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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

How The Yankees Landed Aaron Judge In The 2013 Draft

An oral history of a draft pick that has paid off big time:

Tim McIntosh, Yankees area scout (2001-03, ‘10-12): My ex-wife grew up in Linden. Everybody knows everybody. Somebody said, “There’s a big kid playing and you’ve got go look at him.” My cousin coached [Judge] in basketball and said, “He’s kind of passive; he’s soft. He’s the kind of guy that if he knocks you over, he’d let the play go down the court and help the guy up.”
.  .  .
Don Lyle, Indians: My mind was already set that this guy was going to be special, but trying to sell it to the industry was mighty hard. This was before Statcast™, so we weren’t measuring stuff the way we can now. A lot of people were at the Fresno-Reno game to see [Braden] Shipley, but I was there to see Aaron. He hit a ball past third base that was only two feet off the ground, and it didn’t bounce until it was past the bag. I turned to the other scouts and said, “That is the hardest ball I’ve ever seen hit in my life.” I couldn’t put the numbers on it, but if you have never seen a tornado before and you drive through it, the next time you see a tornado, you’ll know what it looks like. That’s how I felt with Aaron. I couldn’t tell you what 119 mph looked like off the bat back then, but I knew it was the hardest ball I’d ever seen hit.
.  .  .
Brad Grant, Indians: Our picks didn’t line up. And the Yankees actually had our [No. 32] pick, which they got [as compensation] for [when we signed] Nick Swisher.

Nick Swisher was a nice player for the Yankees, but the best thing he did for the franchise was to sign with the Indians. Since becoming a starter in 2017, Judge has hit .284/.421/.612, 170 OPS, in 910 PAs. Much more at link.


 

 

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