being a starting big league outfielder who could hit in the heart of the batting order, but one who has All Star potential. How he handles professional pitching on a consistent basis, however, including commanding the inner-half of the plate, will go a long way towards deciding if he taps that potential. He has to prove he can be a consistent hitter day in and day out to optimize his plus power potential.

ETA. 2016. Judge seems ticketed to make his official professional debut in high-A Tampa this coming season. Should he begin there and prove he has what it takes to be a good hitter, he could move even quicker than our listed big league arrival time here.

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Aaron Judge
\r\nPosition: Outfield
\r\nDOB: April 26, 1992
\r\nHeight: 6'7\"
\r\nWeight: 270
\r\nBats: Right
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\n\"It's a pretty awesome feeling,\" Judge told PinstripesPlus.com about being selected by the Yankees. \"The Yankees are by far the best organization in the league. There's so much history with this organization and they're winners. It's good to be apart of a winning organization.
\r\n
\r\n\"I see myself fitting pretty well in the outfield in the next year or two. I'm a big guy and power comes with that so I'll probably be a big power outfielder for the Yankees.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe signed towards the July 15th deadline [officially agreeing to terms on July 11th] so at most he would have gotten a month's worth of playing time in with the Staten Island club, but a pulled quad muscle put him on the shelf indefinitely.
\r\n
\r\nAs frustrating as the delayed debut was and has been for everyone -- the fans, Judge himself, the Yankees -- his selection was more about the long-term potential anyway.
\r\n
\r\n\"The impression of Aaron Judge is a tremendous ceiling,\" Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer told PinstripesPlus.com on draft day. \"There's a big ceiling on Aaron Judge that he could become a real special player. He's got the tools, traits, and characteristics that we like.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's an athlete, he's playing in the middle of the field right now, he has huge power, he has tremendous work ethic, and he's shown us the potential for all five tools to be pluses. So he's a high ceiling guy that we were very excited about where we were able to take him.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe is often compared to Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton because of his size, stature, and athleticism, a comparison that Judge himself sees too.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a big guy, he's a great athlete, he's got tremendous power, he's a great arm, and when I watch him play I try to mold myself to him because were both pretty big guys,\" Judge said.
\r\n
\r\nBecause of his immense size [he is actually one inch taller than Stanton] the inevitable question has been raised, especially since Judge has yet to step into an official minor league game yet -- will he be able to make the necessary swing adjustments because of his unique size?
\r\n
\r\n\"Well, I think if you just want to pin it to the specific inch at 6-foot-7, you might be able to say that, but how many 6-foot-7 guys have there been? All I know is that [Dave] Winfield was close to 6-foot-7, Stanton is close to 6-foot-7, so I'm not going to split hairs on the height,\" Oppenheimer said.
\r\n
\r\n\"My basis, and what I'm looking at, isn't to pinpoint a certain height and rule everyone above that height out - that's a crock to me. There's a lot of people clamoring for us to go trade for Giancarlo Stanton, and what is there an inch difference between these two?
\r\n
\r\n\"So it's easy to poke holes at that sort of thing, but you know what? There haven't been many 6-foot-7 athletic guys like this that we've seen come through. I can't think of many, and the ones I can think of have become pretty good players.
\r\n
\r\n\"If you watch the guy play there's a grace about him that makes you forget he's 6-foot-7.\"
\r\n
\r\nSo while many pundits blindly assess Judge as a long-term project, the Yankees themselves believe they're getting a player with an incredibly high ceiling but one who isn't necessarily much of a project either.
\r\n
\r\n\"Well I don't know why he would be considered a project. I have no idea why that would even be brought up. All anyone has to do is look and see that he's had some success in college baseball. Anyone who says that this guy is a project says to me that they're not paying attention,\" Oppenheimer concluded.
\r\n
\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power. Judge is a physical freak. Not only does he stand 6-foot-7 but he is built like an NFL defensive end cut in the mold of a Jason Pierre Paul type, one who possesses plus bat speed. The whole package screams plus power potential to all fields. He also has shown, at least at the amateur level, to have the requisite pitch recognition and patience to be a solid hitter for average too. How he handles being pitched inside more at the professional level where he can't extend his huge arms as frequently is a wait and see proposition, however.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed. He's not just big, he is actually quite quick and athletic too. He shows an impressive first burst jump for a slugger and he had an 88 percent success rate stealing bases in college. Whether he can duplicate that at the professional level remains to be seen, but he has the wheels to be a double-digit stolen base guy each year, one who could approach 20 stolen bases.
\r\n
\r\nDefense. Because of his high level of athleticism, Judge has actually played some centerfield coming up through the amateur ranks. He will shift over to right field at the professional level, however, where his range should be above average and his arm strength is borderline plus. He should be a very, very solid defensive corner outfielder.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. With plus power potential to all fields, a high level of athleticism for a slugger, real defensive abilities in the corner outfield spots, and reportedly great makeup, Judge not only has the ceiling of being a starting big league outfielder who could hit in the heart of the batting order, but one who has All Star potential. How he handles professional pitching on a consistent basis, however, including commanding the inner-half of the plate, will go a long way towards deciding if he taps that potential. He has to prove he can be a consistent hitter day in and day out to optimize his plus power potential.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2016. Judge seems ticketed to make his official professional debut in high-A Tampa this coming season. Should he begin there and prove he has what it takes to be a good hitter, he could move even quicker than our listed big league arrival time here.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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