Aaron Judge has taken the Big Apple by storm.
The Yankees right fielder’s speedy rise to stardom landed him on the cover of last week’s Sports Illustrated, drew comparisons by manager Joe Girardi and others to Derek Jeter and garnered his own cheering section in the right field stands, cleverly dubbed The Judge’s Chambers.
Judge has also drawn comparisons to another Yankee great, Dave Winfield. Even the Hall of Fame right fielder is in awe of Judge and “[couldn’t] help but retweet” the 25-year-old’s towering 457-foot homer against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 22.
But, as much of a fan Winfield has become of Judge, he knows the young power hitter has ways to go.
“He’s just trying to succeed,” Winfield, who recently partnered with Sheraton Hotels and their “Beyond Influential” series on MLB.com, told amNewYork. “One month doesn’t make a career, not even half a season. So, he’ll just stay focused. It’s a learning experience every day.”
In the first month of the season, Judge hit .303 with 10 home runs and 20 RBI in 22 games. Overall, he’s eighth in the AL with a .315 batting average to go along with an MLB-leading 15 home runs and 30 RBI in 40 games entering Tuesday for the AL East-leading Yankees.
Winfield notes that, while the comparisons to Jeter, whom idolized the longtime Yankees right fielder, are nice, it’s too soon to draw such conclusions.
“Aaron’s just starting, so we won’t draw the comparison,” he said. “I saw something where they were talking about comparing him to Jeter. They shouldn’t start with that.
“[Judge] is much taller, [weighs] 100 pounds more, [and is] a different player. Don’t do that to him.”
Winfield played with the Yanks for nine seasons from 1981-90 and hit .290 with 205 home runs for the Bombers.