Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scouting the Draft: Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge, OF, Fresno State, is one of the more polarizing names in the 2013 draft class with mock draft rankings ranging from the top 10 to out of the first round entirely. Most rankings have him somewhere late in the first round. The upside is obvious.  He is huge at 6'7, 230 lbs, yet athletic enough to be a plus defender in RF with above average arm and speed.  You generally expect a guy like this to hit about 20 HR's, but with a .230 BA, but so far in his college career, Judge has hit just 6 HR's in 2 seasons while posting .300+ BA's.  He bats R, throws R.

Here are his college numbers as well as summer league action:

2011 NCAA  .358/.437/.465, 2 HR, 11 SB.
2012 NCAA  .308/.453/.458, 4 HR, 13 SB
2011 Alaska League  .290/.434/.410, 0 HR, 7 SB.
2012 Cape Cod League  .270/.365/.450, 5 HR, 6 SB.

There is a more complete profile on Big League Futures, linked to the left, as well as multiple video clips on BLF and YouTube.

While I tend to like tall pitchers, tall hitters always make me nervous.  Since the strike zone is defined anatomically, tall hitters automatically have larger than average ones thus making it more difficult to control the strike zone.  As we have seen with Brandon Belt, their swings tend to be long and they have trouble barreling up pitches on the inside half of the plate, a problem that becomes more pronounced with wood bats.

It will be most interesting to see where Judge is taken in the draft.  His ceiling is enormous, but comes with a high bust potential.  First round busts are bad, but taking the risk for a ceiling like Judge would not be the worst gamble you could take late in the round.  He'd be a no brainer for the second round, but will almost certainly not be there by then.

22 comments:

  1. guess what

    gonna see angel and an angel (torres) in the of

    guess hairston was too expensive

    gonna be a fun clubhouse

    the trade cost sabey sabes nada...good job

    bacci

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  2. Andres Torres back! Awesome move after a great trade last year. One of my favorite Giants.

    Aaron Judge may become a monster, but that risk is way too rich for my blood.

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    1. Outstanding.

      Not realistic, but always hoping that there is a happy zone in Torres' ADD meds that he can find again, and excel. At 35.

      Well, it's Christmas...the time of miracles.

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    2. Andres Torres will easily be able to live up to his contract. He will be welcome competition for the starting OF job during spring training, and will provide insurance in case of injury. Not only that but he will be a good pinch hitter, and will provide good speed and defense off of the bench.

      And as far as Aaron judge is concerned, he is risky, but sometimes you need to take the more risky picks when your pick is in the late first round.

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  3. Judge is taller than Belt.

    He's as big as Kingman.

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    1. King Kong Kingman, my first favorite prospect. My earliest memories of him was him tripling, his homers of course, and him getting appendicitis, followed by me going to my mom and complaining of pain in my side and wondering if I had it too. :^)

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  4. http://blog.sfgate.com/giants/2012/12/13/sf-giants-reunite-with-popular-outfielder-andres-torres/

    One year, $2M deal to sign Torres, seemed too much like an obvious move after the Mets released him, given the Giants interest in a RH to complement Blanco. And he hit pretty well against LHP last season, so clearly he was just loopy against RHP. Haven't looked at his split but that bad a batting line against RHP seems a bit like he got BABIPed by the baseball gods in 2012, a lot.

    This also does not prevent the Giants from seeking a better overall starter in LF, making Blanco and Torres the utility OF. Then they just need to sign Theriot and with Arias and Hector, the bench would be set mostly, with Arias probably competing with Noonan and Burriss for the utility IF role.

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    1. Burriss signed a minor league deal with the Reds.

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    2. doesnt logic dictate that if you take away the stress of earning and holding onto the starting role, torres should do better?

      no more sleepless nights and surrounded by those who love and support him

      i think its a great move

      on the other hand, the halos spending for hamilton is nuts...

      bacci

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    3. Where are the Rangers going to use the money set aside for Greinke or Hamilton now?

      Is this going to be a case of 'the first guy overpays and the second guy over-over-pays?'

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    4. Amid the clamor for Hairston, who wants a multiyear deal at ca. $5M per year, as I recall, the Giants sign Torres at $2M and commit for only one year. Whichever one the Giants would sign would be used largely in a platoon with Blanco, or so rumor has it, against LH pitching. Hairston in 2012 against LH hit .286. Torres in 2012 against LH also hit .286. That isn't the whole story, since Hairston's power let him have an advantage in fWAR, 2.0 in 398 PA as against Torres' 1.7 in 434 PA. (The corresponding 2012 rWAR numbers are 1.5 for H, 1.2 for T.) Hairston is slightly the better player, but they're close enough to make this deal of Sabean's a pretty savvy one.

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    5. http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Andres-Torres-fits-Giants-budget-4117021.php

      And a little bout the budget. Hey hey, Larry Baer, I do make fun of you on occasion, but you got the right idea, and you stayed on point with the message. Good stuff.

      Gints sign Chad Gaudlin to a minor league deal. Well traveled and well goofy bearded, he is a nice long man candidate to replace Easter Island Mota. I never really liked Gaudlin that much when he was with the A's, but its a nice under the radar move.

      Torres give us 3 CFs who can play all the positions. While none of them have plus arms, I think they all have pretty decent arms. I'd rank Pagan at the top, Torres at the bottom, but he is pretty direct to the ball.

      Keep cool, and keep the scouts scouring. We're looking for the next Kent/Joey Batts opportunity here, and to get that you have to kiss some frogs. But in the meantime the Torres/Blanco is just fine. Dave Cameron of all people has noticed the trend of not having mashing corner OFs. LF production across MLB is way down, its completely changed in 5-10 years. And people furiously demanding Nick Swisher don't understand that is one of the reasons he's out there sweating on this market. Being a complete ballplayer is important. Defense does matter.

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    6. Sabean said that he doesn't actually plan on platooning then, he's just going to go with the hotter player to start. We'll see when the season starts. They may realize that the platoon is the better option, but as far as I'm concerned, I like the idea of going with the hotter starter.

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    7. The bigger factor in LF, I think, is that Belt most likely will be playing a lot there, assuming the Posey at 1B plan, which worked so well in 2012, is continued. That would severely interfere with any platoon plans, I would think. Plus, Bochy's M.O. has been to go with the hot hand while giving the cold hand opportunities to show he's gotten hot, when there is no clear starter, so I would not be surprised if that is the overwhelming usage pattern in LF for 2013, barring any surprise acquisitions.

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  5. Looking at Judge's Cape Cod numbers, he looks like he handles wooden bats pretty well. I know the Giants have liked the hitters who did well in Cape Cod, though has anyone seen a study of players out of there? My big example of a Giants prospect who did well there is Linden...

    That batting line there reminds of Dave Kingman, though the comment above probably helped trigger that. Early on, Kingman was hitting for average, power, gap power, and he stole some bases too. But somewhere the switch clicked and he became the one-dimensional hitter that everybody knew him as.

    This guy profiles like someone Barr would like. The Talent is there to be a first rounder, but for whatever reasons (though typically a poor junior year or an injury), fell back later in the draft, where the Giants picked him. A lot of our post-first round picks in the Barr era were guys who were expected to do more but failed, Crawford, Parker, Susac, Osich, those are top of mind, I'm sure others too. So that comment about some seeing him as Top 10 while others out of the first seems to fall into this category.

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  6. And the Bums are now shopping nick punto and Juan uribe... If and when they dfa uribe... Minor league deal with st invite? Hey, if the riot is in too much demand, uribe at the minimum while the bums pay his freight could be quite funny. Don't know how much his skills or his hunger for the game has deminished and he might not have left on the best of terms...

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    1. Uribe apparently can't pick at short any more. There really was nothing that the guy was doing well in LA.

      That being said, would not at all be surprised if the Giants bring him back in on a minor league deal. I believe the Bums have held on to him this long to avoid that possibility, and the possible (long odds against) success he might have in an SF return.

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  7. Giants resign Torres!!! $2 million seems like a lot given last year's performance. But I love having him back in a fourth outfielder role.
    Also, poor Eli Whiteside. Yankees claimed him off of waivers, they waived him, Toronto claimed him, they waived, him, today Texas claimed him off of waivers. That guy just shouldn't unpack until spring training starts.

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    1. I would love to be that poor Whiteside who got $200k from the Yanks without even wearing their uniform.

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  8. I agree with the earlier comment that Judge profiles as a player Barr would like. Might be hard to pass up if he's there at the Giants pick because of his power potential. He flashed the ability to hit to all fields during his games against Hawaii which might explain the low HR total. A former scout commented on TV how impressed he was watching him in BP. I would agree that I rather see the Giants go in another direction because he is a risky pick. It wouldn't surprise me if he tries to hit more HRs to push up his draft stock.

    Drb, i might have a sleeper pick that nobody is talking about in the 1st round. I really liked that RHP from USF Alex Balog. He's 6'5" 210 throws in the low 90's with a good breaking ball. He pitched a more dominating game then Kyle Zimmer did against Hawaii. He ended up 4 wins 4 losses with a 3.5 ERA in 2012. It wouldn't surprise me if he becomes the 2013 version of Kyle Zimmer if he puts it together.

    LG

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