Fans around the MLB are speculating about a potential major development in the Bronx. Star outfielder Aaron Judge was spotted playing a new position at Yankees’ Spring Training, and many are wondering if the move is permanent.
The reigning AL MVP made a lot of noise with his bat in 2022, smacking 62 home runs to set a franchise record. What many don’t recall is his success with his glove.
As a member of the Yankees outfield in 2022, Judge recorded a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage as he didn’t commit an error in his 285 defensive chances. He also ranked third among MLB center fielders in assists, the fourth time in his career he’s ranked among the top five performers at his respective position.
While he boasts a strong arm, above average athleticism, and a massive frame, many don’t believe the 30-year-old will stay in the outfield as he continues to age. Even with corner outfielders, we’ll often see a move to either designated hitter or a corner infield position late in careers.
Fans are speculating this exact scenario after seeing Aaron Judge take ground balls at first base in Spring Training.
MLB writer Bryan Hoch posted photos of the slugger fielding throws at 1B, and many online immediately began posting their reactions.
A few scenes from today’s workout at the #Yankees complex: pic.twitter.com/WnlFrl6OCa
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) February 14, 2023
Take a look.
One fan wrote, “Judge at first? Okaaaayyyy…”
Another said, “Not a bad option for Judge to start to add to his arsenal. With his size, towards the end of his contract, 1B/DH is probably the likely route anyways.”
While some were excited about the idea, others were cautiously optimistic. The person posted, “Judge taking a few over at 1st? It’s a good idea. Just don’t want a baserunner stepping on his foot.”
New York seemingly has its first baseman of 2023 in Anthony Rizzo. The lefty is considered one of the better defensive options at the position as he boasts four Gold Gloves. Still, this could be a thought for the future as Aaron Judge recently signed a nine-year, $360M deal with the Yanks.
A move to first base could take some stress off his body, which would help maximize his longevity on the backside of his career. Still, it’s probably a move that comes further down the road. Expect Judge to line up in the outfield in 2023.