How the Yankees landed Aaron Judge

Just one away! After his explosion to lead the ninth game of yesterday A crushing victory over the piratesNow sitting at 60, Aaron Judge is just one home run shy of equaling the AL record set by Roger Maris 61 years ago. How exactly did you do Yankees Would you land the player who just tied Babe Ruth in the second-most number of home runs in a single season in franchise history?

The athletics team drafted a judge out of high school in the 31st round of the 2010 draft, but decided to enter Fresno State. Within three years, he hit .345/.451/.529 with 18 home points and 93 RBI, and was selected for the first team All-Mountain West as small. This junior campaign plus growth during the Cape Cod baseball league in the summer before that got him to that point Judge jumped on the first day of 2013 MLB . Project.

Judge was expected to go in the first round from mid to late, despite his modest output in college, bands could dream of unlocking endless pop from his massive frame. The Yankees had the opportunity to pick the Judge with the 26th overall pick, but they risked he would still be available after six picks and instead used the pick on third baseman Eric Jagielo outside. our lady. (Jagielo has been traded to the Reds in an Aroldis Chapman deal, has played 42 Triple-A games in his career, and has been out of baseball since 2019).

Thus, we gave six teams a chance to prevent us from experiencing the dread and excitement that Judge gave Yankees fans. Fortunately for the Yankees and their fans, the Reds, Cardinals, Rays, Rangers and Braves all passed Judge, and Giant Slugs fell into the Yankees’ lap with the 32nd overall pick.

Of course, no story about the judge being drafted by the Yankees is complete without telling how they ended up with the thirty-second pick. Free agent Nick Swisher after the 2012 season rejected the Yankees’ eligible $13.3 million bid and instead signed with Cleveland for a four-year, $56 million deal. As a result, the Yankees received the 32nd pick as a make-up pick, and thus ended up with the judge. Of course, the more famous redemptive selection story also includes the Yankees, where the Angels were able to sign Mike Trout with the 25th pick from the 2009 draft, a choice they received as compensation for rejecting Marc Teixeira’s QO and signing with the Yankees in free agency. How not to be romantic in baseball? It’s as if the universe arrived in New York four years later.

Advancing quickly through the juniors, reaching Division I in his first season of professional baseball, Double and Triple A the following year, he finally got a call-up for the second half in 2016 after spending the first part of the season at Triple-A. He always had high strike totals, but maintained a steady supply of above-average offensive production across all three tiers to make him a no-brainer for the Yankees to hand him his first league game on August 13, 2016.

We all remember how that debut went, the judge touring his first MLB at-bat, back-to-back with fellow debutant Tyler Austin achieving the same feat just moments earlier. I’m sure many also remember the infamous stat that made the rounds – the judge crossed out half (42 of 84) of his bats in that first season as the minors’ swing and fail issues reared their ugly head in his first taste of adults.

It’s this backdrop that made his 2017 AL Rookie of the Year campaign unimaginable. Going from a raw producer with stark holes in his swing to the best batsman in baseball just months later is one of the more 180 any of us can see from any player. How fitting, then, that on the cusp of greatness, he once again made feats over a baseball diamond that we may never see again.