RailRiders Outfielder Moving Up Ranks

By Steve Svetovich


Photo credit: http://www.milb.com/

Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders outfielder Aaron Judge is one of several players who parent club’s general manager Brian Cashman does not show interest in trading.

Youth is becoming the name of the game for the New York Yankees, and at six foot seven inches tall, 275-pound Judge is a big part of it. At age 23, he is quickly moving up the ladder and continues to show progress in his game.

A 3-for-3 game in which he singled, doubled and homered Saturday, Aug. 22 in a 11-5 win over Rochester lifted his batting average to .251. He has eight homers, 16 doubles, 26 RBIs, 23 walks and six stolen bases in 45 games and 171 at bats for the RailRiders. He hit a go-ahead homer in a 2-1 win over Lehigh Valley the previous Wednesday. He also had his first 4-hit game for the RailRiders of the Class AAA International League  recently.

And all this after hitting .284 with 12 homers, 16 doubles and 44 RBIs in 63 games for the Trenton Thunder in the Class AA Eastern League earlier this year. He also had a .350 on base percentage and .516 slugging percentage for Trenton. He was promoted to the RailRiders in June.

Judge leads all Yankees minor leaguers with 20 homers at press time. He has 70 RBIs and 32 doubles in 108 minor league games this season at press time.

Born April 26, 1992 in Linden, California, he was adopted at one-day old by Wayne and Patty Judge, both teachers. Judge was a three-sport star athlete at Linden High School. He was recruited to play football, but chose baseball.

The towering right handed hitter was selected in the 31st round of the 2010 MLB draft, but decided to enroll at Fresno State. He played baseball three years for the Bulldogs in the Mountain West Conference. Louisville Slugger named him Freshman All-American . He was also the winner of the 2012 TD America Home Run Derby. Judge led the Bulldogs in homers, doubles and RBIs and was named All-Mountain West Conference in all three years playing for the Bulldogs.

The Yankees drafted Judge in the first round and 72nd overall in the 2013 MLB draft. He signed with the Yankees for a $1.8 million signing bonus. But soon after, Judge got a tough break. He tore his quadriceps femoris muscle while participating in a base running drill and missed the entire 2013 season.

He came back strong and made his professional debut with the Charleston RiverDogs in the Class A South Atlantic League in 2014. He hit .333 with a .428 on base percentage, .530 slugging percentage, nine homers and 45 RBIs in 65 games. He was then promoted to the Tampa Yankees in the Class A Advanced Florida State League where he hit .283, with a .411 on base percentage, eight homers and 33 RBIs in 66 games.

He began this season with the Trenton Thunder in the Class AA Eastern League. He was chosen to represent the Yankees in the 2015 All-Star Futures Game, and then came the promotion to the RailRiders three months ago.

The sprawling outfielder could be the New York Yankees starting right fielder in 2017. Current Yankees starting  right fielder Carlos Beltran, with 385 career home runs, a fabulous career and hitting .271 this season, has one year left on his current contract and is 38.

So don’t be surprised to see Aaron Judge roaming around in right field in 2017 on the hallowed grounds of Yankee Stadium. That is as long as the current progress continues and Cashman continues to value him.

Aaron Judge. Remember the name.

Top Pitching Prospect Gets Promotion to Yankees

By Steve Svetovich

It was just a matter of time. But due to the first place New York Yankees unsettled starting pitching rotation, sooner came before later for 21-year-old top pitching prospect Luis Severino.


As of Friday, July 31, Luis Severino will now be playing for the New York Yankees.

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced the promotion of the Dominican born right hander from Scranton Wilkes-Barre to the parent club in time for a start against the Boston Red Sox in the first week of this month.

Severino was undefeated at 7-0 in a RailRiders uniform this season. He has a 1.91 ERA for the RailRiders and has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his a Triple A starts. He struck out a career high 10, allowing only one hit over six innings in his last start Wednesday against Lehigh Valley.

The Yankees placed righty Michael Pineda on the disabled list Thursday, July 30, with forearm tightness. Southpaw CC Sabathia suffered dehydration after starting for Pineda in hot Texas the next day.

The team was quiet on the trading front before the July 31 deadline as Cashman starts to turn towards youth from this point to the future. None of the Yankees major prospects were traded, a shift from past seasons.

Severino was signed as an international free agent for a $225,000 signing bonus in 2012. He made his professional debut with the Dominican Summer League Yankees I. He started 14 games and went 4-2 with a 1.68 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 64 and one-third innings pitched.

He started the 2013 season with the DSL Yankees I. He was 4-2 with a 2.45 ERA. He struck out 53 in 44 innings. He pitched in 10 games, including eight starts. Prior to the 2014 season, Baseball America ranked Severino as the ninth best Yankees prospect. He started with Charleston before being promoted to the Tampa Yankees of the Class A Advanced Florida State League. He pitched in the 2014 All-Star Future Games.

He was then promoted to the Trenton Thunder of the Class AA Eastern League. With the three teams in 2014, he was 6-5 in 24 starts. He shined with a 2.46 ERA and 127 strikeouts and only 27 walks in 113 and one-third innings.

He was ranked as the New York Yankees top prospect and 23rd best in the minor leagues prior to the start of this season. He began the season in Trenton before his promotion to Scranton Wilkes-Barre where he is a perfect 7-0.

Cashman announced Severino’s call up to the big leagues Friday, July 31, and it is a move anticipated all season for Yankee fans. Time will now tell if Severino is major league ready at 21, but do not count him out.