Tuesday, March 1, 2016


It's hard not to be impressed by Aaron Judge. Listed at 6' 7" and 275 lbs., when he steps onto the field or into the batter's box, he is a commanding figure. If not by his sheer size then by how the ball launches off his bat like a rocket off a Cape Canaveral launchpad. The only thing missing is the countdown to launch. We all know the saying that pitching wins championships. There is still something awe-inspiring about the crack of the bat just prior to the ball clearing the fence.

That probably explains the noise around Aaron Judge these days. He has hit some lasers over the course of this spring, and we haven't played a single game yet. Maybe it's that it felt like a lousy season with the hitting. Nobody with 60 plate appearances or more hit .280. Maybe it's the fact that as fans we are always in love with the home run. Watching baseballs sail over the big scoreboard in left center field at Steinbrenner Field makes for some news buzz, even if it is off a BP soft pitch. Sports journalists' tweets sound like teenagers at a rock concert idolizing their favorite band. Who can blame them?

It's a reality check to remember that he hasn't played in a major league game yet. He saw AAA action for the first time last year, and it seems that he was still adjusting. His slash line was a modest .224/.308/.373 and 8 home runs in 260 plate appearances. Furthermore, he struck out 74 times over that period. That's one strikeout every 3.5 plate appearances. I am not trying to downplay his hitting ability. It is just that he is not Superman - he still has a way to go. He will likely come up to the majors at some point this season, and he is still a work in progress.

Nevertheless, it's fun to watch and dream about a hitter hitting it into the black in dead center field. Someone who can hit it out in any at bat. Alex Rodriguez used to be that guy. Reggie Jackson used to be that guy. Greg Bird might be that guy. For now, it looks like Aaron Judge has a chance to be that guy. It's a good reason to be excited.

--Ike Dimitriadis, 
BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @KingAgamemnon

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