TAMPA, Fla. -- After 11 seasons catching in the big leagues, it's not often that the sound of bat meeting ball is enough to make Brian McCann take notice. Being inches away from Aaron Judge's powerful swing is one of those circumstances.Judge, who is ranked the club's No. 2 prospect,
TAMPA, Fla. -- After 11 seasons catching in the big leagues, it's not often that the sound of bat meeting ball is enough to make Brian McCann take notice. Being inches away from Aaron Judge's powerful swing is one of those circumstances.
Judge, who is ranked the club's No. 2 prospect, wowed the Yankees on Friday afternoon, hitting a tape-measure batting-practice homer over the tall left-field scoreboard at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Even though the blast came off first-base coach Tony Pena, it was enough to have Judge's teammates buzzing.
"Did you see the balls he hit today? [I've] never had that," McCann said. "It's super impressive. Then you meet the guy, and he's actually, he's top of the line.
"You look around here and you look at the young guys, there are some impact baseball players that are about to hit the big leagues. It's how you win these days. You mix veterans with your farm system. I feel like our farm system is producing impactful players at the big league level."
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Judge laughed when asked about the long drive and said that he usually doesn't watch his BP drives. Though he did hear the cheers from the assembled crowd, Judge said that he didn't realize that the ball had cleared the scoreboard.
"It just kind of happens," Judge said. "I just got blessed, you know? I'm just trying to make good contact right now; feel my swing, see how everything is feeling. Some just happen to go that far."
Judge led all Yankees Minor Leaguers with 20 homers in 2015, finishing the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
While the Yankees have said that he is not competing to make the Opening Day roster, it is believed that he could make his Major League debut at some point this season. Manager Joe Girardi said that he has been impressed by Judge's muscle.
"There aren't a lot of guys that can do that," Girardi said. "We've talked about what a great athlete he is and obviously trying to get him the reps to where he can be a real effective player here. But it's nice to see that type of power, because not everyone has it."
Judge is working on making adjustments in order to better handle the experienced pitching he saw last year at Triple-A. More than the homer, Judge seemed excited by the opportunity to test his plate approach against right-hander Michael Pineda in batting practice.
"I really wasn't sure what we were going to be doing today, but when he came out to throw live BP, I was excited," Judge said. "It's always good to try to get some of the ugly swings out right now before the games start. It was good to see a veteran up there trying to do his thing."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.