Judge One Step Closer To The Bigs

SCRANTON, PA - Outfielder Aaron Judge earned his first promotion to Triple-A Scranton after an impressive start to the 2015 season with Trenton. The 23-year old from Fresno State has the Yankees organization salivating at the potential that he possesses.

It’s no secret that there is a ton of hype surrounding him. The 6-foot-7, 275-pound right fielder from Fresno State received a $1.8 million dollar signing bonus after being drafted by the Yankees in the 1st round, with the 32nd overall selection of the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft.

Due to Judge’s size and stature he has elicited comparisons to MLB All-Stars such as Giancarlo Stanton, Dave Winfield and Willie Stargell. According to most scouts, Judge ranks amongst the best prospects in the minor leagues.

Judge was sidelined during the 2013 season due to a torn quad but responded extremely well in his debut season in 2014, batting .308 with 17 home runs, 24 doubles, 4 triples and 78 runs batted in between Tampa and Charleston.

These numbers along with his defensive abilities earned Judge a promotion to Double-A Trenton for the start of 2015 season where he did not disappoint, hitting .284 with 12 home runs and 44 runs batted in. According to Minor League Central, Judge has put up a line drive rate 25.7 percent, which is well above the league average of 18.4 percent. Along with hitting for power, Judge’s biggest strength is the ability to use the entire field when he is at the plate.

After playing in only 63 games with Trenton, Judge was on the move again, this time to Triple-A Scranton where he is beginning to come into his own at the plate. Although it has only been nine games, Judge is batting .303 with one home run and five runs batted in.

“The season's going well so far, we were a couple games out of first place in Trenton and here in Scranton we're in first place so were doing well overall,” Judge said.

Judge seems a lot more comfortable at the dish the last four games where he has gone 8 for his last 16, including a 4 for 4 night against Lehigh Valley.

Although Judge only has 33 at-bats in Scranton, he has immediately taken notice to the difference between Double-A and Triple-A.

“There are a lot of veteran guys here that know how to pitch.” Judge continued. "These guys up here aren’t going to give you 2-1, 3-1 fastballs down the middle, they’re going to continue to nibble at the zone and try to get you out of your approach and swing at their better pitch.

“For me it’s just staying locked in on what you want to do that at-bat and just get it done. You really got to be mentally strong up there and that’s the biggest things I noticed.”

Although there is a lot of media and hype surrounding Judge he tries to deflect it and not let it affect his game, noting that he was brought in here to help the organization win.

“You know I just try not to think about it,” Judge said. "My job is to go out there and play baseball, and that’s all I’m trying to focus on. I just want to help the Yankees organizations win however I can.”

Judge also seems to be his hardest critic as he still believes that he needs to fine-tune some things at the plate in order to make it to the next level.

“You know there’s a bunch of things I need to improve on man. But really for me right now it’s just my approach hitting-wise, you know, just fine-tuning your approach.” Judge continued.

“I know there’s a lot more guys throwing sinker balls and curveballs in Triple-A, trying to nibble at the zone where as in Double-A you face a lot of power arms who throw in the mid to upper 90’s. I just try to find my approach and just stick with my strengths. Defensively I’m just trying to go out there and make good reads so I can make some plays for our pitchers.”

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