Scouting Yankees Prospect #3: Aaron Judge

The Yankees selected outfielder Aaron Judge in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Fresno State University. Extremely projectable given his mammoth size and immense power potential, he's also proven to be one of the better all-around players not just in the Yankee farm system but in all of baseball too.

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

Batting and Power. The first thing anyone notices about Judge is obviously his massive 6-foot-7, 270-pound athletic frame. Built like an NFL defensive end in nearly every way, Judge has plus power potential to all fields. What allows the power to play at a consistent level, however, is his superb knowledge of the strike zone and his overall plate discipline. He rarely swings at pitches out of the zone and he hardly ever tries to do too much at the plate. Boasting plus patience too, he has the kind of on-base abilities seldom found in guys his size. And despite having longer limbs his swing is actually pretty short and compact for a guy his size too, and he shows a real proclivity for using the whole field when he hits. All of it spells good hitter for average with plus power. He does strike out a bit more than some though and it's mostly due to his pension for taking pitches and not giving in to what he considers borderline pitches. He's a guy with a plan at the plate and he sticks to it.

Base Running and Speed. Not a burner by any means, it is Judge's above average athleticism that makes him a solid runner for someone so big. He hasn't proven to be a real threat stealing bases at the professional level, however, but he will swipe the occasional bag when opposing pitchers quickly [and incorrectly] dismiss him as a slow slugging type. He is a solid station to station runner too and is more of an asset running the bases than a liability.

Defense. Judge's innate athleticism and feel for the game come into play in right field where he is an above average, borderline plus defensive player. The only thing that prevents him being a true plus defensive player is his range; it's more solid than spectacular. However, he gets good reads on balls coming off of the bat, he has plus arm strength, and his throws are quite accurate. He is a difference-maker in the field.

Projection. Plain and simple, Judge is an impact player both on and off the field. He possesses impeccable makeup and off-the-charts intangibles, the kind that will not only make him an ideal teammate but a true leader in the clubhouse too. When you combine that kind of aura with the plus physical tools he possesses -- plus power to all fields, above average to plus defensive abilities, advanced plate patience and strike zone discipline, and plus bat speed -- he has arguably the best chance to be a big league superstar at some point. He gets Giancarlo Stanton and Dave Winfield comparisons due his freakishly enormous size and those comparisons are not too far off, and like the aforementioned players Judge has some All Star seasons ahead of him if he can remain healthy.

ETA. 2016. Judge is big league ready right now and not too far off from being an impact player for the Yankees, but his quick ascension to the big leagues will most likely be temporarily stalled by roster constraints. While he could see his first big league action this season, the smarter money says the Yankees will wait until next season before adding him to the 40-man roster.


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