Judge batting for the New York Yankees in 2016
|New York Yankees – No. 99|
April 26, 1992 |
|August 13, 2016, for the New York Yankees|
(through June 20, 2017)
|Runs batted in||67|
|Career highlights and awards|
Aaron James Judge (born April 26, 1992) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). Judge played college baseball at Fresno State, and was drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut in 2016, and won the American League's Rookie of the Month Award for April and May 2017.
Early life and amateur career
Judge was born and raised in Linden, California. Judge attended Linden High School, where he was a three-sport star. He played as a pitcher (9-3, 0.65 ERA, 65K) and first baseman (.500 AVG, 7 HR, 32 RBI) for the baseball team, a wide receiver (54 REC, 969 YDS, 17 TD) for the football team, and an "all-state" center (18.2 PTS, 12.8 REBS) for the basketball team.
He set a school record for touchdowns (17) in football and led the team in points per game (18.2) in basketball. In baseball, he was part of the Linden High School team that made the California Interscholastic Federation Division III playoffs.
Various colleges recruited Judge to play football, including Notre Dame, Stanford, and UCLA to play tight end, but he preferred baseball. The Oakland Athletics selected him in the 31st round of the 2010 Major League Baseball draft, but he opted to enroll at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), to play for the Fresno State Bulldogs baseball team in the Mountain West Conference. Louisville Slugger named him a Freshman All-American. He won the 2012 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby. In his junior year, Judge led the Bulldogs in home runs, doubles, and runs batted in (RBIs). Judge was named All-Mountain West Conference in all three seasons he played for the Bulldogs.
The Yankees drafted Judge in the first round of the 2013 Major League Baseball draft with the 32nd overall selection. Judge signed with the Yankees, receiving a $1.8 million signing bonus. He tore a quadriceps femoris muscle while participating in a base running drill, which kept him out of the 2013 season. He made his professional debut with the Charleston RiverDogs of the Class A South Atlantic League in 2014. He had a .333 batting average, .428 on-base percentage (OBP), .530 slugging percentage (SLG), and hit nine home runs with 45 RBIs in 65 games for Charleston. The Yankees promoted him to the Tampa Yankees of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League during the season, where he hit .283 with a .411 OBP, .442 SLG, eight home runs, and 33 RBIs in 66 games for Tampa.
The Yankees invited Judge to spring training as a non-roster player in 2015. Judge began the 2015 season with the Trenton Thunder of the Class AA Eastern League. After Judge batted .284 with a .350 OBP and 12 home runs in 63 games for Trenton, the Yankees promoted Judge to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders of the Class AAA International League in June. He was chosen to represent the Yankees at the 2015 All-Star Futures Game. The Yankees decided not to include Judge in their September call-ups. Judge batted .224 with eight home runs in 61 games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees invited Judge to spring training in 2016, and he began the season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He had a .270 batting average, 19 home runs, and 65 RBIs in 93 games for the RailRiders.
New York Yankees
Judge made his MLB debut on August 13, 2016, starting in right field against the Tampa Bay Rays. In his first at bat, Judge hit a home run off Matt Andriese; the previous batter, Tyler Austin, also making his MLB debut, did the same. This marked the first time that two teammates had hit home runs in their first career at bats in the same game. Judge also hit a home run in his second MLB game. With this feat, Judge became the second player in Yankees history to hit a home run in each of his first two games. Joe Lefebvre was the first Yankee to do so in 1980. Judge's debut season, in which he struck out 42 times in 84 at-bats, ended prematurely with a grade 2 right oblique strain on September 13, 2016 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On March 30, 2017, the Yankees announced that Judge would be the right fielder for Opening Day against the Tampa Bay Rays. He had his first multi-home run game on April 28 against the Baltimore Orioles. One of the home runs had a measured exit velocity of 119.4 miles per hour (192.2 km/h), the fastest exit velocity for a home run measured by Statcast. Judge ended the month of April with 10 home runs, tying the rookie record set by José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox and Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies. He was named the American League's Rookie of the Month for April. In April, he had a .303 batting average, 10 home runs, 20 RBIs, and a .411 OBP in 22 games.
On May 2, Judge hit two home runs against the Toronto Blue Jays, giving him 12 through 25 games. Judge became the third Yankees player to hit at least 12 home runs through the team's first 25 games (Babe Ruth hit 12 in 1921 and Alex Rodriguez hit 14 in 2007). On May 3, Judge hit his 13th home run of the season, becoming the youngest player to hit 13 home runs within the first 26 games of a season.
On May 22, 2017, the Yankees debuted a cheering section in the right-field seats of Yankee Stadium, called "The Judge's Chambers", three rows in section 104, containing 18 seats. Fans are chosen by the team to sit there, and are outfitted with black robes, wigs, and foam gavels.
In a game against the Oakland Athletics on May 28, Judge hit his first career grand slam, which came off of Andrew Triggs. The grand slam was the difference in the game as the Yankees won by a score of 9-5. Judge was named American League Rookie of the Month once again for May. In May, he had a .347 batting average, seven home runs, 17 RBIs, and a .441 OBP in 26 games.
On June 10, Judge hit a home run that had an exit velocity of 121.1 miles per hour (194.9 km/h), again setting a new record for the hardest ever measured by Statcast. The following day, Judge went 4-for-4 with two home runs, one of which traveled 495 feet, which was the longest in MLB this season.
On June 12, Judge was awarded the American League Player of the Week. His week ended with him leading the AL in all three Triple Crown categories. In a game on that same day, Judge hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the 8th inning off Los Angeles Angels closer Bud Norris.
Judge has worn the unusual uniform number of 99 since it was given to him during the 2016 spring training (higher numbers are often given to young players who are not expected to make the regular-season team). Judge has stated he would prefer either No. 44 (retired by the Yankees to honor Reggie Jackson) or No. 35 (worn by Michael Pineda since 2014), but is not sure whether he would switch if the latter two were to become available.
Judge is listed at 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) and 282 pounds (128 kg). Due to his large size and strength, he has elicited comparisons to Giancarlo Stanton, Richie Sexson, Dave Winfield, and Willie Stargell.
Judge was adopted the day after he was born by Patty and Wayne Judge, who both worked as teachers. He has an older brother, John, who was also adopted. Judge is a Christian and has posted about his faith on his Twitter account. He appeared on the cover of the May 15, 2017 edition of Sports Illustrated. On May 15, 2017, he appeared on an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where he posed undercover to ask Yankee fans questions about himself.
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- Vorkunov, Mike (August 13, 2016). "Yankees’ Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge Hit Back-to-Back Homers in Debuts". The New York Times. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
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- Braziller, Zach; Kerber, Fred (September 14, 2016). "If Aaron Judge’s strange year is finished, he gets a thumbs up". New York Post. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
- Hoch, Bryan. "Judge named Yanks' Opening Day right fielder". MLB. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Davidoff, Ken (April 29, 2017). "The Aaron Judge craze hits stunning peak after stunning shot | New York Post". Nypost.com. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
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- "Aaron Judge wins AL Rookie of the Month after dominant April". NY Daily News. May 3, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- "Aaron Judge hits TV pregame, then 2 more homers in-game". MLB. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- Hoch, Bryan. "Aaron Judge's 13th HR a record for young sluggers". MLB. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- Snyder, Matt (May 22, 2017). "LOOK: Yankee Stadium now has 'The Judge's Chambers' in right-field seats". CBS Sports. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- Clair, Michael; Hoch, Bryan (May 23, 2017). "Aaron Judge now has very own Judge's Chambers section at Yankee Stadium". MLB.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- Schoenfield, David (May 26, 2017). "Every team needs a Judge's Chambers section, and here are some suggestions". ESPN. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
- Lee, Jane; Martell, Matthew. "Yankees break out behind Aaron Judge's 1st slam". MLB. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
- "Aaron Judge named AL Rookie of Month for May". Newsday. June 2, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- Tasch, Justin. "VIDEO: Aaron Judge hits hardest home run ever recorded". NY Daily News. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- Hoch, Bryan. "Aaron Judge crushes a 495-foot HR". MLB. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
- "Judge’s tiebreaking homer in eighth gives Yanks win". Newsday. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
- "Yankees' Aaron Judge on wearing 99, not his favorite number". NJ.com. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
- Mercandetti, Vince. "Aaron Judge, Comparing Top Yankees Prospect to Other Players of his Stature". Retrieved May 16, 2017.
- Kernan, Kevin (March 11, 2015). "‘Blessed’ Yankees prospect elicits Stargell, Stanton comps". New York Post. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- "Aaron Judge on Twitter: "Happy Easter everyone! He is Risen!"". Twitter.com. April 16, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- "Yankees' Aaron Judge latest highlight: Sports Illustrated cover man (PHOTO)". NJ.com. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
- "Aaron Judge wore a disguise to interview Yankees fans on 'The Tonight Show'". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
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