Only God Can Judge Judge

LondonSox

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jon abbey said:
NY finally signs Judge, a bit over slot, $1.8M, the sixth largest bonus they've ever given a drafted player (behind only Andrew Brackman, Ian Kennedy, Slade Heathcott, Drew Henson, and Eric Jagielo). This is the Nick Swisher compensation pick, a bit more info here:
 
http://riveraveblues.com/2013/07/2013-draft-yankees-agree-to-sign-first-rounder-aaron-judge-90660/
A veritable murderers row. That is a depressing list for highest bonus babies no?
Which doesn't mean much for this kid, but damn.
 

jon abbey

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Heh, well, two of the six were drafted this year. Of the other four, Henson and Brackman were busts, Kennedy pretty much panned out nicely, and Heathcott isn't doing great, but still is only 22. So basically one out of three succeeded, two busts. It's not easy picking at the bottom of the first round every year, to be fair.
 

jon abbey

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Judge has yet to play a game, but Keith Law picks him as NY's #6 prospect, and more excitingly as a breakout candidate who could jump not just into the top 100 next year, but into the top 25 with a strong season. He does so at this video link:
 
http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=10365694
 

dbn

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jon abbey

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Hoping they will be Randy Johnson and Frank Thomas? Brackman sure worked out well. 
 

jon abbey

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#9 on RAB's current NY prospect list with the following writeup:

"The second of the last year’s three first round picks was the only one not to play after turning pro. Judge held out for an above-slot bonus until the signing deadline, then suffered a quad injury during a workout and was shut down for the season. The guy is a behemoth, standing 6-foot-7 and 255 lbs., which makes him larger than every non-Frank Howard outfielder in baseball history. That size comes with enormous power potential, the most in the system and legitimate 40+ homer stuff if he can iron out his swing and learn to put some more loft on the baseball. Judge has a surprisingly short and compact swing, but because he’s so tall and sets his hands up high, he’s prone to swings and misses and will always strike out a bunch. He won’t be some kind of complete all-around hitter, he’ll hit for a .250-ish average with 150+ strikeouts and a bunch of dingers if everything works out. Judge is a very good athlete and a swift runner who played center at Fresno State, but he’ll likely move to right field as a pro, where his arm will be more than enough. Simply put: he’s a freak. Guys this size usually aren’t this athletic or quick. Judge is a classic high-risk, high-reward prospect. It’s unclear if he will open the season with Low-A Charleston or High-A Tampa."
 
http://riveraveblues.com/2014/02/2014-preseason-top-30-prospects-98735/
 

Sampo Gida

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Might be a reason big guys that size don't play the OF.  The legs may break down carrying all that weight in the OF over 162 games.  His injury in a workout that shut him down last year may be a prelude of things to come.   If that is the case he may end up at 1B. 
 
Glad to see the Yankees moving more toward drafting college players though.  Much harder to project players out of HS.
 

jon abbey

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On the Prospect Hot Sheet this week:
 
 Aaron Judge, rf, Yankees
Team: low Class A Charleston (South Atlantic)
Age: 22
Why He’s Here: .381/.480/1.048 (8-for-21), 4 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBIs, 4 BB, 6 SO
The Scoop: One of the most powerful hitters in last year’s draft has just about mastered the South Atlantic League. He hit nearly half of his season homer total and notched more than a quarter of his RBIs just this week. High Class A Tampa is calling.
 
http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/prospect-hot-sheet-june-6-lamb-anything-but-silent/
 

jon abbey

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Judge is being promoted to High A Tampa after the All-Star break this weekend. 
 

jon abbey

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Judge hit cleanup in the All-Star Game and singled in two runs. His manager is comparing him to Giancarlo Stanton, which is pretty ridiculous for multiple reasons (Stanton had already been in the majors for a year or two at Judge's age), but still nice, I guess.
 

jon abbey

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Judge has found his power stroke on his new team, he has homered in three straight games, 1.125 OPS since moving to High A now. 
 

jon abbey

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#45 prospect in MLB on Keith Law's new midseason list today. It is Insider only, but here is the Judge writeup:
 
"45. Aaron Judge, OF | New York Yankees

 
Age: 22 | Current Level: High A (Tampa)
Preseason Ranking: N/A
 
The hype that's going to Yankees right-hander Luis Severino should at least be shared with Judge, who's done nothing but hit for power and get on base all year, forcing the Yankees to do what they should have done to start the season and send him up to high-A. Judge is a beast at 6-7 and 230 (or more) pounds, but with a surprisingly short path to the ball for a guy his size and plenty of loft in his finish for power. He's also quite mobile for someone his size and should be an above-average or better defender in right, with plenty of arm to stay there as well. I like Severino, who has a loose, easy arm and a chance for three above-average pitches, but Judge is a higher probability and could be the middle-of-the-order bat the Yankees have tried to develop for years."
 

jon abbey

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RAB makes Judge NY's #1 prospect on their updated list:

"
  1. OF Aaron Judge, A+, 22: Takes over as the top prospect not only because of his potential to be an impact two-way player, but because he’s shown much better contact skills and polish at the plate than expected. We could be talking about Judge as a big league option at this time next year."  
 
http://riveraveblues.com/2014/07/2014-post-draft-top-30-prospects-106513/
 

jon abbey

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Keith Law ranks my man Judge the #23 prospect in all of MLB, and the top NY prospect also:

"Judge's size was expected to be an impediment to his ability to hit, but so far it hasn't proven to be an obstacle at all. He showed outstanding plate discipline and ability to make contact in his first full year in pro ball while giving glimpses of the huge raw power you'd expect from someone of his build. Judge shouldn't have started his professional career in the low-A Sally League since he was a 22-year-old college product, but the Yankees got him to the Florida State League midyear, and he continued to rake while proving he can get on base and hit a few balls over the fence.
 
Judge has a short swing, surprisingly so given the length of his arms, and very strong command of the strike zone (which is partly why I didn't like seeing him in low-A to start the year). The challenge for him will be to learn when he can uncoil and turn on a ball without losing that compact stroke, which keeps his contact rate up. He hit 17 bombs this year, plus four more in the Arizona Fall League, so there's some power there, but he should be able to hit 30 without needing to get bigger or stronger. He's an above-average defender in right, faster than you'd expect, with the arm to profile there and the potential to post strong triple-slash numbers if he can make that one big adjustment."
 
http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/12198324/kris-bryant-no-1-2015-ranking-top-100-prospects-mlb (Insider)
 
 

crow216

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jon abbey said:
 
Keith Law ranks my man Judge the #23 prospect in all of MLB, and the top NY prospect also:

"Judge's size was expected to be an impediment to his ability to hit, but so far it hasn't proven to be an obstacle at all. He showed outstanding plate discipline and ability to make contact in his first full year in pro ball while giving glimpses of the huge raw power you'd expect from someone of his build. Judge shouldn't have started his professional career in the low-A Sally League since he was a 22-year-old college product, but the Yankees got him to the Florida State League midyear, and he continued to rake while proving he can get on base and hit a few balls over the fence.
 
Judge has a short swing, surprisingly so given the length of his arms, and very strong command of the strike zone (which is partly why I didn't like seeing him in low-A to start the year). The challenge for him will be to learn when he can uncoil and turn on a ball without losing that compact stroke, which keeps his contact rate up. He hit 17 bombs this year, plus four more in the Arizona Fall League, so there's some power there, but he should be able to hit 30 without needing to get bigger or stronger. He's an above-average defender in right, faster than you'd expect, with the arm to profile there and the potential to post strong triple-slash numbers if he can make that one big adjustment."
 
http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/12198324/kris-bryant-no-1-2015-ranking-top-100-prospects-mlb (Insider)
 
 
 
That kind of power would be great but Law is phrasing this in a weird way. I can't tell if he thinks he can hit 30 homeruns despite a shortage of power or if he just used the word but oddly.
 

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Judge tied up NY's first spring training game today with a 3 run HR with 2 outs in the 9th. 
 

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jon abbey said:
Judge tied up NY's first spring training game today with a 3 run HR with 2 outs in the 9th. 
 
Boom. Just saw that news tick across the bottom of MLBN (yes I know it is is the following day), still excited about it.
 

jon abbey

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Just how big is our hero? Here he is today next to the tiny-by-comparison Ryan Howard:
 
 

derekson

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I didn't realize he was THAT big. I'm sure there's an old timey baseball cliché about this, but it seems like a guy that big might have trouble covering his entire strike zone. Obviously he has longer arms in proportion to his size, but at some point your swing plane has to be relatively limited, no?
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, that's always been the question with him. If you look up a few posts, Keith Law addresses it, but of course we won't really know until he (hopefully) gets to the bigs. 
 

jon abbey

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Richie Sexson had 306 career HRs and a .851 career OPS, I'd obviously sign up for that in a flash. 
 

Toe Nash

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Sexson was listed an inch shorter. Not sure what their real heights were. 
 
Sexson also didn't have as high of walk rates as Judge has shown so far, if we're concerned about strike zone coverage. 
 

mt8thsw9th

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Question: how is Judge any different from the other over-hyped Cashman prospects playing in AA at 23 and AAA at 24? He was pretty old for hi-A last year, at least in terms of prospects. I'll hang up and listen.
 

jon abbey

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He was just drafted in summer 2013 out of college, and with a 21-22 year old draft pick, unless they make the bigs almost immediately, they're never going to be young for their levels. He just turned 23 a few weeks ago, FWIW. 
 

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Unless I am misremembering, Judge is the first RHH power bat in a long time, right? I remember Jose Tabata but he never saw his power translate in the upper minor league levels.
 

jon abbey

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rembrat said:
Unless I am misremembering, Judge is the first RHH power bat in a long time, right? I remember Jose Tabata but he never saw his power translate in the upper minor league levels.
 
They had Alfonso Soriano, but yeah, I'm not remembering anyone legit since then immediately. 
 

Toe Nash

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mt8thsw9th said:
Question: how is Judge any different from the other over-hyped Cashman prospects playing in AA at 23 and AAA at 24? He was pretty old for hi-A last year, at least in terms of prospects. I'll hang up and listen.
I've been thinking recently that relative ages of prospects is overrated, especially once guys are 20-22 and fully grown. People tend to assume guys will improve a lot if they are young for the level but anecdotally I think the patterns are a lot less predictable. All else equal you'd rather a guy be younger, but when a guy is real good in AA and the scouting backs it up, I don't care too much if he's 23.
 
Judge is currently 7th in the Eastern League in OPS, and only 2 guys ahead of him are younger, Eric Jagielo (one month younger) and Trevor Story (a year and a half). 
 
Plus, as discussed earlier, Judge also has a ridiculous frame that reminds one of Giancarlo. Doesn't mean he will have success but it's easy to project.
 

jon abbey

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Judge is 16th on Keith Law'a new list of the 25 best prospects in all of MLB, up from 23rd before the season. Here's the accompanying blurb:

"Judge is prone to strikeouts — he had 11 in a recent four-game stretch — but he also is doing so much damage when he does make contact that he projects as an average regular even if he doesn’t improve his contact rate. He’s also an above-average to plus defender in right. Most scouts I’ve talked to share my belief that he’ll continue to close some of the gaps in his plate coverage, especially if he backs off the plate a little. "
 

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At the rate he's progressing, he should finish the year in AAA, but with the Yankees being really thin in the outfield this year (Beltran looks cooked, Ellsbury is hurt and Chris Young is barely a warm body) and surprisingly competitive, is there a chance they call him up a la Bogaerts in 2013 for the stretch run and playoffs? It would be aggressive, but the kid can rake and plays solid defense in right. Hell, he might be an upgrade right now...