Friday Featured Athlete: New York Yankees Superstar Aaron Judge
The New York Yankees franchise isn't short on legends and legacy. The team could very well be witnessing the beginning of a legendary Yankees career with one of their young stars.
Attending Linden High School, Aaron Judge starred in three sports. He set a school record for touchdowns, led the basketball team in points per game and helped lead the baseball team to the California Interscholastic Federation Division III playoffs. Aaron Judge received offers to attend major schools like Notre Dame, Stanford and UCLA to play tight end but chose to stick with baseball.
The Oakland Athletics selected Aaron Judge in the 31st round of the 2010 MLB Draft but he chose to enroll at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State). Aaron Judge was named as a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and was part of a team that qualified for the 2011 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament. In three seasons with the Fresno State Bulldogs baseball team, Aaron Judge was named to the all-conference team each year.
During the 2013 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees selected Aaron Judge with the 32nd overall pick, a compensatory pick for the team losing Nick Swisher in free agency. An injury put his initial season in the Yankees organization on hold but Aaron Judge began his professional career with the Charleston Riverdogs in 2014. In 2015, he had managed to climb to Double AA and eventually to the Yankees AAA affiliate.
Aaron Judge made his MLB debut in August of 2016, hitting a home run in his first at-bat. In a bit of MLB history, Tyler Austin, who was also making his MLB debut, hit a home run in his first career at-bat as well.
After an abbreviated appearance in the 2016 MLB season, Aaron Judge became a mainstay of the New York Yankees lineup in 2017. His rookie season did not disappoint as Aaron Judge broke numerous records, including Joe DiMaggio's record for most home runs by a Yankees rookie. Prior to the All-Star break, Aaron Judge held an impressive .329 batting average with 30 home runs and 66 RBIs.
Aaron Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award, a Silver Slugger award and was second in MVP voting in his rookie season.
The New York Yankees superstar continued his meteoric rise in 2018, becoming just the fifth Yankees player to start an All-Star game in each of his first two seasons. Aaron Judge became the fastest MLB player to reach 60 home runs, breaking Mark McGwire's record by five games.
Although Aaron Judge looked to be on his way to another productive season, a broken bone in his wrist from getting hit by a pitch sidelined the New York Yankees slugger for nearly two months.
Aaron Judge continues to shine for the New York Yankees and has proven to be one of the top players in the league. He has set numerous New York Yankees franchise records as well as MLB records. In just his third season, Aaron Judge has ascended to become one of the most feared hitters in baseball.
For being an elite level player and doing so while facing the pressures of playing for the New York Yankees, Aaron Judge has become one of the most sought after autographs in the game.