He is the face of the New York Yankees. The mammoth six-foot 7, 285-pound man is changing the scenery of baseball in New York. He is the breakout star the Yankees have been yearning for for almost five years. He has transformed baseball into a sport more kids will want to play and enjoy. Aaron Judge is the savior of baseball in the Big Apple.
The past few years have been a struggle for the New York Yankees. After Derek Jeter retired, the Yankees sought after a new face for their storied franchise. Even though they refused to admit it, they were in “rebuild” mode. After acquiring flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman for virtually nothing, they had the most dominant bullpen in the majors. Their seventh through ninth inning rotation consisted of star farmhand Dellin Betances, newly acquired Andrew Miller, and now Chapman. Then they began to deal, and the era of the Judge began.
General Manager Brian Cashman knew the Yankees were hopeless to make the playoffs, so he began trading. Miller, Chapman, and outfielder Carlos Beltran were all traded at the deadline last year. The Yankees then went from middle of the pack to one of the best farm systems in the entire major leagues. However, everyone was focused on the stars that the Yankees got back for Miller and Chapman. Stud outfielder Clint Frazier from Cleveland and teenage sensation middle infielder Gleyber Torres from the Cubs were just two of the players the Yankees got in return from their trades. They were hyped and talked about all across New York. Everyone seemed to forget about the man who was drafted by the Yankees and tearing up the triple-A leagues. Judge was on the come up.
After the deadline, the Yankees decided to call up Judge and teammate Tyler Austin. Judge broke out, homering in his first career at bat. He saw a slight dropoff in the next few weeks, as his strikeout numbers rose and he wasn’t hitting very well.
Fast forward to April 2, 2017 — Opening day for the Yankees. The day “The Judge” broke out. Since then, he’s been slugging .317/.417/1.109 and tearing up the baseball universe in the Bronx. Judge has fifteen home runs and thirty RBI’s as he leads the first place Yankees. The best part? He’s bringing the youth back into the game of baseball.
Until now, most players who have reached the MLB at this extreme height have struggled to stay in the league. Obviously, for taller hitters means a larger strike zone. A larger strike zone directly leads to more strikeouts, and more strikeouts leads to a short career in the MLB. This basic idea is what makes Judge so great and inspiring for children. For children who are big and athletic, the first sport people point to is basketball, followed by football. Seldom is a large kid told to play baseball. It just doesn’t make sense to people. But Judge will bring hope back into the eyes of these kids that think baseball is not the right sport for them.
Clearly, Judge has done a lot in his very little time in the majors. Every Yankee fan wishes for Judge to continue to be looked up to as a role model for these children, but more importantly, for Judge to continue his hot streak and help the Yankees win on the field.