S grew up collecting baseball cards of their favorite Yankees players like Mantle, Ford and Maris. So as you can imagine they're an elder statesman. Most of the time we talk about flavor of the week topics (mainly garbage the New York media puts out) like whether or not the Steinbrenners are going to sell the Yankees.
S knows that I'm a big fan of minor league baseball. So they sometimes ask me how the future Yankees are doing down on the farm. The guy they're really interested in the prospect every Yankees fan is obsessed with,
The supplemental first rounder's work so far has been nothing short of astounding. He pretty much demolished the Florida State League and is continuing to terrorize the Eastern League.
His performance has been so great that Yankees fan are clamoring for the front office to call him up.
Now S asked me the other day why the Yankees don't call up Judge. I had a few ideas and most of them had to do with money.
The biggest reason is Carlos Beltran. Regardless of Beltran's performance, his contract guarantees that he'll continue to be in the lineup. That's not changing until the Yankees find someone dumb enough to take both Beltran and his salary.
Also, keep in mind that these are the Yankees who are trying to start spending money wisely (sort of) and figure Judge to be a huge part of their future. For all we know when Judge is actually ready the Yankees could keep in the minors for two weeks for that extra year of arbitration (ala Kris Bryant) or a little longer for super-two status (ala Wil Myers).
over at River Ave Blues, was asked when the Yankees'll promote Judge to triple-A (as of this post he's currently in double-A). Axisa brought up an excellent point that the league needs to adjust to Judge so that Judge can show that he can adjust to league that adjusted to him. If he can do so at double-A and then triple-A (which would theoretically put his ETA sometime in 2016 at the earliest) he'll probably be ready.
At any rate, it's never a good idea to promote a prospect when they're not ready for the big leagues yet. And although Judge's numbers may prove otherwise, I haven't heard too many scouts using the phrase "big league ready" to describe Judge yet.
I suppose it's also worth mentioning that Judge isn't exactly the first outfield option the Yankees have should they seek some help in-house. The Yankees still have Ramon Flores and Tyler Austin ahead of him on the depth chart at right field. Although Austin's off to a slow start, Flores has been doing fairly well at triple-A. Or at least enough so that in the event of an emergency Flores will be called up instead of Judge.
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Back to Judge himself though, a lot of people seem to have misconceptions about what exactly Judge will be. That's not all that surprising since baseball fans in general are horrible at having realistic expectations, but it certainly doesn't help that there's this ongoing narrative that Aaron Judge is going to be Giancarlo Stanton.
The reality is that Judge is not going to be Giancarlo Stanton, no matter how much anybody wants him to be. BTW, I'd totally love it if Judge became Stanton even if I know it's not possible. Aaron Judge is going to be Aaron Judge, period.
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And who is Judge going to be? It's too early to tell but a scout told The New York Post that they see him as a middle of the order threat who'll hit in the .250's with 25 HRs. That's not Giancarlo Stanton but I'd still take that and consider it a reasonable expectation for Judge.
Of course the future is not set in stone and Judge could very well exceed that ceiling or he could fall short and be even worse.
Currently he's absolutely destroying double-A putting up (as of this draft) a 151 wRC+. Some people are worried about his strikeouts but I'm not as worried considering that pitchers have just started to pitch differently to him, and because he still has a .373 BABIP (as of this draft) which is absolutely great. If he struggles to make adjustments and goes into a slump near the end of the year well into next year, that is when you worry. Both stats courtesy of Fangraphs BTW.
So to everybody wondering why Judge isn't up yet, I say slow down. He's not ready for the big leagues yet and there's no need to screw him up by forcing his way up (the Yankees did that a lot in the 00's). He'll come when he's ready, and there should be a boatload of puns ready at everybody's disposal when that happens.
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As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).