If you haven’t heard of Aaron Judge your probably not a sports fan. On August 13, 2016, the New York Yankee rookie made his debut one for the history books. In his first career at-bat, the right fielder planted a home run in the bleachers along with fellow rookie Tyler Austin. But Judge proved he wasn’t a one-hit-wonder, with an oblique injury cutting his 2016 season short Judge came back for the beginning of the 2017 season and started a rookie campaign no Yankee or baseball fan is soon to forget.
Full Name: Aaron James Judge
Birthday: April 26, 1992
Birthplace: Linden, California
Team: New York Yankees/MLB
The day after he was born Judge was adopted by his parents Patty and Wayne. At the time the couple already had another son John who was also adopted. At a young age, Aaron was involved in sports starting with tee-ball. As he progressed into high school Judge proved to be a dominant force in whatever sport he decided to play. As a wide receiver, he set the Linden High School record for touchdowns, and as a center in basketball led the team in points. Of course, Judge also played baseball in high school, but he was not the right fielder fans know him to be today. At the time Judge was a pitcher and first basemen.
After graduation, several colleges had scouted Judge for football, but he chose a different path. In 2010 the Oakland Athletics drafted Judge, but with heavy importance being put on education in his house as a child, he opted to go to Fresno State and play baseball. After a stellar college career Judge was drafted again in 2013 by the New York Yankees. After battling injury Judge went on the single-A Yankee affiliate the Charleston River Dogs. After a powerful year of 45 home-runs Judge was moved to Tampa. After another year in single-A, the Yankees invited Judge to spring training. 2015 proved to be the year Judge would put the thunder in the Trenton Thunder, and it wasn’t long before he was moved to triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.
Finally in the middle of the 2016 season Judge was called up to the majors to start in right field. And while the rookie hit two home runs in his first two games Judge had an uncharacteristically bad season. His batting average was .173 and ended in September with an oblique injury. Then the 2017 season happened and if you’re a baseball fan you know where this story is headed. “The big man” as many commentators and fans had deemed him, had a record-setting season like no rookie before him. Not only was he named to the MLB All-Star game but he was also the first rookie to win the Home Run Derby. He broke Mark McGuire’s all-time rookie home run record with 52 homers that set records for distance and exit velocity. At the end of the season, Judge was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award.
Another Injury…and another…and another
Judge had undergone orthoscopic shoulder surgery in the offseason and fans were eager to see him back at the plate. After being named to the All-Star Game for the second time in 2018 Judge faced more injury. His wrist was broken by a fastball during the fourth inning. He returned for the end of the season in September. In 2019 hopes were once again high that the now-beloved right fielder would come back from the offseason health and ready to go. Early in the season Judge suffered another oblique strain and was placed on the injured list until late in June.
With the 2020 season fast approaching the question now becomes can Aaron Judge remain healthy enough to stay on the field for a full season? And if he does what records will we see him break this time?
Aaron Judge Contract and Career Stats
Wow!! Always been a dream of mine! Can’t thank my coaches and teammates enough! 🙏🏽 https://t.co/wzABbLZMPG
— Aaron Judge (@TheJudge44) November 7, 2019
Before the 2020 season, the New York Yankees signed Judge to a one-year $8.5 million dollar contract, avoiding arbitration.
In his short but effective career Judge has already produced 110 home runs and 387 hits in 1,417 at-bats. His career batting average is .273