Did you see that?!?! This has become a common reaction to the early season accomplishments of New York Yankees’ outfielder, Aaron Judge. A mountain of a man, standing 6’7″ tall, Judge has taken the league by storm, one moonshot home run at a time. Wednesday night, Judge celebrated his 25th birthday by playing against the Boston Red Sox for the first time. Judge didn’t wait long to give himself a gift and introduce himself to this historic rivalry.
The first pitch Judge saw Wednesday night, an 89-m.p.h. fastball from Rick Porcello, landed exactly where you’d expect; the cheap seats. The 2nd inning, 2-run home run was the 7th of the season for Judge. He now has 7 home runs and 15 r.b.i.’s while batting .281 in his first 18 games. And to think just 4 short weeks ago, Judge nearly lost the right-field competition to Aaron Hicks. Good work Joe Girardi! This is Judge’s second audition in the big leagues (playing in 27 games in 2016), and I’d say he’s got the part. And who said you never get a 2nd chance at a 1st impression?!
The birthday boy’s evening didn’t end there. In the 3rd inning, Judge figured it was time to flash the leather. Xander Bogaerts popped-up a ball down the right-field line. As it appeared it would hang up just enough for Judge to make a play on it, he took off full-speed toward the foul line. The ball met his glove simultaneously with his knees meeting the half-wall, making an incredible catch and tumbling into the first row of the stands (pictured above) in a very Jeter-Esque manner. Dare I say that Judge’s home run in the 2nd inning was an inside-out swing reminiscent of one Derek Jeter as well? I’m just sayin’.
Thanks to Judge’s hot start (and some surprisingly OUTSTANDING starting pitching), the Yankees have opened the season 12-7, just 1.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. Only time will tell if the Yankees and Judge will continue their strong play. For now, I will enjoy watching him hit 448-foot home runs into the stratosphere.
Do you think Aaron Judge is the real deal? Are the Yankees really contenders or is the other shoe about to drop? Let me know in the comment section below.
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