We are really sitting here talking about practice, well batting practice.
Star Yankees prospect Aaron Judge hit a mammoth home run that traveled an estimated 500-feet during a batting practice session at George M. Steinbrenner Field that had the Bombers and the media buzzing.
Here is how key members of the team reacted to Judge’s blast from the New York Daily News.
Joe Girardi: “There aren’t a lot of guys that can do that. We’ve talked about what a great athlete he is and obviously trying to get him the reps to where he can be a real effective player here. But it’s nice to see that type of power because not everyone has it.”
Alex Rodriguez: “I didn’t see them; I heard of them. Everyone’s been talking about them. It’s exciting, when you see a kid like that hit the ball over the scoreboard, that’s pretty special.”
Brian McCann: “Did you see the balls he hit today?. It’s super impressive.”
Anyone who knows anything about the Yankees farm system knows how much the franchise is hoping and praying Aaron Judge can be the next great Bombers slugger. He’s 6’7, 255, or essentially the same size at Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski.
When it comes to Judge though, it’s these stats that matter the most. In two minor league seasons, he has 266 total hits with 37 home runs to go along with 275 strikeouts. The man has struck out more times than he has hits, and his average went from .284 in Double-A to .224 when he made the move to Triple-A, which is an indicator he has a long way to go and his adjustment to seeing major-league level off-speed pitches isn’t going as well as the team had hoped.
Yes, a 500-foot home run is the stuff of legends. It’s what made players like Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson mythological figures, but at least those guys did it in an actual game, not during a batting practice session with fewer than 500 people watching.
Believe me, no one wants Judge to be a star more than me, but it’s going to take significantly more than one long batting practice home run for me to be convinced this guy can make it in the bigs.
As exciting as Judge’s batting practice shot was, all it was was a batting practice homer, and that’s all it should ever be.