The comparisons to the almighty Gods have been made. You know the Gods of which I speak. Mantle. Jeter. RUTH. Somehow, the comparisons all seem justified. Through 1 month of April baseball, Aaron Judge has eclipsed anyone’s wildest dreams leading the majors in HR with 13 and the AL in RBI with 27. He’s just squeaking by with a .330 batting average. The enchanting gap-tooth smile, the freak 6’7, 282 pound frame, and the joyous personality combined with limitless success has New York buzzing like it’s the early 2000’s.
With a smile that’d even make the OG Michael Strahan jealous, you forget just how large a man Mr. Judge is. His size, weight, and power make it seem like he was designed in a state-of-the-art video game, completed with his alternate-reality number of #99. Seriously, who the fuck wears #99? Aaron Judge does, that’s who. If all that weren’t enough, he runs like a deer and has as smooth a swing as I’ve seen from a power hitter. The kid is the definition of 1 of a kind. He’s an absolute freak. Ok, let me catch my breath.
It’s been such a whirlwind of a first month for Judge and the 1st place Yankees that their other Cooperstown-bound Baby Bomber, El Gary Sanchez, is a distant memory. Yea, that guy. The one who set the baseball world on fire during the 2nd half of the 2016 season with an ALL-TIME rookie record of 20 HR in 53 games. Just a 60 HR pace for a 23 year old catcher, no biggie.
But that’s how dominating, captivating, and flat out amazing Judge has been. He’s become the singular star in the Bronx and has Yankee fans already counting how many fingers they need to get sized for the rings to come in the 2020’s. I mean look at how effortless he makes a 450 foot BOMB look:
In any other season everyone would be gushing over the renaissance of 27 year old second baseman Starlin Castro, hitting a blistering .362 with 5 HR. Presumably infuriated his ex-girlfriend (the Cubs) just won the World Series without him, Starlin has been out for blood.
Even “the other Aaron” Hicks would be getting some love with his .288, 5 HR start. And don’t forget about the previously erratic young arm of Luis Severino finally rounding into form with a 3.86 ERA and bonafide electric stuff.
Considering the Yankees’ young gun, high-powered offense leads the AL in both runs and HR it seems utterly ludicrous that their highest ranking prospects are STILL IN THE MINORS. Thanks to f-i-n-a-l-l-y being patient, GM Brian Cashman landed some potential generational talent in #2 MLB prospect Gleyber Torres (20 year old SS), #21 MLB prospect Clint Frazier (22 year old OF), #33 MLB prospect Blake Rutherford (20 year old OF), #41 MLB prospect Jorge Mateo (21 year old 2B/SS), and #72 and #73 young arms James Kaprielian and Justus Sheffield. Never has there been this much young talent in the Yankees farm system.
Let all that wash over you for a moment. Let it all sink in. All of those young studs are chomping at the bit, waiting in the wings for an already EXPLOSIVE 1st place team. Sure, this team has some holes. The starting pitching leaves much to be desired and besides Severino there are no young arms to rely on. But that’s the beauty of this team. They weren’t built for 2017, yet here they are. Kickin’ ass and taking names. With dominant relievers Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman waiting to pounce out in the ‘pen like starving lions seeing a fresh piece of meat, the pitching worries can be alleviated some.
To quote the famous T.O. though, let’s not lose sight of why we’re all “getting our popcorn ready” each and every night during this young baseball season. It’s THE JUDGE’S TIME, so pay your respects.