Name: Aaron Judge
DOB: April 26, 1992
Batting and Power. Built like an NFL defensive end with his enormous 6-foot-7, 275-pound frame, Judge is accurately noted for his plus power to all fields. He not only can hit titanic blasts to the pull-side but he can also hit mistake pitches the other way and he's so strong that inevitably a number of them will find their way over the outfield wall. While he is a huge physical specimen, however, his swing is actually pretty short and compact for somebody of his mammoth size. Aiding his ability to stay rather short is his advanced patience, pitch recognition, and plate discipline. Critics point out that he "got exposed" with better breaking pitches once he reached the Triple-A level and while it's true that somebody with his length will be somewhat susceptible to better breaking pitches [which is really the case for all hitters], the fact is he has plan he sticks to at the plate and he's looking to jump on fastballs. It doesn't mean he can't hit breaking pitches -- he absolutely can -- it's just not his desired approach. Few scouts believe he won't be able to make the necessary adjustment and begin attacking secondary pitches in the zone more, and once he proves he can hit offspeed pitches consistently he could get back to getting more of a steady diet of fastballs. He's a much better hitter than his .224 showing in Triple-A last season. In fact, given his hit-first approach and excellent hitting foundation in place [including an ability to use the whole field] he still projects to be a high-average hitter down the road, one with heart of the order big league power. He's more of a natural hitter than mere slugger.
Base Running and Speed. Judge will never be confused with a plus runner but he is a lot more athletic and nimble than most folks realize, especially for somebody his size. He isn't and won't be much of a base stealing threat but he does have borderline average speed, enough to be an occasional stolen base threat, and he's very heady on the base paths and is a solid station to station runner overall. He could be a viable low double-digit stolen base threat given his ability to get on base consistently while proving to be very steady running the bases overall. He's far from a liability on the bases.
Defense. The first thing that stands out defensively is Judge's plus arm strength. In fact, it's borderline plus-plus and he shows a reliably accurate arm too. He has solid average range in right field that should play quite well just as long as he keeps his conditioning in-check over the years. He gets good reads on the ball coming off of the bat and his head is always in the game; he knows where to go with the ball before it's ever hit to him. He's not just reliable in the field, he's an asset.
Projection. Few can match Judge's physical prowess and strength, and in fact it's a major reason why he often gets compared to the likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Dave Winfield. The comparisons are quite fair given his unique size and like them Judge has impressive power to all fields, the kind of special power that makes it hard to envision him not cementing a permanent spot in the heart of a big league batting order someday. However, with great mental makeup and natural leadership skills, not to mention a real natural feel for hitting, he's more than a mere slugger too. Throw in his above average defensive abilities and solid running game, and he has the ability to help his team in a number of ways. More of a hit-first batter than true slugger, getting back to consistently employing that approach will help him tap his All Star potential; it's in there regardless of his Triple-A showing last year.
ETA. 2016. Judge is pretty much big league ready right now, his Triple-A struggles last year notwithstanding. A bit more production against better secondary pitches and he won't be too far off from being an impact player for the Yankees. The Yankee outfield is pretty much set right now so he'll get his opportunity for some more seasoning at Triple-A Scranton to begin the 2016 season but he'll also be atop the list of first reserve options called up should a significant injury arise on the big league roster. He should make his big league debut at some point this season.