BASEBALL isn’t a sport suited for tall men it’s just a fact, plain and simple. Of the gigantic men, it’s fair to say that none of them have started their MLB career’s in the same fashion that the New York Yankees humble giant Aaron Judge has.
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THE California native, Judge was taken with the 32nd pick of the 2013 draft by the Yankees. At the time it seemed like a high risk-high reward strategy. Coming out of college with a high number of strikeouts and standing at six foot seven, Judge was a gamble that payed off handsomely for New York. After slugging away in the minors for a few years honing his craft the Yankees gave him his MLB debut on August 13th of 2016. It’s fair to say that Judge wasn’t at the level he is now in those 2016 games for the Yankees striking out 42 times in his 84 at bats while hitting at a .179 average. His debut season was cut short due to a grade two oblique strain in September setting the stage for his 2017 heroics.
NO one expected the New York Yankees to be sitting at 20-9 and coming off a series sweep of the reigning world champion Chicago Cubs going into Monday night’s games. Their young prospects have starred so far, but no one has starred quite like Judge. After the month of April, the 25 year old outfielder owns a handful of MLB records thanks to his powerful hitting. Judge has 13 home runs are tied with Ryan Zimmerman to lead the league. Earlier last week when he hit his 13th homer, he broke the record for the most home runs over the first 25 career games. 10 of those long bombs came in April, setting an MLB rookie record for homers in that month. As it stands now Judge is also tied for 2nd in the league with 28 RBI’s.
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YOU get the picture. The guy can play. He has developed into one of the scariest hitters in the majors and he is just a few weeks into his rookie season. At an imposing 6’7″ and 282 pounds a man this size shouldn’t be excelling in baseball the way he is. To put that into perspective LeBron James is 6’8″ and weighs 250 pounds. Jesus Christ. History suggests that tall men don’t excel in this sport. In fact only 12 players who are 6-foot-6 or taller have made at least 1000 plate appearances. Judge currently has 185. The AL Rookie of the Year award now seems like Judge’s to lose with steam gathering for the humble giant to be in contention for the MVP, should his form continue of course. Only Ichiro Suzuki and Fred Lynn have achieved the rare double and with plenty of the season left, pitchers could still figure out how to combat Judge’s power hitting.
Image from elitesportsny.com
WHAT’S scary though isn’t necessarily the stats that Aaron Judge has put up, it’s the way he has done it. Monstering eight of his 13 homers over 400 yards (personal best of a whopping 460!) the powerful hitting of Judge is a game swinging weapon that can be deployed in any game, lifting the Yankees spirits and crushing opponents momentum in one fatal swing of the timber. This torrid pace can’t be expected to continue, then again the way Aaron Judge is playing at the moment nothing is out of the question.
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