FIFTY THOUSAND MOONS

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Let's face it: In 2016, the only Yankee that really matters is Aaron Judge

You've surely heard about the Scrantonians who will be patrolling our outfield in July, after the starters self-immolate. Nobody within radio contact of a Little Debbie's Snack Cake ad expects a full year from Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and/or Carlos Beltran. Such things do not exist. And having only one 4th outfielder - Aaron Hicks, the Cashman "steal" from Minnesota - isn't enough. We'll need five 4th outfielders, maybe six. We need the cast of "Glee."

But wait: There is genuine hope: The Yankiverse can feel hopeful about the futures of Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams and Ben Gamel - each a worthy potential 5th outfielder and 24th man on the roster. (No. 25 always belongs to some bullpen rag arm.) We've had far worse depth in Triple A, and if you don't believe me, think Melky Mesa.

That said, forgetaboutem. Likewise, forget A-Rod, Tex, CC and every other Yankee over 30, because if Food Stamps Steinbrenner is merely biding time until they're all off the books, why shouldn't we, as well? Ah, if it were only so simple! Unlike Shallow Hal, who puts a price on Yankee victories, we fans have no choice but to march along. But I believe only one guy in the Yankiverse really matters this year, and for all the discussion he generates, most bloggers aren't talking about him this winter, because they're terrified that he'll turn out to be a bust.

He is, of course, Aaron Judge. Three years ago, he was a first round pick. He is the size of an NFL defensive end or an NBA power forward: Six feet seven, two hundred and seventy five pounds. He'll be the biggest OF in Yankee history, bigger than Dave Winfield, bigger than Shelley Duncan, bigger than Henry Cotto and Alvaro Espino on piggyback. He'll turn 24 in late April. He blasted through the low minors like a hollow-point bullet and reached Scranton last July. Six feet seven, two hundred and seventy five pounds. Does that give you an erection? Six feet seven, two hundred and seventy five pounds. Do you feel it? Six feet seven, two hundred and seventy five pounds. Yep, you read that right. Six feet seven, two hundred and seventy five pounds. And then, you know what he did in Scranton?

He sucked.

Yes. Six feet seven, two hundred and seventy five pounds of suck. Judge played in 61 games at Scranton and hit a measly .224. with eight HRs. He had blown through Trenton - 12 HRs and .284 - causing everybody to assume he'd do the same at Triple A. Well, didn't happen. So now what?

Wait... let me type it again. Six feet seven, two hundred and seventy five pounds. That's him. He bats RH, strikes out too much, has a strike zone bigger than Tom Cruise (so does everyone, btw, the guy is short) and he hasn't begun to touch his power potential. But Judge has the highest ceiling in the Yankee system. Six feet seven inches tall. He will be a great star or great disappointment. It's that simple.

So let's dream. If Judge is the real deal, the bacon, the buttered toast, we can fantasize a 2020 Yankee lineup featuring baseball's two greatest sluggers - Bryce Harper in CF and Judge in RF. It would be the Second Coming of Mantle and Maris, Mickey and Roger, the two Yankee sluggers who brought me into this world. If Harper and Judge could play to age 40, they might outlast my lifetime. So be it. Ashes to ashes, bats to bats.

This season, we will probably learn the future of Aaron Judge. We'll know if he is to be a star, or if he will disappear into the firmament. Get a good seat. It should be interesting.

5 comments:

Tom said...

Judge may or may not. I'm kind of skeptical. Dave Kingman, anyone? The big question, the one that I pray has a positive answer, is whether a certain preppy billionaire reads this blog every day to find out what he's done wrong lately. That would be great.

Anonymous said...

MY GOD, JUST THAT 1 KEY BREAKOUT OF A YOUNG FRANCHISE STAR, IN MY OPINION, MAY OPEN THE FLOODGATES TO ANOTHER LONG TERM, (MAY I SAY IT?)...DYNASTY. (OF COURSE, PITCHING IS NEEDED TOO)... DON'T FORGET THE TAG ON JUDGE IS HE IS VERY ATHLETIC, AND A VERY GOOD FIELDER, WITH A REAL GOOD ARM TOO...... THINK OF JUDGE IN RF.... GREG BIRD AT 1B..... BRYCE HARPER IN CF.... 3 GUYS WHO WE CAN AT LEAST DREAM WHO WILL HAVE 100 HOMERS BETWEEN THEM....NOT BAD HUH?..... PLEASE GOD, LET US HAVE THIS.....

Anonymous said...

Did anyone read the little blurb about Aaron Judge last season??? It was when he went into his slump. He had missed a week because of an unnamed injury. The blurb at the time had to do with his lower back bothering him. I have not read anything further about this missed week or lower back problem. Anyone else here know anything about these??

Anonymous said...

I DO REMEMBER HEARING THAT...I REMEMBER SAYING TO MYSELF, "OH O...WHAT COULD IT BE?...WHY IS IT AN "UNNAMED" INJURY?"..I CAN'T REALLY REMEMBER HEARING THAT IT WAS HIS LOWER BACK, BUT I REMEMBER HEARING THAT WORD "UNNAMED"....YES, GREAT POINT, Anonymous....NEVER READ ANYTHING ABOUT IT AFTERWARDS....THE CRITICS WERE SO FAST TO CAN HIM FOR SLUMPING, BUT THEY SHOULD REALIZE HE HAS MOVED UP VERY QUICKLY..IN LESS THAN 2 FULL SEASONS HE HAS GONE FORM A BALL IN TAMPA (JUNE 2014), TO AAA BALL IN THE PRESENT- (MARCH/APRIL 2016)!... I CAN HEAR STERLING NOW, "HE IS JUDGE...JURY...AND EXECUTIONER!".....HOW GREAT WOULD THAT BE?...OMG

KD said...

When Aaron comes to the plate for his first at-bat, what do you think the odds are that THE MASTER quips "Here comes da Judge!"?