Tuesday, July 11, 2017
MIAMI — In some ways, Aaron Judge was just like any other awe-struck fan on Monday afternoon, when he finally met the best player from his favorite team when he was a child. Judge spotted the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey in a tunnel under the stands before batting practice and sprang into action.
“He was walking into the clubhouse, and I had to stop him,” Judge said with a smile. “I said: ‘Buster, I’m a huge fan. It’s been fun watching what you’re doing.’”
That moment aside, though, Judge is really not at all like a paying customer — or even much like any of his peers in the All-Star locker room. He is a singular force in his sport, the only position player in baseball history to be at least 6 feet 7 inches and at least 280 pounds. He has also been its best performer this season.
“It’s pretty incredible,” said Posey, the starting catcher for the National League. “I don’t think I can remember, even watching baseball growing up, seeing somebody as big as him move as well as he does.”
Judge towers over the game now, after turning Marlins Park into his personal launching pad. Judge blasted 47 home runs to all corners of the ballpark, beating Justin Bour, Cody Bellinger and, finally, Miguel Sano to win the Home Run Derby.
I caught a bit of the home run derby and Judge had some really impressive shots. He is almost certainly going to regress in the second half of the season because there are very few players who can maintain a .329/.448/.691 line over a full season. That will probably get blamed on the home run derby instead of the law of averages.
As disappointing as the last month plus has been for the team overall, Judge has been the story that keeps on giving. The Yankees’ rebuild is off to a fantastic start with him as the cornerstone of it.
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