By sheer size alone, Aaron Judge stands out among the rest. He is and has been the Face Of The Yankees since 2017, and the best is yet to come.
Aaron Judge is giving the Yankees and their fans a taste of what it’s like when he’s healthy.
Recalling how easy it was back in 2017 when Aaron Judge burst upon the scene as one of the much-heralded Baby Bombers, leaving the league with 52 home runs, 128 runs scored, 127 bases on balls, and oh yes, 208 strikeouts, the bar was set high, maybe too high.
Aaron Judge is now 29, no longer the 25-year-old rookie who finished second to Jose Altuve in the MVP voting that year and smacked in the middle of what is commonly called a position player’s prime years.
He’s been to the top, but he hasn’t been able to stay there due to a rash of well-reported injuries and
what-nots that have seriously limited his playing time.
When the conversation drifts over to Aaron Judge, there are bound to be many what-ifs.
What if Aaron Judge wasn’t injured so much – how many more home runs would he have beyond his current 130? How many more hits would he have beyond the pedestrian 450 he totals now? And so on.
It reminds me of the conversation surrounding Mickey Mantle from the day his knee was torn apart by a drainage ditch at the old Yankees Stadium before his career was barely started.
Still, like Mantle, when Aaron Judge goes, the Yankees go – and he’s more than going in 2021. Have a look…
Aaron Judge Is Back – In Spades!
Of course, it’s no coincidence that Judge is accumulating these numbers while appearing in 36 of the 39 games the Yankees have played this year, with 30 of those games played in the right field. He plays – he produces.
Let it also be said it’s no coincidence the Yankees are riding the back of Aaron Judge to move five games over .500 for the first time this year, and within two games of those pesky Red Sox in the American League East Standings.
We don’t hear much talk coming from the Yankees about Judge being the leader in the clubhouse. There’s no need for it because by now, it’s a given he is stamped with that role.
Larger than life and still the poster boy when big corporations are looking for a well-paid to be the face of their product, Aaron Judge maintains the cool image of a person who thinks nothing of playing catch with a young fan between innings except that it comes off as real.
Aaron Judge: A Man Without A Permanent Home
It hasn’t gone unnoticed that Judge is playing this year on a one-year contract worth a little more than ten million dollars. His arbitration year will come at the end of this season, meaning he will be playing 2022 as his walk-year before reaching free agency in 2023.
No serious talks that we know have taken place between the Yankees and Judge regarding an extension before any of those dates are reached.
Rumors surfaced during the offseason the Yankees and Los Angeles Angels engaged in talks about a possible trade involving Judge, but they were quickly squashed as “very preliminary.”
It seems inconceivable the Yankees would ever let Aaron Judge free to explore the market as a free agent, and if they did, they would have to answer to the fans, many of whom come to the ballpark to see him play.
Aaron Boone Holds The Reins
While Aaron Boone has an ever-growing trust in Judge as a veteran now to know his own body, communicating when he feels a bit “off” while writing himself out of the lineup for a day’s rest, Boone remains the one calling the shots, not only with Judge but Giancarlo Stanton as well.
If his pace of play and production hold over the next five months, Aaron Judge can finish with 40+ home runs and 100+ RBI.
Imagine what that welcome back party would be like with Judge leading the way down the Canyon Of Heroes in October…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Linda Diehl Right!!!! And all the Judge bashing needs to end.
Todd Murray Doesn’t the face of a team need to play a full season?