Judge dread! Slugger shows off scary power

448-foot blast hardest-hit HR at Yankee Stadium

April 20th, 2017

NEW YORK -- Historians are still analyzing Mickey Mantle's May 22, 1963, home run at the original Yankee Stadium, which struck the frieze high above right field and is generally accepted as the closest anyone came to hitting a fair ball out of the House that Ruth Built.

Across the street at a new building, has sparked discussions among his teammates, who believe that the hulking slugger has the power to make some history of his own. Judge's 448-foot moonshot in Wednesday's 9-1 victory over the White Sox offered a tease of what may be yet to come.

"Ones like those, you don't even feel it touch the bat, to be honest," Judge said. "If you get it on the sweet spot, you don't even feel it."

Judge now lays claim to the hardest-hit Yankee Stadium home run in the Statcast™ Era (since 2015), crushing a curveball that rocketed off the bat at 115.5 mph and landed out near the flagpoles that hover above the left-field bleachers.

"We've been pitching Judge sort of backwards the whole series," Covey said. "I kind of left it over the middle of the plate. He kind of got a hold of it."

Sure, in the way that 5-foot-8 "kind of" has to jump to give the 6-foot-7 Judge a high-five.

According to Statcast™, Judge's homer was the third-longest at Yankee Stadium in the past three years. It was exceeded only by the Astros' , who hit a 462-foot shot on April 6, 2016, and by teammate , who hit a 459-foot homer off on Monday.

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"It's unbelievable. I've never seen home runs like that," said , who cleared the bases before Judge with a three-run homer of his own. "He's been swinging the bat pretty good. He's fun to watch."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Judge's homer "may be the furthest one I've seen here go to left-center," and he didn't seem convinced that it went "only" 448 feet.

"I question the distance that they measured that at," Girardi said.

Holliday was teasing Judge about his homer earlier this week, and Judge said that he caught himself wondering if Wednesday's drive had enough to overtake Holliday's long-distance measurement.

"I thought I beat him, but I guess not," Judge said. "Me and Holliday were talking about it a little bit. I was like, 'That's pretty deep. I don't know if I got all that.' I thought I had him tonight, maybe."

Judge is just the third Yankees outfielder under the age of 25 to hit five homers in the team's first 15 games, joining Mantle (1956) and Bobby Murcer (1969). Derek Jeter also accomplished the feat in 1999. As for hitting a ball completely out of the ballpark? Judge said that he hasn't come close, even in batting practice, but the year is young.

"I'd have to pick the right day," Judge said with a grin. "I've got to have the wind blowing out. I've got to have a storm brewing or something."