CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe
Strength of Schedule Report
<< Previous Article
BP Toronto (08/15)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Luke Weav... (08/10)
Next Column >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: Chad Pind... (08/17)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Notes from the Field: ... (08/15)

August 15, 2016

The Call-Up

Aaron Judge

by Steve Givarz and Mike Gianella

The Situation: With Alex Rodriguez unconditionally released, the Yankees have room for another bat, and have called upon Aaron Judge (and Tyler Austin) to provide an offensive lift, and audition for a starting role in 2017.

Background: Taken in the 31st round in 2010 out of Linden (CA) HS by Oakland, Judge honored his commitment to Fresno State and in the end it paid off as he was taken 32nd-overall in 2013. Judge put himself on the map following a standout 2012 performance in the Cape, followed by a junior-year campaign where he hit .369/.461/.655 with 12 home runs. Judge has slugged .473 in his minor league career, but has also struck out at a career 24.6 percent rate thus far. The Yankees have taken it slowly thus far with Judge, allowing him to accrue over 650 plate appearances in Triple-A, and nearly 1,300 minor league at-bats in all.

Scouting Report: Judge stands out for his size, easy 70 raw power, and his athleticism in right field, with a plus arm to boot. He is incredibly strong, so much so that even with his short swing (for his size) he can muscle balls out of the park without the necessary loft and uppercut seen from big power hitters. The power should play at least to plus, but the inescapable length in his swing will always result in swing-and-miss, which could prevent him from reaching his raw power in-game. He has gotten very aggressive against spin as pitchers have mixed in more off-speed pitches, trying to avoid throwing him fastballs whenever possible. In the field he profiles best in right given his plus, accurate arm. He reads balls well off the bat and is surprisingly swift given his size. As he gets older he might have to move off the position, but for now he should be serviceable in the grass.

Immediate Big League Future: It’s hard to miss Judge, both figuratively and literally. A massive human being at 6-foot-7, 275 pounds, Judge has had his ups and downs through his minor-league career, but still possesses all the tools to be a potential above-average big league right fielder. If not, then perhaps he and Kyle Blanks can get together at Destination XL to shop for massively sized clothes. —Steve Givarz

Fantasy Take: With 665 Triple-A plate appearances under his belt, there is very little if anything left for Judge to prove in the minors. Judge could have been promoted to the majors sooner if not for a mild-PCL (knee) sprain that cost him about a month of playing time. Judge is fourth in the International League with 19 home runs, which is all the more impressive considering his home venue in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is a somewhat pitcher-friendly venue. The difficulty of Judge’s jump to the majors will be offset to a degree by the shift to a hitter-friendly venue in the Bronx.

The youth movement for the Yankees started earlier this month with the promotion of Gary Sanchez, but it is Judge and recent acquisition Clint Frazier who are most likely to make or break New York’s rebuilding plan. Judge wasn’t promoted to share time in the outfield with Aaron Hicks. He will get a legitimate opportunity to play every day. The batting average could hamper Judge’s value, but if you are investing in Judge you are not buying or claiming him in the hopes that he will hit .300 for your team. The power is what will drive Judge’s value, and over the course of a full season there is 30 home run, 100 RBI potential in his bat.

He profiles as high risk/high reward – particularly in the short-term – but Judge is worth buying or claiming in all but the shallowest fantasy formats. As is almost always the case with top echelon prospects like Judge, he is long gone in deeper leagues that allow stashing minor leaguers, but if your league does not permit you to speculate on minor leaguers in-season, Judge is the kind of player you should drop nearly all of your FAAB on this weekend, particularly if you need power. —Mike Gianella

Steve Givarz is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Steve's other articles. You can contact Steve by clicking here
Mike Gianella is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mike's other articles. You can contact Mike by clicking here

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
BP Toronto (08/15)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Luke Weav... (08/10)
Next Column >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: Chad Pind... (08/17)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Notes from the Field: ... (08/15)

Baseball Prospectus News: Subscription Price...
Fantasy Article Deep League Report: Week 25
BP En Espanol: La politica de Big Sexy
What You Need to Know: Dingers For Everyone
Short Relief: Noise
Banjo Hitter: Randy, Rickey, and Teams on th...
Cold Takes: The Politics of Big Sexy

What You Need to Know: Every Time We Say Goo...
The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, August 15
Prospectus Q&A: Dave Sims
Premium Article Notes from the Field: East Coast Pro: Pitche...
BP Toronto
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of August 12-14
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Justin Turner

2016-09-02 - Transaction Analysis: Bourn Again
2016-08-18 - Premium Article Notes from the Field: East Coast Pro: Hitter...
2016-08-16 - Expert FAAB Review: Week 20
2016-08-15 - The Call-Up: Aaron Judge
2016-08-08 - Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 100: 30 Teams...
2016-08-05 - Premium Article Notes from the Field: GCL Notes
2016-07-31 - Transaction Analysis: Yankees Reunite With C...

2016-08-20 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Jeff Hoffman
2016-08-17 - The Call-Up: Dansby Swanson
2016-08-17 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Chad Pinder
2016-08-15 - The Call-Up: Aaron Judge
2016-08-10 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Luke Weaver
2016-08-09 - Premium Article The Call-Up: Alex Reyes
2016-08-05 - The Call-Up: Jake Thompson