Red Sox: Ranking the early favorites for AL Rookie of the Year
4. Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
Much hoopla was raised in New York in the immediate aftermath of Aaron Judge’s major league debut last summer, and for acknowledgeable reasons. In his first major league at-bat, the 6-foot-7 behemoth sent a towering 446-foot home run just to the right of center at Yankee Stadium. Even better was that the home run went back to back following the first career home run of Yankee outfielder Tyler Austin as well.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
Though following that immediate rush of impact, Judge struggled the remaining of his opportunity in the Bronx, finishing with a .179 average. Even more glaring was that in 95 plate appearances, Judge struck out 42 of those trips.
Going forward, the prospects of Judge’s ability to play a solid right field in New York and improve on his hitting are good, though Judge must legitimately prove in spring training that he’ll be able to handle the job, as he does have internal competition and the spot is up for grabs.
This is not to say that the Yankees ownership does not have full confidence in their young prospect though, as according to Dan Martin of the New York Post, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has repeatedly stated that his expectation is that Judge will be the everyday right fielder for the 2017 season.
If Judge can translate the power and modest batting average to the majors that saw him hit 56 home runs and average .278 in three minor league seasons, Judge is a real sleeper possibility to steal AL Rookie of the Year.