It didn’t take long for Yankees prospect Aaron Judge to make a statement in Grapefruit League play. One of the fabled “Baby Bombers,” Judge took aim at the scoreboard in left-center field at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Friday.
Judge absolutely hammered the first pitch he saw from Phillies lefty Elniery Garcia:
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Judge, who will turn 25 in April, is competing for the starting job in right field this spring – and he’s off to a strong start. In 27 games (95 plate appearances) with New York last season, he hit .179/.263/.345 with four homers, two doubles and 10 RBI but had an alarming 42 strikeouts.
“If he gets the barrel of the bat to the ball, he’s going to do a lot of damage,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, via MLB.com. “There are going to be some strikeouts, and you can live with some strikeouts, but this is a guy that could be extremely productive — just because of the raw power that he has — and do significant damage.”
Didi Gregorius and Kyle Higashioka also homered Friday for the Yankees, whose pitching staff took a perfect game into the seventh inning in the 9-4 win.