In case you’ve been living under a rock the past several months, the New York Yankees have a rookie named Aaron Judge, who is taking the baseball world by storm.
This past week in Miami, Judge was the center of attention in the sports world. The 25 year old was the champion of the Home Run Derby on Monday, and then started in the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
Judge, who is adopted, grew up in Linden, California, and was a standout in three sports. In football, Judge received scholarship offers from schools like Notre Dame, Stanford and UCLA to play tight end. Ultimately, Judge chose baseball, and was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft. However, Judge chose to attend Fresno State University. Aaron played for the Bulldogs, and interestingly enough, won the college baseball Home Run Derby in 2012.
In 2013, Judge was drafted by the New York Yankees with the 32nd overall selection.
The man who stands at 6 foot 7 and weighs 280, has gained the notice from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. “He is a tremendous talent on the field and really appealing off the field,” Manfred said to the Baseball Writers Association. Manfred said that Judge is the kind of talent “that could become the face of the game.”
Judge’s stats so far in the 2017 season, fully show that he can become the new face of baseball. Judge leads the majors in home runs (30), as well as placing in the top three in the AL in batting average (.329) and RBI’s (66).
Judge brings a swing, and a face, that the Yankees have been looking for, for a while. Since Derek Jeter retired in 2014, the franchise has been searching for a player that New York City could fall in love with. The Yankees haven’t won a World Series since 2009, and has only won two since 2000. One thing as well that Judge brings to the Bronx bombers that has been missing, are home runs. The Yankees have been looking for someone with power for several years, in fact, New York has had only two players in the last five years to hit for more than 30 home runs in a season (Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez in 2015).
Not just do the Yankees need someone like Aaron Judge, but Major League Baseball as well. Even with players like Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, the popularity of baseball has been declining, and lacks the excitement that the NFL and NBA brings. Judge, along with Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger, have the opportunity to bring the excitement of baseball back to its rightful position in America. Judge and Bellinger represent the two largest cities in America, and similar to the Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998, can capture the nation with a thrilling home run race, with Bellinger just five homers short of Judge.